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MIT develops finger-mounted reading device for the blind

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

There have been numerous inventions of new age wearable technology in the last few years. But Scientists at the MI’s Media lab have conceived a device that will raise the bar of the category of wearable technology to new heights.

In what could prove to be the next most powerful wearable for the visually impaired is the new Finger mounted reading device. This device comes with a built-in camera which converts written text into audio for visually impaired users. As a visually impaired user moves her finger across the text, a synthesized voice would read out words and sentences loudly for the user to hear and decipher the text.

MIT media lab post doc Jochen Huber, who is also the lead writer of the paper on this device, said that “For visually impaired users, this is a translation. It’s something that translates whatever the finger is ‘seeing’ to audio.”

The device is being applauded by physicists and scientists already and is being expected to help the Visually impaired people to get some ease in their overall reading experience. George Stetten, a physician and engineer with joint appointments at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and the University of Pittsburgh’s Bioengineering Department, who himself is in the way of developing a finger mounting device that gives visually impaired users information about distant objects was quoted  as saying “I am very impressed with what they do.”

The device according to the researchers may have a wider range of applications that they’d expected with its conception. They are planning to cover a range of people apart from the visually impaired ones. “We got many emails and requests from organizations, but also just parents of children with dyslexia, for instance.” said Shilkrot.

The team is now working on developing a version of the open-source software that will run on Android Phones, which are widely used all over the world.

While the MIT team that developed the device feels it will be able to launch the device at an affordable price, there has however been no declaration of the cost of the device as yet.

 

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A One-Shot Nanoparticle Vaccine for Polio is Developed by MIT scientists

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

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vaccine, wikimedia

A novel single-shot nanoparticle vaccine developed by MIT researchers could assist efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Currently, two to four polio vaccine injections are required to build up immunity, and because of the difficulty in reaching children in remote areas, the disease still prevails.

The novel vaccine delivers multiple doses in just one injection to prevent the paralysis caused by the polio virus.

“Having a one-shot vaccine that can elicit full protection could be very valuable in being able to achieve eradication,” said Ana Jaklenec, a research scientist at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, US.

“Children in some of these hard-to-reach developing world locations tend to not get the full series of shots necessary for protection. The goal is to ensure that everyone globally is immunized,” Jaklenec added, in a paper appearing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To create a single-injection vaccine, the team encapsulated the inactivated polio vaccine in a biodegradable polymer known as PLGA.

polio
An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine .

This polymer can be designed to degrade after a certain period of time, allowing the researchers to control when the vaccine is released.

The researchers designed particles that would deliver an initial burst at the time of injection, followed by a second release about 25 days later.

They injected the particles into rats, and found that the blood samples from rats immunised with the single-injection particle vaccine had an antibody response against polio virus just as strong as, or stronger than, antibodies from rats that received two injections of Salk polio vaccine — the first polio vaccine, developed in the 1950s.

Furthermore, the researchers said that they could design vaccines that deliver more than two doses, each a month apart and hope to soon be able to test the vaccines in clinical trials.

Also Read: Parents More Worried About the Vaccines Rather Than the Disease

They are also working to apply this approach to create stable, single-injection vaccines for other viruses such as Ebola and HIV. (IANS)

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