Computer Technology Helps Catch the Bad Guys

Life’s becoming a little more difficult for lawbreakers, thanks to some new digital technologies. For example, British researchers have developed a fingerprint compression technology that transmits prints from a crime scene to a fingerprint bureau in a fraction of the typical four to 20 minutes. The same researchers are working on a technology to identify shoe impressions taken from crime scenes-a procedure currently done manually.

Police in Richmond, Virginia, are introducing data mining, predictive analysis and business intelligence tools to respond more rapidly to a crime, and possibly to prevent future crime from occurring. LAPD police are using video surveillance and criminal recognition software to get a bird’s-eye view of activities in a crime-riddled area.

CompStat

Various technologies are gaining prominence, such as the somewhat controversial but highly regarded CompStat. CompStat assists law enforcement organizations in collecting and organizing crime information quickly. This, in turn, allows officials to identify emerging patterns in criminal activity, and allows police agencies to deploy resources more effectively.

According to BlogHouston.net , proponents describe this technology as an “advanced statistical analysis of crime aimed at preventing future crime.”

This award-winning program is said to have reduced crime rates through increased police accountability. Various law enforcement agencies across the United States, including the NYPD and the LYPD, use this program to analyze data and plan crime-prevention tactics. The program apparently played a key role in the well-documented reduction in crime enjoyed by New York City under the hand of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In With the Old

Sometimes harnessing the power of crime-fighting technologies involves using older technologies in new and inventive ways. For example, in late 2006, New York City announced plans to equip 911 call centers to receive digital images and digital videos sent from cell phones and computers. When citizens report a crime in progress, they can simultaneously send pictures or video of the crime scene, the perpetrator or the victim.

The digital imagery provides emergency response workers and law enforcement teams with a better understanding of the situation, and is likely to offer information not provided by panicked callers. The response teams can therefore better access the preferred approach to handling the incident. Empowering citizens to use everyday technology in this way was a world first, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In a similar vein, the New York City is combating domestic violence in part through the MapInfo Professional mapping software application. This tool allows law enforcement personnel to better visualize relationships between data and geography.

The city is also using MapInfo’s Mapmaker tool for mapping and analyzing data and adding geographic coordinates to database records. A city spokesperson reported that he had imported miscellaneous, city-based data-such as roadmaps, English proficiency ratings and homicide rates-into MapInfo, and then overlaid that over a map of the city to display patterns and trends.

The information generated by these tools assists the city in deciding how resources should be allocated. It also reveals information about an area’s cultural makeup and languages most often spoken in that community. Knowing where domestic violence victims live and the language they speak allows law enforcement officers to better communicate with victims.

Real-Life Success

These and other forensic technologies translate into real-life success stories that impact upon our lives in ways we could not have imagined 20 years ago. For example, in San Jose in October, a man driving a stolen Toyota kidnapped a 12-year-old girl. The girl escaped and reported the incident to the police. The kidnapper abandoned the Toyota. Some hours later, a patrol car using license-plate recognition technology passed the Toyota. “Stolen car” remarked the technology’s computer-generated voice. The police officer discovered evidence in the Toyota that led to the arrest of the kidnapper.

Europe and Britain have used license-plate recognition technology for more than 20 years, but it is relatively new on the scene in the United States. The police have been able to enter license plates into a computer manually, but this technology lets them scan the plate of every car they pass. An officer can now check as many as 12,000 plates per shift, instead of the 50 that could be done manually. Although the technology raises concerns with privacy watchdogs, it is difficult to argue that any privacy violation occurred in this example.

In another interesting and recent development, Thai researchers used nanotechnology to develop a set of eyeglasses that easily detect invisible traces of bodily fluids left at a crime scene. The scientists applied nano crystallized indium osynitride to glass or plastic lenses. These special lenses can filter light waves of various lengths, and allow the user to see invisible traces of saliva, sperm, blood and lymph immediately.

