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Provo, UT, United States

In this paper we discuss the entropy and information aspects of closed and open systems. The information and entropy change of the system are discussed in the context of RNA synthesis. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Draper D.O.,BYU
International Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2011

The purpose of this paper is to report the cases of 7 subjects who lacked full range of motion (ROM) in the elbow, and my treatment regimen of PSWD and joint mobilizations. 7 subjects presented with decreased elbow (ROM) due to extensive fractures and or dislocations from traumatic injuries. All subjects were post-surgical, 2 with internal fixation devices. Initial active extension for each patient was 17°, 23°, 28°, 25°, 45°, 30°, 26° respectively (range of 17-45 degrees). Treatment regimen consisted of PSWD to the anterior elbow for 20 min at 48 watts. Immediately after PSWD, mobilizations were administered to the elbow. Extension improved 19°, 21°, 25°, 23°, 20°, 30°, and 26°, respectively, after 6 or less treatments (range of 19-30 degrees). All but 1 patient returned to normal activities with functional ROM in all planes. Follow-up 4 weeks later indicated that all of the subjects maintained 85-100% of their extension. No negative effects were reported during the short-term follow-up. When precautions are taken, I propose PSWD (48 W) may be an appropriate adjunct to joint mobilizations to increase ROM in peripheral joints despite implanted metal. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart - New York.

The duo, along with professor Brian Jensen and their students, are working toward surgical technology that will allow for the manufacturing of instruments so small that the size of incisions necessary to accommodate the tools can heal on their own—without sutures. "The whole concept is to make smaller and smaller incisions," Howell said. "To that end, we're creating devices that can be inserted into a tiny incision and then deployed inside the body to carry out a specific surgical function." As a part of their work, BYU just licensed a series of compliant mechanism technologies to Intuitive Surgical, the world leader in robotic surgery and the maker of the popular da Vinci Surgical System. The deal is the latest in a number of collaborations with Intuitive Surgical, which connected with BYU on advice from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The researchers say their work is inspired by a need for increasingly smaller surgical tools; the industry has reached the limit to where they can't go any smaller with traditional designs. BYU's team has engineered new design concepts that eliminate the need for pin joints and other parts, instead relying on the deflection inherent in origami to create motion. "These small instruments will allow for a whole new range of surgeries to be performed—hopefully one day manipulating things as small as nerves," Magleby said. "The origami-inspired ideas really help us to see how to make things smaller and smaller and to make them simpler and simpler." One such instrument is a robotically-controlled forceps so small it can pass through a hole about 3 millimeters in size—roughly the thickness of two pennies held together. Outside their work with Intuitive Surgical, BYU's team is developing concepts such as the D-Core, a device that starts out flat (to be inserted into an incision) then expands to become two rounded surfaces that roll on each other, mimicking the movement made by spinal discs. Magleby says the work they are doing on medical devices is not much different in principle than the work they've done for NASA to create compact space equipment. "Those who design spacecraft want their products to be small and compact because space is at a premium on a spacecraft, but once you get in space, they want those same products to be large, such as solar arrays or antennas," Magleby said. "There's a similar idea here: We'd like something to get quite small to go through the incision, but once it's inside, we'd like it to get much larger." BYU's latest research on origami-inspired engineering appears in the February issue of academic journal Mechanism and Machine Theory. Explore further: Engineers turn to origami to solve astronomical space problem (w/ Video) More information: Michael R. Morgan et al. Towards developing product applications of thick origami using the offset panel technique, Mechanical Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.5194/ms-7-69-2016

A new study led by BYU organizational behavior professor Peter Madsen finds that airlines are flying past an opportunity to increase safety by ignoring too many "near misses." "Studies show pilots or crew members make at least one potentially hazardous error on 68 percent of commercial airline flights, but very few of these errors lead to an accident," Madsen said. "Airlines need to institute policies that encourage learning from these seemingly innocuous near misses." To be clear, Madsen is not talking about the near misses you see on the news. He and researchers from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business poured over the safety data of 64 U.S. commercial airlines from 1990 to 2007 to determine where less obvious near-miss incidents were being ignored. As expected, their study (published in Risk Analysis) found airlines improve their safety performance in response to their own accidents and accidents experienced by other airlines. However, airlines only learn from near misses when there are obvious signs of risk. Specifically, airlines pay attention to near misses that have led to accidents in the past (fire on the plane, ice build-up on wings), but don't look closely at near misses that have yet to cause an accident (airplane rolling on the runway when it should be stopped). "We're not saying airlines aren't doing a good job—they are paying attention to near misses more than any other industry in the world," Madsen said. "That said, near misses that are considered benign might be slipping through the cracks." Examples of "benign" near misses identified by researchers: The researchers suggest airlines can improve in two ways: Madsen said one way airline personnel can improve on the second point is by focusing on events the industry once considered unacceptable but now occur so often that they've come to be accepted as normal. "It can be hard to learn from near misses because we're wired to ignore them," Madsen said. "But the difference between a near miss and a larger failure may only be good fortune." Explore further: Study finds unexplored link between airlines' profitability and their accident rates More information: Peter Madsen et al. Airline Safety Improvement Through Experience with Near-Misses: A Cautionary Tale, Risk Analysis (2015). DOI: 10.1111/risa.12503

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Site: www.rdmag.com

Researchers at Bringham Young Univ. (BYU) have devised a system to speed up the process of making life-saving vaccines for new viruses. Their concept is to create the biological machinery for vaccine production en masse, put it in a freeze-dried state and stockpile it around the country. Then, when a new virus hits, labs can simply add water to a “kit” to rapidly produce vaccines. “You could just pull it off the shelf and make it,” said senior author Brad Bundy, associate professor of chemical engineering. “We could make the vaccine and be ready for distribution in a day.” The research, published in Biotechnology Journal, demonstrates the ability to store the drug and vaccine-making machinery for more than a year. Traditional systems to produce vaccines for pandemic influenza strains require heavy engineering and specialized equipment that only a few labs across the country have on hand. These traditional systems are also time-consuming, taking months to execute. Bundy’s idea is a new angle on the emerging method of “cell-free protein synthesis,” a process that combines DNA to make proteins needed for drugs (instead of growing protein in a cell). His lab is creating a system where the majority of the work is done beforehand so vaccine kits can be ready to go and be activated at the drop of a dime. “It will not only provide a quicker response to pandemics, but it will also make protein-based drugs more available to third-world countries where production and refrigerated storage can be problematic,” added William Pitt, a study coauthor and fellow BYU professor of chemical engineering. While the team is now testing their version of the cell-free, recombinant DNA process for vaccine production, they’ve already successfully demonstrated it for at least one anti-cancer protein (onconase). The researchers believe their method can significantly reduce investment of time and money towards future drug production and, in turn, reduce treatment expenses for patients. “The drugs today are changing,” Bundy said. “The lifesaving cancer drugs we have now, the drugs for arthritis, the drugs with the greatest impact, are made out of proteins, not small chemical molecules. This method takes full advantage of that to provide a quicker, more personal response.”

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