Subtle changes in behaviour may warn of early-onset of Parkinson’s Disease before it becomes diagnosable. One question is how to measure this? PDLab have published research detecting PD using machine learning to analyse users’ typing pattern, which is a pretty clever, unobtrusive source of data.
Similarly, this research demonstrates that early-onset Alzheimers can be seen through changes in writing style (example table below taken from paper).
Patterns of linguistic changes expected in normal aging and dementia
Gradual increase, possible slight decrease in later years
Possible slight decrease/increase
Possible slight increase/decrease
Word class deficit
Pronounced deficit in nouns; possible compensation in verbs
Possible slight increase
No change or gradual decline, possible rapid decline around mid-70s
3D replicas of unusual patient hearts are being printed at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC by reconstructing 3D models from 2D computerised tomography or data. The 3D printed models enable surgeons to familiarise themselves with the anatomy and even perform dry run operations.
That’s a clever use of all the 2D imagery from the scans!
Progress in printing with living cells has brought the future one step closer with the first printed functioning human liver section. Normally either thin sheets of cells are produced or living cells are deposited onto a 3D printed inert scaffold. One technique being developed prints with blobs of stem cells that enable structures closer to real tissue.
This latest research has managed to print a 4mm x 0.5mm section of functioning liver by printing out 20 layers of living liver cells and blood vessel lining cells. The blood vessel lining cells provide structure and provide nutrients to keep the 3D culture alive for 5 days.
The living tissue provides incredible scope for testing drugs and treatments on cultured organs.