The current technology-a forensic light source-also allows investigators to see traces that cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, this is an awkward and time-consuming procedure, since forensic teams must check separately for each type of fluid. Once the new technology is patented and commercialized, it will dramatically speed up this process.

Closer to home, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found a mathematical solution that can separate one sound from another in a recording of a noisy environment. In what is referred to as the “cocktail party” problem, sound editing technologies have been unable to separate one voice from many voices in busy environments, such as the cocktail party example, or in a crowded mall. Researchers in the past have separated voices, but could not reproduce the voice’s characteristics.

Current technologies are not completely reliable because they confuse voices with other voices with similar pitches. With the new mathematical solution and assistance from computer programmers, the researchers hope to develop a software application that will allow law enforcement agencies or the Department of Homeland Security to isolate voices or sounds with reliability.

Sadly, though, there’s a flip side to all this good news. In an interview with Computerworld magazine, Frank Abagnale, the notorious (former) criminal depicted in the movie Catch Me if you Can , remarked that it would be 4,000 times easier for him to commit his crimes today than it was 40 years ago-and that today he probably wouldn’t go to prison for it.

“Technology breeds crime-it always has, it always will,” he is reported to have said.

Three Emerging Technologies that Will Change the World

I was speaking with a friend the other night about his great grandfather. His great grandfather was born in 1875. He lived until 1965. Can you imagine the technology that this man saw come online? Let me name a few: the typewriter, the electric dental drill, the telephone, the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, the hearing aid, the electric fan, the dishwasher, the escalator, the airplane, the Model T automobile, the air conditioner, the defibrillator, the atomic bomb, the electric guitar, the nuclear submarine, nylon, the polio vaccine, and the laser. He died right when the first minicomputer was coming to fruition. All of that in the span of his lifetime. Which leads me to the topic of this article. Technology has completely changed the way we live. And technological advances have accelerated at unbelievable speeds. Technology is converging in ways no one could have foreseen. I want to highlight some of the most interesting technologies out there. These are technologies that will change the world, for good and bad.

Nano Technology

Probably the most interesting and frightening of the emerging technologies is nano technology. Nano technology is a cross disciplinary field that deals with building and synthesizing materials at scales of 100nm or less. Nano technology usually works in one of two ways. It either pulls smaller parts together to build or it breaks bigger parts down. The parts are then used to form smaller, new materials. But why is nano technology so important?

Nano technology is important because it will have massive effects across every area of life. As I write this, researchers are working on a nano particle to target cancer cells in lungs. In 2004, Rice University tested gold nano particle cancer treatment. In this treatment, these 150 nanometer gold particles were injected into the blood stream of cancerous mice. Gold particles at this size pass into tumors, but not healthy tissue. The researchers then passed infrared through the mice. The tumorous cells absorbed the infrared, heated up, and were destroyed. They are also working on quantum dots that allow doctors to easily identify multiple diseases quickly and accurately. But the uses don’t stop there. Nanotechnology will drive down the scale of electronics. This will lead incredibly small devices. The applications are limitless. And you can bet that the military will be clamoring for nano technology. The military is looking to have numerous nanotechnologies online by the year 2015. Such advances include performance enhancing nanotechnology that aids bodily functions. These will include response times, oxygen use, and heightened senses. But nanotechnology can also be used for reconnaissance and combat. Nanobots could scout areas without being seen. They could also enter into enemies for espionage. They could kill targets from within the host’s body. The possibilities are frightening.

Alternative Energy & Fuels

When gas prices skyrocketed this past year, many people suddenly took an interest in alternative energy and fuels. And because demand rose, companies suddenly found themselves forced to take interest. Most of the common arguments for alternative energy and fuels center around issues of pollution, cost, dependence, and jobs.

