Retrospectroscope November/December 2020
Syncopation and Its Perceptions
Let us begin by suggesting the reader to listen the Italian Hetty & Jazzato Band playing “Tu vo’ fa’ l’American” (“You Want to be Disguised as an American” or “You Want to Play the American”), a nice and funny Neapolitan song, sang in such difficult dialect. By the way, my maternal grandma was Neapolitan... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2020
Hearing Aid History: From Ear Trumpets to Digital Technology
It is said that time marches on, and one thing is certain: Hearing loss marches right along with it. The recorded history of hearing loss goes back hundreds of years, and attempts to correct hearing loss have been in existence since the very first person to cup a hand behind one ear... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2020
Vaccines and Homeopath
There are some similarities between the concepts of vaccination and that giving support to homeopathy. The objective of the present article explores the historical background of both trying to better understand such similarities, if any at all... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2020
Organismic Sets: What Are They?
The term Organismic Sets described a puzzling and difficult area of research that apparently appears nowadays forgotten, for recent publications cannot be pinpointed. The objective here intends to find out what this subject deals with, not trying to go deeper in its intrincacies, for it would exceed by far the possibilities of the article. Instead, the article only calls the attention and perhaps stimulates the young mathematically oriented researcher... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2020
Tuberculosis, Cholera, Anthrax: Dreadful Culprits
This article aims at describing the sagas painfully trodden by researchers to uncover the origins and possible therapeutical means to fight and prevent the fearful culprits mentioned in the title. Moreover, some side historical comments are also included, a few based on misconceptions and sheer ignorance of the past. Mention is made, too, of great epidemics that devastated humanity. Romantic fashionable ideas of those days are also recalled with a condescending smile... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2020
Numerical Clinical Cardiology
Numbers, numbers, they endessly fill out our life… weight, height and many other more hidden body attributes, too, like ­chronobiological parameters! Fat and thin woman, by Lyudmyla ­Kharlamova Out of the several specialties and subspecialties found in Clinical Medicine, there are two... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2019
Oblivion Phenomenon in Science
Recognition of true merits may not be a common virtue of the human being, as often achievements are either forgotten, not seen or just buried into oblivion. History of science has plenty of examples, occasionally tainted by endless and useless... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2019
Physical Rehabilitation: A Historical Look
Medicine aims toward restoring, maintaining, and improving human health, and engineering aims toward restoring, maintaining and improving human wellness. Both disciplines apply knowledge from science and technology at large to accomplish such objectives. Bioengineering, also called biomedical engineering, is defined... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2019
Giordano Bruno: Expander of the Copernican Universe
How many crimes were and are committed in God’s name? Combien de crimes ont été et sont commis sur le nom de Dieu? Wie viele Verbrechen wurden und werden auf Gottes Namen begangen? ¿Cuántos crímenes fueron y son cometidos en nombre de Dios? Quanti... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2019
Old Age, Divine Age, Why Not?
Perceptions Quarante ans, c’est la vieillesse de la jeunesse, mais cinquante ans, c’est la jeunesse de la vieillesse. Forty is the old age of youth, while fifty is the youth of old age. Vierzig ist das höhe Alter der Jugend, während fünfzig ist... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2019
The Slide Rule
Perhaps, in the far distant back of times, man in his need to somewhat quantify what he had collected to survive (animals or plants or fruits), needed to count, and his own fingers and toes became a good first instrument... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2019
Languages and Disabilities: Is There Anything BME Can Help Out With? Some History, Too
The Tower of Babel 1Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2018
The Holy Grail and the Female Uterus
If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves? —Mary Astell (1666–1731), considered the first English feminist writer Figure 1 compares a chalice (also called a calyx or goblet) to the female uterus. To start, observe... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2018
Fireworks, Autism, and Animals
In a previous article in IEEE Pulse, autism was reviewed, and we discovered, not without surprise, that the condition as now recognized is barely more than 100 years old [1]. In the same article, a graphical user interface designed specifically... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2018
Music Therapy and the Planets’ Consonances
Music has been prevalent in different societies and cultures since ancient times. It is an expression of human deeds, identity, wishes, understanding of the world, the culture and norms of each society, as well as interpersonal relations within the family... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2018
Does Schopenhauer’s Epistemology Back Up Current Bioengineering and Biotechnology Trends?
