SciTech Briefs

[BOLD]Blood moon to occur on Tuesday[BOLD]

On Tuesday night, there will be a blood moon — a total lunar eclipse during which the moon will turn a burnt reddish orange as it passes through Earth’s shadow. This eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses, each of which will feature a blood moon. The four blood moons will occur on April 15, 2014, Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and Sept. 28, 2015. However, despite this apparent frequency, these are not commonplace events.

Though there are about two lunar eclipses per year, most are penumbral, so they are vaguely visible and often go unnoticed. According to CNN, “getting four umbral (total) eclipses in a row is like drawing a rare lunar poker hand of four of a kind. The astronomers’ name for this lucky draw is a tetrad.”

Source: CNN

[BOLD]Google Glass helps Parkinson’s victims[BOLD]

Researchers at Newcastle University are exploring the use of Google Glass to assist patients with Parkinson’s disease in monitoring their symptoms and increasing their mobility.

The voice-enabled device is especially useful in scenarios when the patient’s syndrome renders them immobile. In such a case, the patient is able to use Google Glass to orally place a phone call or connect them via video to a family member. In addition, the sensors in Google Glass can measure eye and hand motion and notify users if their symptoms become worse.

Source: ACM TechNews

[BOLD]iPhone app helps overcome jet-lag[BOLD]

Researchers have developed a mobile app called Entrain to help people overcome jet-lag. They developed a method to synchronize the body clock based on the assumption that light from the sun — mainly the blue wavelengths — is the strongest signal to the circadian rhythms, which correspond to the body’s internal clock. Their app guides the user to be in light or darkness at particular times to ensure their speedy adjustment to a new time zone.

Since the shortcuts prescribed by the app often require light or darkness at an unusual hour, one can wear pink-tinted glasses during the day to block the blue wavelengths from the sun and simulate darkness, or use a therapeutic light to simulate bright outdoor light at night.

Source: Science Daily

[BOLD]Tissue engineering reconstructs nose[BOLD]

Scientists at the University of Basel, Switzerland, have been able to use tissue engineering to reconstruct the human nose. They extracted cartilage cells from patients’ nasal septa, multiplied them, and expanded the cells onto a collagen membrane. This collagen membrane was then shaped according to the defect and implanted. This method improves upon the earlier method of taking grafts for reconstruction from the nasal septum, the ear, or the ribs, and using those to reconstruct the nose.

Source: Science Daily