What most people don’t realize is that alternative energy and fuels always have environmental effects. This can be in the form of heat generation, air pollutants, waste by-products, land usage, extraction, etc. Instead, we have to talk about pros and cons around each type of energy and fuel. There is no silver bullet. Costs, dependence, and jobs also vary depending on the energy type.

There are a host of alternative energies being tested. Wind powered energy plants are already in place in many parts of the world. Solar energy production has taken huge steps forward with the help of nano technology. One such company is Nanosolar. Nanosolar is producing solar cells that are 100 times thinner than conventional cells. Not only are the cells cheaper to produce, but they also convert the solar energy much more efficiently. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature differences in the ocean layers to produce energy. And OTEC can utilize this colder water (36 degree F cooler) in other things like on shore agriculture and refrigeration. And the list goes on.

Massive interest was generated in alternative fuels this past year when gas prices hit record levels. New developments in battery technology could help. One such development is Millennium Cell’s hydrogen battery technology. This technology differs greatly from traditional rechargeable batteries in that it’s instantly rechargeable. It also has a much great efficiency for energy conversion, so it is much smaller and lighter. There is also greater reuse efficiency since you don’t need to replace the entire battery. You only need to replace the energy module. Developments are continuing in biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, methanol, etc. I think there could be some serious future synergy between nano technology and alternative energy.

“Bionetics”

This is my name for the incorporation of technology into the body. The dermal display is a great indication of things to come. Though I have yet to find a working demo version of this concept, I have no doubt that it will become a reality. The display would be driven by millions of nanobots. These nanobots would display light when touched. This would print a display onto your hand, or wherever the nanobot display would be housed. And this is where it gets really interesting. The display nanobots would be connected to millions of other fixed and mobile nanobots throughout the patient’s body. This would give instant readings on hundreds of vital statistics. Again, nanotechnology plays a strong role here.

The bionics revolution is already underway. There have been four major cases of robotic limbs recently, the latest being a woman. The robotic limbs take advantage of the functional nerve endings in the limb stump. These nerve endings are used to actuate the robotic limb and to provide feedback to the brain. More money is being poured into robotic limbs every year.

“Functional bionetics” are implants that enhance our lives. And you may be surprised to know that people are actively doing this as I write. People are inserting tiny electronics in their bodies that will unlock their front doors and their cars. The same technology is being used to unlock computers. But it doesn’t stop there. There is talk of implanting devices that will carry health information. You could be carted into a hospital totally unconscious and they would be able to access all of your past medical history. Most of this is done through RFID technology.

“Bionetic networks” will be networks of connected bionetic devices. This would allow people to share sensation, feelings, and communication. If this sounds completely fictional, I invite you to consider the work of Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. He has implanted an extra-sensory device that interfaces with one put in his wife. They were implanted in their arms. The first experiments are aimed at exchanging sensory inputs, like pain. The hope is to extend that to other, more complicated neurological processes like thoughts and emotion. Obviously, that would drastically change relationships and indeed the world. Forget about your teens text messaging, maybe they will be brain linking in the future. Now that’s really scary!

What will we be able to say came online in our lifetimes? I’m sure we could already list a lot of important technologies. But keep your eyes out for these emerging technologies. They are set to change the rules of our world. These technologies will upset economies, change military tactics, empower people, and be used to control others. Keep an eye on them.

Top Jobs of the Future to Look Out For

Everyone is either looking for a job or a better job. There are hardly enough jobs to sustain all of us and this is because the number of people with professional skills increases everyday. Most people prefer to stay in their present jobs because they know that job openings do not come easily and when they do, the competition is unbearable.

As a matter of fact, it has been speculated that some jobs will loose their relevance in the job market. At the moment, disk jockeys (DJs) are no longer needed because there are softwares that have been developed specifically for mixing music which means that everyone and their mother can become a deejay.

Go Back To Class to Increase Your Chances

As competition in the job market continues to stiffen, only the highly competent will be able to secure jobs and that is why everyone should consider advancing their skills. Actually, its never too late to go back to class because the future has no place for people who are not aggressive enough.