The Present is Now and, in fact, as soon as “it is,” it becomes “it was,” so much that one feels it did not exist, as a continuum. Not only daily life needs lead the mind’s pathways and actions; the... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2018
Gabriela Mistral
Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. —Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) Education is no doubt the foundation of any healthy society. When it is lacking or substandard in quality, all sorts of misery may arise, from poverty and disease to... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2018
The Brain Willis Circle and Ring Electric Power Systems
Blood flowing to the brain keeps it alive, while electrons flowing to inhabited civilized places keep them active, leading to greater understanding of the world. What, however, of those many human beings still confined to distant hostile regions, unaware of... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2017
Sinoatrial and Atrioventricular Blocks
Expériences doivent autant que possible être instituées sur des animaux inférieures. Le plus faible le développement d’un organisme, le plus variété dans les unités plus petites, de sorte que, à un moment donné, elles vivre de façon autonome. [Experiments must,... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2017
Three Outstanding Women in Science
Women’s rights are human rights. —Feminist slogan famously quoted by Hillary Clinton during the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women Since the very beginning, humankind has been male dominated, often violent and cruel in the extreme. Over the centuries, things have... 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
Retrospectroscope May/June 2017
The Animal Kingdom is Also a Bioengineering Field
Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven? —Job 35:11 Medical science developed in tandem with the evolution of biological species and their associated diseases. Because of the close interaction between... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2017
A Shocking Experience with Respiratory Arrest
“No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow,” wrote Euripides in his play Alcestis (438 BCE). But I recall a day when, surprisingly, I returned from the shadows and the next day, even though a little... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2017
Patents and Scientific Papers: Quite Different Concepts
Cuando pones la proa visionaria hacia una estrella y tiendes el ala hacia tal excelsitud inasible, afanoso de perfección y rebelde a la mediocridad, llevas en ti el resorte misterioso de un Ideal. [When you place the visionary prow heading... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2016
Nikola Tesla
La vita percorre sempre; mentre noi spesso ci diventiamo cose quasi perduti nel mezzo del camin. [Life keeps going on; in the meantime, we often become things almost lost in the middle of the road]. —Max E. Valentinuzzi Jeden Tag denke ich unzählige... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2016
Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, and Ameghino
… Der wahre Wert eines Menschen ist in erster Linie dadurch bestimmt, in welchem Grad und in welchem Sinn er zur Befreiung vom Ich gelangt ist. [The true value of a human being is first determined by the degree and meaning... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2016
Mathematics does not really exist, for it is a creation of the Human Mind, and, in that respect, it approaches a Supreme Idea, as some kind of Divine Enlightenment. The origins of convolution and its further and rather complex historical development... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2016
Metabolism: The Physiological Power-Generating Process
The rate of doing work, expressed as the amount of work per unit—commonly measured in units such as watt or horsepower—is power in physics. It is the work–time rate or the energy released or transferred. A previous “Retrospectroscope” note, published early in... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2016
Could Al-Zahrawi Be Considered a Biomedical Engineer?
[accordion title=”Introducing Mohamed N. Saad”] By Max E. Valentinuzzi, I recently received an unexpected message from Mohamed N. Saad, out of Cairo, Egypt. Mohamed was submitting an article to be published in IEEE Pulse written about an Arab Muslim, known as Al-Zahrawi (936–1013),... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2016
Highlights in the History of the Fourier Transform
L’étude profonde de la nature est la source la plus féconde de découvertes mathématiques. —Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830) [accordion title=”Introducing the Fourier Transform”] By Max E. Valentinuzzi Doesn’t it look like magic to traverse a boundary with one face and come out of the other side with a... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2015
Technological Acceleration: A Few Musings
After five years of “Retrospectroscope” columns (since January 2011) covering subjects more or less related to biomedical engineering—always from a historical perspective, but also bringing a few recent viewpoints and even the hint of a future gaze—we have decided to... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2015
[accordion title=”Introducing the Authors”] When the stream is driven by a powerful pump, the running waters can take you to the unknowns of the mind. —Max E. Valentinuzzi Elisa Pérez was born in San Juan, Argentina, in 1978. She graduated as a bioengineer from... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2015
Physiological Records Projected on a Screen
Every day, in teaching classrooms and large conference auditoriums and on operating room monitors, scientists and medical professionals make use of in vivo physiological projections that allow the audience to follow whatever event or procedure is going on. Even physicians... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2015
The Good Old Blackboard and Chalk
How wonderful is to pass knowledge on and see the seed germinate to become a fruitful tree giving off many other generous trees that eventually blossom into a healthy cultural forest to lovingly cradle humanity. — Max E. Valentinuzzi Teaching means to... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2015
The Tango
Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. —Confucius The tango appears as no exception, in its birthplace and abroad, too. The perception of music is a complex subject not yet fully understood that has led to a... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2015
A History of the Convolution Operation
[accordion title=”About Convolution and Alex”] Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Math and music are two areas that have attracted my attention ever since I was in elementary and high school. No doubt, a... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2014
Intracardiac Pressure–Volume Diagrams and Their Links with Thermodynamics
Work and energy, power and efficiency, all four involve concepts that seemingly belong only to machines… but much before they popped out of fire and coal, live beings possessed and used them as essential life-supporting intrinsic attributes. The main objective of... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2014
Strange Musical Rhythms
Music, along with its attached rhythm, has been with man for centuries, developing and evolving along with him. Its influence on human behavior and mood can reach levels whose limits are still unknown, especially in everything related to perception, where... 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
Retrospectroscope May/June 2014
Máximo Valentinuzzi (1907–1985): Perhaps the First Latin American Biophysicist, Biomathematician, and Bioengineer
My father was always studying, full of dedication and encouragement, my mother always pushed me to study, later on my wife, during our 55 years together, backed me up to study while she also kept studying … all three of... Read more
Retrospectroscope March/April 2014
An Early Telegraph Idea: Physicians Often Feel Attracted to Engineering
The objectives of medicine are to restore, maintain, and improve human health applying the biomedical sciences. The objectives of engineering are to restore, improve, and maintain human wellbeing applying the physico-­chemical and mathematical sciences. Both are practical activities with similar targets,... Read more
Retrospectroscope January/February 2014
Spirometry: A Historical Gallery Up to 1905
“And the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) In Latin, spirare means to breathe; hence, spirometry deals with the measurement... Read more