Sci-Tech

How does 3D printing work?

3D printing is revolutionizing industry and medicine, and inspiring designers and DIY enthusiasts. The main drawback is how long it takes… Printing an object the size of a tennis ball can take up to 12 hours. New developments could reduce this to just six or seven minutes. At present, printers use a layer-by-layer technique The simplest method is known as filament printing, and tends to be used in mass-market 3D printers. A thread of heated […]

Italy’s doctors look for help from sleek new robots

  by Miguel MEDINA Agence France Presse VARESE, Italy (AFP) — The shiny new robots gently check the pulses of highly infectious patients on life support in the Italian epicentre of COVID-19. The doctors and nurses love them because they also help save their own lives. Italians have seen the world around them turn unrecognisable from the various lockdowns and social distancing measures used to fight the new coronavirus outbreak. But little appears to have […]

Google to publish user location data to help govts tackle virus

PARIS, France (AFP) — Google will publish location data from its users around the world from Friday to allow governments to gauge the effectiveness of social distancing measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech giant said. The reports on users’ movements in 131 countries will be made available on a special website and will “chart movement trends over time by geography,” according to a post on one of the company’s blogs. […]

Local group of speech pathologists develop “communication boards” for intubated COVID-19 patients

(Eagle News) – A local group of speech pathologists has developed a tool to allow COVID-19 patients to communicate even when intubated. The Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) have come up with “communication boards” which will allow patients on ventilators to express their needs to their caregivers even when they are unable to talk. “Sadly, many of these [COVID-19] patients will need intubation or other escalated respiratory support, rendering them unable to speak.  Patients […]

Australia enlists particle accelerator in coronavirus fight

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australian scientists are using the largest particle accelerator in the southern hemisphere to help fast-track the hunt for a vaccine against COVID-19, researchers said Tuesday. The Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne uses intense X-rays emitted by electrons coursing through the accelerator to examine key proteins in the virus, program director Andrew Peele told AFP. Acting as a kind of microscope, the accelerator lets the researchers construct atomic-level 3-D maps of the proteins […]

AI tool predicts which coronavirus patients get deadly ‘wet lung’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Researchers in the US and China reported Monday they have developed an artificial intelligence tool that is able to accurately predict which newly infected patients with the novel coronavirus go on to develop severe lung disease. Once deployed, the algorithm could assist doctors in making choices about where to prioritize care in resource-stretched health care systems, said Megan Coffee, a physician and professor at New York University’s Grossman School of […]

The sound of coronavirus: Israeli apps helping contain pandemic

By Guillaume Lavallee and Jonah Mandel JERUSALEM, Undefined (AFP) — One app tells you if you’ve been in the vicinity of a coronavirus carrier and another aims to assess whether you have COVID-19 based on the sound of your voice. In Israel, sometimes dubbed the “start-up nation” with nearly 10 percent of workers employed in high-tech, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a flurry of new technologies designed to contain transmission. Start-Up Nation Central, an NGO, […]

Nextdoor, the network for neighbors, grows in age of social distancing

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse San Francisco, United States (AFP) — There are offers to pick up groceries or medicine for neighbors, to share supplies, or walk people’s dogs — and even intel on where to find scarce items like toilet paper. For people forced to stay home to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social network, has found itself playing an increasingly important role. Daily usage of the network — an […]

Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

by Arthur MacMillan with W.G. Dunlop in Washington Agence France Presse New York, United States (AFP) — The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable. The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales […]

US lab unveils portable 5-minute COVID-19 test

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A US-based lab has unveiled a portable test that can tell if someone has COVID-19 in as little as five minutes, it said in a statement Friday. Abbot Laboratories said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given it emergency authorization to begin making the test available to healthcare providers as early as next week. The test, which is the size of a small toaster and uses molecular […]

Crisis brings robots to medical frontline: researchers

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Robots are expected to demonstrate their value for “dirty and dangerous” medical tasks in the fight to quell the coronavirus pandemic, researchers said Wednesday. An editorial in Science Robotics noted that robots can help with telemedicine, decontamination, handling of hazardous waste and monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines. “Historically, robots have been developed to take on dull, dirty and dangerous jobs,” the researchers wrote. “As epidemics escalate, the potential roles of […]

Online gaming booms as virus lockdowns keep millions at home

by Sean GLEESON Agence France-Presse HONG KONG, China (AFP) When two Spanish footballers took to the controls of “FIFA 20” after the coronavirus pandemic saw their La Liga match cancelled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online. The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment and friendship with the “real world” seemingly falling apart. Real Betis striker Borja […]