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Your Medical Records Are for Sale As hospitals shift to digital medical records, administrators promise patients better care and shorter waits. They often neglect to mention that they share files with state health agencies, which in turn sell the information to private data-mining companies. The records are stripped of names and addresses, and there’s no evidence that data miners are doing the legwork to identify individual patients. Latanya Sweeney, the director of Harvard University’s Data Privacy Lab, identified 35 patients from a Washington database by buying state medical data and creating a simple software program to cross-reference that information with news reports and other public records. From a brief local-news story on a motorcycle crash, she matched retired Vietnam veteran Ray Boylston to a patient file documenting a broken pelvis, ruptured spleen, kidney failure, and bladder removal. Exempt from federal health-privacy laws, states have long sold medical data to help finance public health studies.

3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers : Shots - Health News Hide caption One version of the Robohand includes 3-D printed parts assembled with metal hardware. New parts can be easily "printed" as the child grows. Courtesy of Makerbot Hide caption Ivan Owen, a special effects artist in Bellingham, Wash., creates large mechanical hands. He is also one of the creators of the Robohand. Cindy Carpien/NPR Hide caption Richard Van As, a South African carpenter who lost a portion of his hand in an accident, assembles a Robohand and fits it to Liam Dippenaar. Hide caption The newest version of the Robohand is made of snap-together parts. Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw. "It's a possibility that it was a lack of concentration," he says. The carpenter lost two fingers and mangled two more on his right hand. As soon as he got out of the hospital, Van As began researching prosthetics online. In time, Van As came across a YouTube video from Ivan Owen. YouTube

Intelligent knife tested on cancer patients in London hospitals | Science An intelligent knife that knows when it is cutting through cancerous tissue is being tested in three London hospitals. Experts believe the wand-like device, the first of its kind in the world, will revolutionise cancer treatment by removing uncertainty from surgery. In an early study, the iKnife identified malignant tissue in cancer patients having operations with 100% accuracy. After more extensive trials it could be approved for general use in operating theatres within three years. Surgery is often the best hope of a cancer cure, yet even the best surgeons cannot be sure of removing every part of a tumour. In the case of breast cancer, more than 20% of the cancerous tissue may be left behind. The iKnife helps the surgeon by indicating exactly where the cancerous tissue is, and when it has all been removed. It could allow surgeons to perform riskier operations, and also has the ability to reveal the original site of a cancer that has spread.

Scientists claim that 'self' can relocate to other bodies, or be made to include a third arm For millennia, philosophers have debated whether or not the self exists solely in the mind, the body, or both. Well, it's unclear whether this will help clear things up or just muddy the waters further, but Swedish neuroscientists are now claiming that the human brain can add outside objects such as a third arm to one's physical sense of self, and that people can even mentally project their "self" out of their own body and into someone else's. If these findings hold up, the implications for virtual reality, robotics and prostheses could be substantial. Experiments were performed at Stockholm's Karolinska Institutet medical university, in which a highly-realistic prosthetic right arm was placed on a table beside human subjects' own arms, so they could see all three. Scientists then simultaneously touched both the prosthetic arm and the subjects' own right arms with a small brush, at the same location on both arms.

3D printed meat could soon be cheap and tasty enough to win you over | News The next time you’re about to bite into a hamburger, take a moment to consider the resources that went into making it. In a recent Solve for X talk, Andras Forgacs laid out all the statistics, and explained how tantalizingly close we are to a more sustainable method of meat production. Basically, humanity may soon be 3D printing meat instead of growing it in an animal. Forgacs starts by explaining just how costly a single quarter-pound beef patty is to produce. For that one serving, 6.7lbs of grains, 600 gallons of water, and 75 square feet of grazing land were used. As economic opportunities continue to lift populations around the world into the middle class, demand for meat is rising. Advances in bioengineering have been able to produce meat analogs, but the process has always been stupendously expensive, and the results were only passable. Applying 3D printing to artificial meats could be the answer, according to Forgacs.

World's first lab-grown burger to be cooked and eaten 4 August 2013Last updated at 22:31 ET By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University explains how he and his colleagues made the world's first lab-grown burger The world's first lab-grown burger is to be unveiled and eaten at a news conference in London on Monday. Scientists took cells from a cow and, at an institute in the Netherlands, turned them into strips of muscle which they combined to make a patty. Researchers say the technology could be a sustainable way of meeting what they say is a growing demand for meat. Critics say that eating less meat would be an easier way to tackle predicted food shortages. BBC News has been granted exclusive access to the laboratory where the meat was grown in a project costing £215,000. Prof Mark Post of Maastricht University, the scientist behind the burger, said: "Later today we are going to present the world's first hamburger made in a lab from cells. "That's just weird and unacceptable. “Start Quote

The Incredible Challenge of Digitizing the Human Brain The machines might be getting smarter, but they're still a long way off from emulating the dizzying complexity of the human brain. We don’t even understand how our own brains work yet. But the Human Brain Project, which is funded by the EU and was launched towards the end of last year, plans to work on both of these simultaneously. It aims to build a model of the complete human brain “in silico,” or on a supercomputer, in order to give neuroscientists a new tool to understand how the brain functions, as well as informing technologies that could emulate the brain’s computing power. Basically, they want to build a virtual brain. As part of London Tech Week, Sean Hill, one of the project’s coordinators at EPFL in Switzerland, gave a lecture at Imperial College’s Data Science Institute. Hill was very insistent, however, that “the Human Brain Project is not a data generation project. Sean Hill at the lecture. “On the other hand," he admitted, "that could be used to discriminate."

Company develops new fiber-reinforced wood, concrete ink for 3D printing Even though 3D printing is an emerging market and technology, aside from Defense Distributed’s gun, it seems like it has hit a plateau. You can make little or somewhat-bigger-than-little figurines, teacups and mugs that often have leaks, or fragile parts — such as gears — that you can include in a working item, but might quickly wear down. One of the things holding 3D printing back is the material used to print objects. For the uninitiated, normal 3D printing is additive. Emerging Objects has developed a wealth of new materials, such as paper (made from recycled newsprint) as well as a printable salt material. Along with giving a new look to 3D-printed objects, Emerging Objects’ new materials are more environmentally friendly than plastics. As for what Emerging Objects envisions its new materials creating? Now read: The world’s first entirely 3D-printed gun has been made