July/August 2014

Cover Story July/August 2014
Machines That Dance
Artist Arthur Ganson describes his kinetic sculptures as a cross between mechanical engineering and choreography. And if you’ve had a chance to see one of his works, you’ll understand why. Delicate assemblages of interconnecting gears, springs, cams, ratchets and sprockets... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
The Changing Face of Diagnostic Technologies for Sleep Disorders
Five of the top researchers in the field of sleep research, diagnostics and treatment were invited by IEEE Pulse to discuss recent developments in the field, including where the technology stands now and where we can expect further progress in... Read more
Society News July/August 2014
IEEE and the Life Sciences — What's the Connection?
Since its inception in 1963, the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) has been focused on the intersection of engineering and health. EMBS members have embarked on amazing feats of engineering, such as developing sophisticated sensors in clothing capable... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Global Responsibility for a Global Organization
EMBS is the world’s largest community of biomedical engineers or, more appropriately, of researchers interested in biomedical engineering problems. Although it exists within IEEE, many EMBS members come from fields other than electrical or electronics engineering. More importantly perhaps, members... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Chicago Biomedical Consortium: A Three-University Hub of Research
When someone thinks about Chicago, the first thing that comes to mind might be its picturesque skyline on the shores of Lake Michigan; its tantalizing Chicago-style hotdogs or deep-dish pizza; its amazing assemblage of museums; its stunning architecture; or one... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Surgical Robots in Space: Sci-Fi and Reality Intersect
Above: RAVEN on the set of Ender’s Game, portraying a teleoperated robot on an orbiting station. In the recent movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game, a key character undergoes emergency brain surgery in an attempt to save his life after... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Biomedical Innovation in 2014
In just a few weeks time, the EMBS will be meeting in Chicago for EMBC 2014. Each year we enjoy several days of thought-provoking discussion. In preparation, we spoke with three keynote speakers from various arenas about key developments in... Read more
From the Editor July/August 2014
The Brave New World of Reproductive Health
In our January article on hot trends in biomedical engineering for 2014 [1], we predicted the CRISPR/Cas system to become a transformative and powerful tool for gene editing. The simplicity, precision, speed, and low cost by which one or more gene sequences can be selectively silenced, enhanced... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Why Space?
To do experiments in space, scientists must carefully think out and prepare their experiments long ahead of time, wait for an available launch window to get their projects up to the laboratories on the International Space Station (ISS), rely in some cases on the... Read more
Graduate Life July/August 2014
The Match Day That Could Have Been
The long anticipated day has finally arrived: the “Match Day” that could have been. Once medical students choose their specialty at the beginning of their fourth year (i.e., pediatrics, surgery, neurology, etc.), they apply to residency programs in that specialty. The application process is relatively similar to... Read more
Graduate Life July/August 2014
The Power of Thought and the Value of Being Lost
The last time I sat down to write this column, I was in the midst of the most tumultuous period of my adult life to date. I had openly admitted to my advisor that I desperately wanted to quit my job, a job that I... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Space-Age Tech Goes to the Clinic
Anyone who has ever watched video of the now-retired U.S. space shuttle performing a mission such as repairing the Hubble telescope or of astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) installing a new station module or solar panel has seen some of the world’s most... Read more
Student's Corner July/August 2014
Connecting Through Conferences
The last few months have been exciting times for IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) student members across the world, and we are all set to carry forward the momentum into the IEEE EMBS International Conference (EMBC) 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The EMBS Student, Young... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
The View from Space
Want the real scoop on doing research in space? Ask someone who’s been there. Two astronauts—Joe Kerwin, M.D., who was on the first manned mission to the U.S. Skylab space station, and Jerry Linenger, M.D., Ph.D., who spent nearly five months on the USSR’s space station... Read more
From the Editor July/August 2014
Medical and Molecular Engineering
The human genome project changed everything—or did it? Although undeniably a scientific tour de force, the Genome Project’s outcome posed more questions than it answered, and molecular biology has been working assiduously ever since to answer those questions. Francis Crick’s manuscript is available in the Wellcome Library... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Crystal Clear
Structure-based drug design is on the front line of promising advancements in disease treatment and personalized medicine. However, the difficulties of characterizing protein structures hamper these drug development efforts. To visualize the topography of a protein, one must crystallize the protein in a solution, outside... Read more
State of the Art July/August 2014
The Obvious Answer
In his book Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer, Duncan Watts posits that what we value as worthwhile is often determined by chance. He cites the case of the famous painting the Mona Lisa, which is now considered among the world’s masterpieces and hangs in... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
The Gravity of It All
Today, exploration into the universe beyond our planet takes many forms and has led to fascinating discoveries in the life and physical sciences, many of which inform our understanding of health and medicine here on Earth. These new voyages of discovery include... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2014
Scientific Discoveries and Technological Inventions: Their Relativistic History Effect
In the theory of relativity (TR), time dilation is a difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers either moving relative to each other or differently situated from gravitational fields [1], [2]. It means that astronauts return from space... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Of Mice and Men
Long-duration spaceflight has deleterious effects on organisms adapted to life in Earth’s gravity. For humans, some of these effects are relatively minor, rapidly resolved, and well understood. For example, going from Earth gravity to weightlessness can cause disorientation and nausea (space sickness), whereas... Read more
Continuing Education, July/August 2014
IEEE EMBS International Student Conference Series
Linking together undergraduate biomedical engineering students, recent graduates seeking employment, established members in their early career, senior members with technical expertise, and lifelong members contributing to the mentorship of the next generation of engineers in 97 countries and countless cities,... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Houston, We Have a Problem
As the global economic landscape evolves, the need for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers will increase substantially over the next decade, yet the disappointing reality of the U.S. education system casts a bleak shadow over this promising forecast. According to... Read more
Book Reviews July/August 2014
Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More
Matt Carter, Academic Press, ISBN: 978-0-12-38569-3. xxi + 360 pages, US$49.95. This text consists of 27 chapters in six subsections and includes four appendixes. Each chapter begins with an introduction to the material and contains a succinctly done and well-illustrated main body, followed by a listing... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
The Promise of Nanopore Technology
For those following DNA sequencing trends closely, nanopores have been something of a buzzword for a number of years, representing a theoretical platform for fast, cheap, and ubiquitous DNA sequencing. Nanopore sequencing is now becoming a reality, but since the concept was introduced, other technologies have... Read more
Feature July/August 2014
Let There Be Light
The nervous system of the human brain consists of diverse types of neurons that are interconnected. The enormous number and heterogeneity of neurons and their connections has made understanding the brain a difficult task, and it has long been a... Read more