Nowadays you do not need to be confined within the usual four walls because most institutions have rolled out distance learning programs so that learners can study from any part of the world.

The Nanotechnology Experts

Nanotechnology is one of the professions that will be in high demand. At the moment manufacturers are embracing nanotechnology to develop small but efficient systems that will be used in healthcare and military organizations.

If you are keen you must have noted that the size of machines such as TVs and phones is reducing drastically thanks to nanotechnology. In fact you will not be using your current cell phone and TV in the next 15 years or so because nanotechnology will make it possible to insert microchips under your skin for the purpose of communication. As a matter of fact, there will be about 2 million job openings for nanotechnology experts.

Space Employees

NASA is exploring ways of utilizing the space by having some people work there. If you have skills in space craft, don’t give up because NASA will come calling and you will definitely get your dream job. Other employers in this field include Spacex and Virgin galaxy. But you need to prepare yourself ahead of time because you will be visiting planet earth after 5 or so years.

Wind Power Engineer

The world is going green and wind energy is probably the most reliable source of energy. The phenomenon is spreading first like forest fire as companies and homes invest in wind power. These wind turbines will definitely need to be repaired from time to time and that is where the big opportunity lies. You can either specialize in the creation and repair of the turbines or become a supply.

Genetic Counselors

It is believed that genetic counselors will help in remedying most common health problems that are being experienced today. A genetic counselor analyzes your genetic composition and identifies the illnesses that you are likely to suffer from and therefore recommend the appropriate medication. These professionals will be needed by health centers and they will also have the option of becoming practitioners.

Vertical Farmers

Humans can not survive without food and that is why farmers can never become absolute. In fact, the demand for food continues to increase with the rise in human population. On the other hand, the farms are becoming scarce and so people are opting to use the little space they have. As a matter of fact, some buildings in developed countries have gardens on their rooftops. Other than that, farming is now being done in gunny sacks that are considered convenient due to their mobility.

Acupuncture Meets Nanotechnology

Legend has it that a long time ago, our wish was to win a greater measure of life:a wish to tap into our hidden vitality and gifts:a wish, that just maybe, we might discover the real meaning of the fountain of youth.

We all know that death and aging are inevitable, for ALL humans, no matter how monetary rich or poor we might be. However, the difference is how we live that life, how we age and decompose, because all the money in the world cannot buy happiness and fulfillment: it has to come from within ourselves.

I have been practitioner of healing for many years now, maybe even life times, according to the mystics who have experienced my work. Some say they see me in Tibet many centuries ago, others have seen Jesus appear for them during our sessions, while still others may reach orgasms of love and well being. What it all means in reality, is the light that shines through all of us and connects us, is energy. Yes, energy. I have no doubt that we are light and energy, housed in materials we call our bodies.

So, when I was introduced to this amazing new technology, that combined the ancient healing techniques of Acupuncture, meridians, and pressure points with nanotechnology, at first I was skeptical, then stunned and eventually so swept off my feet, that it is six months later and I still have not landed.

To discover that biologists and scientists were working with allopathic medical doctors on a project that combined these ancient wisdoms with our new modern technology was absolutely mind blowing.The closed minded medical profession was waking up to reality, finally! And that is good news.

It is quite ironic really then, to discover that this new awakening actually came about to help troops in the field operate at higher levels of stamina and efficiency, so that they could protect themselves better while perhaps in combat killing others.

Now, we the living people of the world, have access to this amazing technology, and can improve our lives, our families and our friends lives, by making use of these new gifts.

Everyday someone comes into my healing center and is is helped through this great and amazing technology, invented by David Schmidt, and I want to thank David for the passion and love he has for community on this planet.

When I see a smile slowly creeping in, as the pain subsides, my heart sings, and once again I am grateful for those who have the ability to invent, to see the possibilities and to go where no one else has gone before them, with the intention of peacefully helping everyone, no matter what our so called station in life is.

