IEEE PULSE
July/August 2017

Feature July/August 2017
Carbon Monoxide, Repurposed
In the 16th century, Paracelsus—the father of modern toxicology—wrote that “all things are poison and nothing is without poison; the dose alone makes a thing not poison.” While it’s conceivable that too much of a good thing, such as water... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Electromagnetics in Medicine
In August 2015, Akimasa Hirata, Professor at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan, received a Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society for “his contribution to computational dosimetry and standardization for human exposure to electromagnetic fields.” We... Read more
Cover Story July/August 2017
Sharing Data to Solve the Riddle of Autism
Worldwide, at least one in 100 people has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number at one in 68 [1]. Despite this high rate of prevalence and the increased... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
The Virtual Human Project
What if there were a way to optimize cancer treatments, design safer and more efficient noninvasive brain and spinal cord treatments and assess the hazards of implanted medical devices without ever touching a human body? Today, there is a way... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2017
Cardiac Pacemakers
Ma nun me lassà, Nun darme stu turmiento. Damme un pacemaker … Famme campà! The Gulf of Naples and its surrounding area have served as a beautiful, historic, and romantic attraction for centuries, although the site was seriously damaged by the tragic eruption of... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
The Quantified Patient Checks In
Larry Smarr Like eight-year-olds who can’t let go of a good joke, Larry Smarr’s nurses and doctors kept coming to him with the same question: “Have you passed gas yet?” Answering this question in the affirmative is, Smarr explains, deadpan, “the... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
A Data-Rich Longitudinal Wellness Study for the Digital Age
We live in an age of plentiful information, collected continuously by pervasive gadgetry, distributed through digital and social networks, and mined deeply by ever-more- powerful analytics systems. And yet, one of the things we know the least about is our bodies.... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Taking on the Obesity Epidemic
If obesity were tied only to too much food or too little physical activity, the cure would be a simple matter of counting calories or keeping track of steps with a pedometer. Unfortunately, obesity is much more complex. Many other... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Sniffing for Cancer
Nearly two decades ago, Hossam Haick was working on a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology when terrible news hit: his friend and officemate had leukemia. It was Haick’s first close encounter with cancer... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Rise of the Nanorobots
In 1988, a Scientific American article by A.K. Dewdney [1] on the work of nanotechnologist K. Eric Drexler spurred public interest in the nascent field of nanotechnology and its potential for advancing humanity into a new technological age. The article... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Discovering Ways to Mend Growing Bodies
Some babies are born with a rare condition known as esophageal atresia, in which part of the connection between the throat and stomach is missing or nonfunctional. While this was once untreatable and fatal, in recent years surgeons have developed... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Animal Models
Dogs have bad breath. But when Montana sheep rancher Katy Harjes noticed her collie, Hoshi, had particularly bad breath and facial swelling, she was concerned that the symptoms might be a sign of something serious. She was right; ten-year-old Hoshi... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
New Directions for Treating Bleeding Disorders
Most people don’t worry about small cuts or wounds, because their bodies form clots to stop the bleeding. This process, called coagulation or hemostasis, requires certain blood cells, platelets, and protein clotting factors to interact correctly and form a clot... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
The Visible Human Project
Atlases of anatomy have long been a mainstay for visualizing and identifying features of the human body [1]. Many are constructed of idealized illustrations rendered so that structures are presented as three-dimensional (3-D) pictures. Others have employed photographs of actual dissections.... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Optimizing Electric-Field Delivery for tDCS
Noninvasive electrical stimulation of the central nervous system is attracting increasing interest from the clinical and academic communities as well as from high-tech companies. This interest was sparked by two landmark studies conducted in 2000 and 2001 at the University... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Of Fields and Phantoms
Cancer represents a compilation of diseases characterized by rapidly dividing, invasive cells. Worldwide data indicate that over 14 million new cancers were diagnosed in 2012, with a projected increase of more than 19 million diagnosed cases by 2025 [1]. Survival... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Virtual Humans for Implantable Device Safety Assessment in MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred modality for soft tissue imaging because of its nonionizing radiation and lack of contrast agent. Due to interactions between the MR system and active implantable medical devices (AIMDs), patients with implants such as... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
ITK-SNAP
Imaging is a crucial tool in medicine and biomedical research. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computational tomography (CT), proton emission tomography (PET), and ultrasound are routinely used not only to diagnose disease but also to plan and guide surgical interventions, track... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Researching Fiber Networks
Many types of human tissue—such as the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and muscles, including the heart muscle—are fibrous in nature. Isotropic human models that assume homogeneous volumes for every individual tissue... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
CAD-Based Virtual Humans
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a ubiquitous tool used in clinical settings around the world to provide detailed three-dimensional information on the internal anatomy and physiology of human patients without the use of ionizing radiation, which is the primary safety... Read more
Feature July/August 2017
Human Breast Phantoms
Over the past two decades, there has been enormous growth in research activity for microwave diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that target the breast. The clinical need for new tools in the breast cancer armamentarium, combined with the promising low-cost, nonionizing... Read more
State of the Art July/August 2017
2D:4D Finger Ratio as an Indication of Prenatal Testosterone Exposure
The ratio of the length of the second (index) finger to the length of the fourth (ring) finger on the right hand is termed the 2D:4D ratio (Figure 1). This ratio has been shown to be different for male and... Read more