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Feature November/December 2021
A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Máximo E. Valentinuzzi
This article is dedicated to the memory of Max E. Valentinuzzi, an IEEE EMBS Life Fellow and Argentinian biomedical engineer of unparalleled achievements and special contributions to this magazine. Dr. Valentinuzzi passed away on 3 January 2021... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Biomedical Innovation for Everyone, Bias-Free
When undergraduate student Arnelle Etienne (Figure 1) joined a research group at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, to help with the development of electroencephalograph (EEG) electrodes, her first task was to do some background work and learn about them. What she found was both surprising and dismaying: EEG electrodes had never worked—and still did not work on—a large segment of the population; and clinicians and researchers knew about the oversight... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Easing Burnout in Health Care
As the pandemic continues to overwhelm hospitals and staff, mobile strategies to address mental health strain among health care workers are becoming more readily available... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Looking Disease in the Eye
From eye disease to neurological conditions, new technologies are making earlier diagnosis and better patient outcomes a reality by investigating the eye... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Innovative Vaccines to Fight COVID-19, Other Viruses
COVID-19 added urgency to the quest for the development of new vaccines, and academic researchers and biotechnology companies responded by capitalizing on already-in-the-pipeline advances and swiftly transitioning products from the lab to the clinic. Their efforts reaped rewards. According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services analysis, the COVID vaccines delivered in the USA from January to May 2021 resulted in 39,000 fewer deaths and 107,000 fewer hospitalizations, and prevented another 265,000 cases among Medicare recipients alone... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
The mRNA Revolution is Coming
A bright spot during this COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid development of effective vaccines that work by harnessing the power of messenger RNA, or mRNA. mRNA vaccines might seem like a relatively new idea, but researchers have been working on the technology behind them for decades. Now, the success of Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines are highlighting the immense potential for mRNA therapies—not just for infectious diseases, but also to treat cancer and genetic disorders... Read more
Feature September/October 2021
Working Toward Diversity and Inclusion in Neural Engineering
How do we begin to consider ways to broaden the reach of our field, both to engage younger students and also those from different ethnicities, classes, and socio-economic backgrounds? Where are the opportunities to make our research, our laboratory, our surrounding community more open, inclusive, and diverse? By what means can we increase outreach in our communities, providing avenues for diverse students to explore STEM topics and engage in research?... Read more
Feature September/October 2021
Meeting the Green Health Challenge
Given the urgency of our climate change problem, a trip to the hospital can be more than just a bit disconcerting for what it reveals about waste. From disposable blood pressure cuffs and one-use plastic medical gowns to powerful air filtration systems that consume immense quantities of energy, waste seems rife. Hospitals might argue that many of these measures are necessary to tamp down hospital-acquired infections, and indeed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required that hospitals dial up their air purification systems to battle COVID-19... Read more
Feature September/October 2021
Stem Cell Update: Where Are We Now?
Since stem cells give rise to all the different cell types that make up our bodies, they have the potential to repair or replace cells that are missing or dysfunctional in a wide range of diseases and injuries. In recent years, an explosion of clinical trials involving stem cell therapies has inspired hope that such regenerative strategies may soon cure some of our most vexing diseases. Before that hope is realized, we will need a greater understanding of the fundamentals of stem cell biology as well as the specifics of different disease processes. Although the challenges seem daunting, stem cell research is rapidly advancing and ushering in a new era of regenerative medicine... Read more
Feature September/October 2021
AI, Virtual Reality, and Robots Advancing Autism Diagnosis and Therapy
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a challenge in multiple ways. Just getting diagnosed can take months of visits to doctors and specialists. After the diagnosis, children are often put on long waiting lists to begin therapy, which itself consists of frequent sessions that while helpful, are usually quite taxing for both the children and their parents. And while child-directed therapies are available, adults who are on the spectrum often find little continuing support. Recent technologies are using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR), and other advanced methods to address all of those issues with faster and easier diagnostics, and in-home therapeutic approaches designed for all ages... Read more