The Dangers of Nanotechnology

We are fascinated every-time a new electronic or product comes out that is smaller, cheaper, and faster than ever. We are fascinated at how technology is advancing and how efficient we can use the resources around us to make life easier. However, even if it appears to be legitimate and based primarily through the advancement of human knowledge, the phrase “It seems too good to be true” never seems to lose its popularity. Nanotechnology is being used every day to develop new electronics and products. However, are we taking a hit to the environment and to our health with the use of these products?

Nanotechnology is a branch of science that deals with particles 1-100 nanometers in size. Billions of dollars are being pumped into incorporating nanotechnology. Many experts believe that possible dangers of nanotechnology lie within how these tiny particles may interact with the environment. Many experts say that elements encountered on the nanoscale behave differently than their larger counterparts. Here are some facts about nanotechnology that need some attention to:

1. Nobel-winning physicist Richard Smalley of Rice University discovered that carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, which are nanoparticles of carbon, react differently to the environment. These nanoparticles of carbon behave in ways differently and make their classification a potentially dangerous one.

2. In March 2004, environmental toxicologist Eva Oberdörster, Ph.D. conducted some tests with the Southern Methodist University in Texas. They found that there was extensive brain damage to fish that were exposed to fullerenes for a period of only 48 hours at a relatively moderate dose of 0.5 parts per million. They also experienced gene markups in their livers, which indicates that their entire physiology was affected in the process. In a concurrent test, the fullerene killed water fleas.

3. In 2002, CBEN (Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology) indicated that nanoparticles accumulated in the bodies of lab animals and fullerene could easily travel through soil and be absorbed by earthworms. This is a potential link up in the food chain to humans.

4. In early 2002, the University of California in San Diego revealed that cadmium selenide nanoparticles, also known as quantum dots, may cause cadmium poisoning in humans.

5. In 2004, British scientist Vyvyan Howard published initial findings that had indicated gold nanoparticles might travel through a mother’s placenta to the fetus.

6. In 1997, Oxford scientists discovered that nanoparticles found in sunscreen created free radicals that had damaged DNA.

The smaller the particles, the more bio-active, damaging, and toxic they become. This is because their ability to interact with other living systems increases, make it easy for them to cross the skin, lung, and blood/brain barriers. Although we humans have built-in defenses to protect ourselves from natural particles we encounter, nanotechnology is introducing new kinds of particles that some experts say the body might find toxic. Those highest at risk are those employed by the manufacturers to produce products that contain nanoparticles.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that over two-million Americans are exposed to high levels of nanoparticles. They believe that this figure will soon rise to four-million in the near future.

Crowne Plaza Albany – City Center

Albany is known to be the capital of New York State. This city has been dependent to the government of the state. But despite their dependency, they have been the leader of the nanotechnology. As technology grows, Albany has been the center of entrepreneurs, technologies and researches. Many businesses have been established in this city. As the growing establishments or entrepreneurs increases, people, especially the businessmen, find Albany the perfect venue for business meetings and conventions.

Albany ignites new and refreshing ideas to businessmen, inspired by vigorous business activities in the city. It has very dynamic economic interactions.

Albany certainly has a lot of wonderful places where businesses or gatherings may be held. One of the best places in Albany considered a convention center is the Crowne Plaza.

Crowne Plaza is located at the center of the city, which is why it is called the Crowne Plaza Albany – City Center. This is a place for big or small gatherings. They offer the newest level of excellence to all the business events. All expansive facilities are available for corporate conferences. There are also rooms called breakout rooms for all those who want some closed doors, private discussion.

The major conference facilities are very spacious, with a total square feet of 24,000 and are also well equipped. There are 15 flexible rooms for both small and large gatherings. Crowne has the largest ballroom with a space of 10,080 sq ft and can cater up to 1,300 guests. These function rooms are all equipped with state of the art audiovisual equipment. And the seats are ergonomic.

There is internet connection throughout the property. They could lend out gadgets like online tools for customizing your website. Or you could also ask for technical support.

Crowne also offers catering services. Within two hours they guarantee to give you a response and attend to your needs soonest. You could hold daily debriefing meetings here. If you frequently hold your events at Crowne, you will be given priority club meeting rewards.

The largest room of Crowne Plaza Albany – City Center has the most expensive meeting facilities. This offers an experience of first class meeting. This is the only premier downtown setting found in the downtown of Albany. The Crowne Plaza has the exceptional venue and services just within the reach of businesses, government and area attractions.

Lodging is also outstanding for it offers deluxe accommodations. Aside from the great business facilities, the hotel has a health club with all standard equipment, indoor pool and their numerous onsite restaurants.

Some featured amenities include beds with plush duvets, pillow-top mattresses, and luxurious sheets. All rooms are deluxe. There is also a whirlpool, concierge services, valet parking, and free shuttle services.

Dining inside Crowne Hotel is also a good experience. They boast of three restaurants inside. First is Webster’s Corner Restaurant. The breakfast they serve is buffet with varied delectable choices. They also has variety of a la carte options

Kelsey’s Restaurant offers snacks like salads and burgers. They also have dinner menu and a variety of wines and beers. And the third dining option, the Cadence Café, offers a good selection of coffee which includes cappuccinos. They also have morning treats.

In Room Dining offers perfect meals for private settings such as your occupied rooms.

Nanoleaves – SolarBotanic Biomimicry Nanotechnology Trees

SolarBotanic is a firm that specializes in an emergent tech labelled biomimicry which imitates nature, and utilises natural inspired systems. The company which specialises in harvesting the energy of the sun and wind by embodying substantiated science into an inventive nanotechnology. At the present time SolarBotanic is centering on energy production, plus they have developed an ingenious concept called Energy Harvesting Trees.

These super eco friendly synthetic trees will make use of renewable energy from the sun along with wind power, which are an effective clean and environmentally sound medium of gathering solar radiation and wind energy. In this biomimicry theory, the artificial trees are implanted with Nanoleaves, a composite of Nano photovoltaic nanothermovoltaic and Nanopiezo sources transforming light, heat and wind energy into eco friendly electricity. The Nanoleaves transform the whole solar scale converting detectable light, infrared and Ultraviolet in a unification with piezo electric generators that alter wind energy into electricity giving you efficient, cost efficient and attractive looking solutions, whilst providing the greatest electric power.

Biomimicry is an developing science attempting to solve human difficulties by fostering nature’s clever systems. This job is accomplished by way of the use of natures design, synthetic trees, shrubs, plants and flowers all armed with nanoleaf engineered PV cells. Biomimicry and Nano technology is intrinsic to SolarBotanic’s ethos.

SolarBotanic residential offerings (trees, shrubs, plants etc) will offer up to 50% more energy than traditional solar systems, and in addition will blend in beautifully with your surroundings. SolarBotanic’s trees will have the capability of supplying a individual home or can be placed in regions where natural growing bunches of trees would formerly have been utilized. The solar systems can even be positioned on the ground, roof, or parking structures.

SolarBotanic’s renewable energy contains enormous potential as a additional or substitute to fossil fuels for providing energy marketplaces worldwide in addition to developing countries. The company has received approaches from various Government organizations who will supply leading Research and Development resources and attracted investor groups. This emerging yet brilliant method of energy entrapment is both clean and renewable with a broad range of applications.

The Future of Dentistry and Dental Care – How Nanotechnology Will Change Your Visits to the Dentist

Imagine going to the dentist 40 or 50 years from now? How do you picture your experience being like. Will people fear dentists in the future like we still do now? I imagine technology will one day create an evolution in this field the likes of which we have never seen before. For one I think people won’t even remember what a root canal is like by that time as nanotechnology will help us do away with that all together. I not only see dental experts creating fake teeth that look very real out of molecules but also making new nerve endings that have been damaged by serious gum disease. Nanotechnology will one day make our visits.

Now these things won’t be available to us for a while but there are also some very exciting technologies coming out in the field of dentistry now as researchers at the Clarkson Advanced materials Center Have found a way to use nanotech to help protect almost any teeth from catching the cavity bug. They are doing this by polishing teeth with silica that is made from nonoparticles and the reason why this new polishing technology protects teeth from cavity is that this material is 90,000 times smaller then a tiny grain of sand. This kind of find smoothness makes it almost impossible for the bad bacteria in our mouth to hang onto the teeth long enough to form plaque. Now I understand that silica particles have been used to polish our teeth but the reason why this is unprecedent is that they have never been used at the molecular level.

This technology should be available within the next 5 to 10 years so anyone that has problem or could have problems with their teeth in the future could have a lot of hope coming their way soon. Now as to when this kind of technology will be made affordable so that it can be mass marketed no one knows yet and that will depend on many factors such as when will they make the process of creating nanoparticles cheaper. Our government can speed up the process by allocating funds into mass creating nanoparticles at a cheaper rate.

Nanotechnology can also be used to create dental diagnostic material at a cheaper rate that will not only cost cheaper but will be made out of materials that will be much strong than what we have today and will last without breaking down. The future of dentistry has never been brighter.

Think small folks.

Nanotechnology – Good Career Choice

We have all witnessed that length scale has dropped from millimeters in 1950s to present day atomic scale. We have all seen benefits of Nanotechnology in miniaturization of microprocessors. Big mainframe computers have now been replaced with small PCs with IC chips. Medical profession has been the greatest beneficiary. This profession now has well developed technologies and equipment courtesy of Nanotechnology. With such advanced and precise instruments, doctors can invade deep in to human bodies and perform surgical operations with very little cuts leading to faster recoveries.

Nano-medicine in fact is a new term which has been coined to research and focus on the applications of this field in to medicine. Another area where the coming times will see a great breakthrough is development of cheaper solar cells. Presently solar technology has not become competitive because of prohibitive costs of Solar cells. Nano-science is expected to change the dynamics of solar cells market and lead to development of cheaper solar cells. Defense is another area which has reaped benefits of nano-science. Certain fabrics have been developed which are wrinkle free and can withstand the biological and chemical warfare with utmost ease.

Nanotechnology is going to be a major tool in universe’s fight with global warming. In India, there are several reputed institutes which have been offering postgraduate courses in Nano-science and nano technology. IITs and NITs are the major centers. In addition Amity and some private engineering colleges are also offering this course. Watch out for this career option. Nanotechnology is going to be a very popular course in the times to come.

Using Nanotechnology to Remove Blood Clots and Detect Cancer

Advances in nanotechnology are leading to dramatic new devices that can fundamentally improve our quality of life in the healthcare field. While the potential applications are easily understood, the truly unique aspect about Dr. Yong Shi’s research is his unparalleled ability to develop and control these materials.

Dr. Yong Shi at the Active Nanomaterials and Devices Lab at Stevens Institute of Technology is a nanotechnology expert who works towards introducing new materials that have unparalleled precision and efficiency. He has introduced patented piezoelectric (PZT) nanofibers consisting of lead zirconate titanate and is also advancing the study of piezoresistive or conductive (indium tin oxide or ITO), thermal electric (both bismuth telluride and complex oxides) and photovoltaic materials (titanium oxide or TiO2).

The applications of these nanofibers are tremendous. What is truly special about these piezoelectric nanofibers is their ability to efficiently convert vibration or acoustic energy into electricity (sensors), or to do the exact opposite – convert electricity into movement (actuators).

Working in the Micro Devices Lab shared facility at Stevens, Dr. Shi was the first to fabricate and control PZT fibers on the nanoscale – a process that results in unique mechanical and electrical properties.

By manipulating these principles, he creates devices that are both tiny (Nanotechnology refers to development on the atomic level – a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick) and can be maneuvered with precision, thus enabling amazing new technologies such as: tiny robots that navigate to the site of a blood clot in stroke therapy procedures and even monitor the vibrations involved in chemical bonding to detect cancer cells – all made possible through the application of Dr. Shi’s nanofibers and their specification as a sensor or actuator to determine functionality.

Stroke Therapy and the MEMS Umbrella-Shaped Actuator

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming over 143,000 lives per year. Caused by a blood clot which blocks an artery, or by the breakage of a blood vessel, strokes result in a lack of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the brain, and can invoke brain damage and even death.

Dr. Shi is particularly interested in assisting stroke victims and has worked collaboratively with Dr. Sundeep Mangla and Dr. Ming Zhang of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in the development of a blood clot retriever using his patented PZT fibers that have unique piezoelectric properties resulting in movement (actuation) as a response to electrical stimuli.

This principle allows for creation of a MEMS Umbrella-shaped Actuator that is inserted via catheter into the lower body of a stroke patient. The operator (in most cases a medical doctor) can control the device through the application of varying electrical signals and the location can be monitored with MRI and CAT SCAN technology. Navigating up and through the arteries, the device will ultimately reach the location of the blood clot and proceed by applying a fine-tuned shear force to facilitate the separation of the blood clot from the wall of the vascular artery due to the shearing-thinning phenomenon, thus enabling complete retrieval while minimizing the risk of damage to the arteries.

Cancer Diagnostics

As the second leading cause of death in the United States, early detection of cancer is a critical step in recovery. The Active Nanomaterials and Devices Lab aims to distinguish between a cancer cell and a normal cell through the use of high frequency ultrasound. The PZT materials once again play a critical role in their ability to detect vibration patterns and disseminate critical knowledge. By monitoring the absorption and attenuation of the cells using a specific frequency ultrasound, Dr. Shi will be able to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells.

Yong Shi is involved in vital research with Dr. Jian Cao of Stony Brook University which will introduce novel diagnostics that improve existing diagnostic methods resulting in early detection and the ability to save lives. Dr. Shi brings an expert understanding of Nanotechnology device engineering, while Dr. Cao is a leader in molecular and cellular biology of cancer. According to Dr. Cao, this synergistic collaboration will bridge the gap between basic science and translational research.

Their collaboration has led to recent government funding for the development of a device that will be used to detect the spread of breast cancer cells in circulation. This device will eventually be used for clinical diagnostics to determine the possible spread of breast cancer. In addition to improving the medical care for cancer diagnostics, technology innovations led by Dr. Shi and Dr. Cao will drastically reduce medical costs and enable greater care for a larger majority of patients.

Conclusion

As the first to fabricate and control PZT nanofibers as well as introduce further advancements in ITO nanofibers, Dr. Shi has uncovered an incredibly effective method of operating and powering mechanical devices. He does this through the application of an electrical potential, which creates movement (actuators) or receives information based on vibration, thermal or acoustic energy (sensors). This technology is dramatically increasing the efficiency of many groundbreaking disciplines including:

The development of a device that can actually remove a blood clot in the case of a stroke and monitor and diagnose cancer like never before with dramatically reduced costs to the patient.

As an entrepreneur Dr. Shi is also an innovator at bringing technology to the marketplace. He has instilled an environment consistent with the Technogenesis™ mission and encourages the application of research ideas to commercial solutions. One of Dr. Shi’s graduate students, Shi you Xu, explains further, Nanotechnology is currently a ‘hot’ research area, and most of it is on the scientific level. The unique aspect of our lab is Dr. Shi’s willingness to develop working devices that have the potential to be commercialized. We have seen this with nano piezoelectric generators and sensing devices, and are excited about future prototype developments.