SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Control

117

Physically transient electronics, a form of electronics that can physically disappear in a controllable manner, is very promising for emerging applications. Most of the transient processes reported so far only occur in aqueous solutions or biofluids, offering limited control over the triggering and degradation processes. We report novel moisture-triggered physically transient electronics, which exempt the needs of resorption solutions and can completely disappear within well-controlled time frames. The triggered transient process starts with the hydrolysis of the polyanhydride substrate in the presence of trace amounts of moisture in the air, a process that can generate products of corrosive organic acids to digest various inorganic electronic materials and components. Polyanhydride is the only example of polymer that undergoes surface erosion, a distinct feature that enables stable operation of the functional devices over a predefined time frame. Clear advantages of this novel triggered transience mode include that the lifetime of the devices can be precisely controlled by varying the moisture levels and changing the composition of the polymer substrate. The transience time scale can be tuned from days to weeks. Various transient devices, ranging from passive electronics (such as antenna, resistor, and capacitor) to active electronics (such as transistor, diodes, optoelectronics, and memories), and an integrated system as a platform demonstration have been developed to illustrate the concept and verify the feasibility of this design strategy.

Concepts: Time, Vacuum tube, Chemistry, Semiconductor, Transistor, Diode, Control, Electronics

115

Recently published asthma guidelines by the European Respiratory Society and the American Thoracic Society (ERS-ATS) define severe disease based on medication use and control level. These guidelines also emphasize that asthma severity involves certain biomarker phenotypes, one of them being eosinophilic phenotype. The quantification of the influence of eosinophil level toward predicting disease severity can help decision makers manage therapy better earlier.

Concepts: Scientific method, Medicine, Decision making, Asthma, Phenotype, Uncertainty, Control, The Europeans

101

Injury risk in youth rugby has received much attention, highlighting the importance of establishing evidence-based injury reduction strategies.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Control

85

Approximately 3 million American adults reported active epilepsy* in 2015 (1). Active epilepsy, especially when seizures are uncontrolled, poses substantial burdens because of somatic, neurologic, and mental health comorbidity; cognitive and physical dysfunction; side effects of antiseizure medications; higher injury and mortality rates; poorer quality of life; and increased financial cost (2). Thus, prompt diagnosis and seizure control (i.e., seizure-free in the 12 months preceding the survey) confers numerous clinical and social advantages to persons with active epilepsy. To obtain recent and reliable estimates of active epilepsy and seizure control status in the U.S. population, CDC analyzed aggregated data from the 2013 and the 2015 National Health Interview Surveys (NHISs). Overall, an annual estimated 2.6 million (1.1%) U.S. adults self-reported having active epilepsy, 67% of whom had seen a neurologist or an epilepsy specialist in the past year, and 90% of whom reported taking epilepsy medication. Among those taking epilepsy medication, only 44% reported having their seizures controlled. A higher prevalence of active epilepsy and poorer seizure control were associated with low family income, unemployment, and being divorced, separated, or widowed. Use of epilepsy medication was higher among adults who saw an epilepsy specialist in the past year than among those who did not. Health care and public health should ensure that adults with uncontrolled seizures have appropriate care and self-management support in order to promote seizure control, improve health and social outcomes, and reduce health care costs.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Neurology, Epilepsy, Seizure, Control

84

The evolution to bipedalism forced humans to develop suitable strategies for dynamically controlling their balance, ensuring stability, and preventing falling. The natural aging process and traumatic events such as lower-limb loss can alter the human ability to control stability significantly increasing the risk of fall and reducing the overall autonomy. Accordingly, there is an urgent need, from both end-users and society, for novel solutions that can counteract the lack of balance, thus preventing falls among older and fragile citizens. In this study, we show a novel ecological approach relying on a wearable robotic device (the Active Pelvis Orthosis, APO) aimed at facilitating balance recovery after unexpected slippages. Specifically, if the APO detects signs of balance loss, then it supplies counteracting torques at the hips to assist balance recovery. Experimental tests conducted on eight elderly persons and two transfemoral amputees revealed that stability against falls improved due to the “assisting when needed” behavior of the APO. Interestingly, our approach required a very limited personalization for each subject, and this makes it promising for real-life applications. Our findings demonstrate the potential of closed-loop controlled wearable robots to assist elderly and disabled subjects and to improve their quality of life.

Concepts: Gerontology, Force, Ageing, Aging, Human anatomy, Control, Robotics

84

Objective: In contrast to proposals that physical activity (PA) can be a substitute for alcohol use, people who engage in greater overall PA generally consume more alcohol on average than less-active peers. Acknowledging that both PA and alcohol use vary considerably from day-to-day, this study evaluated whether established associations reflect daily behavioral coupling within-person, are an artifact of procedures that aggregate behavior over time, or both. Methods: A life span sample of 150 adults (aged 19-89 years) completed three 21-day measurement bursts of a daily diary study. At the end of each day, they reported on their PA and alcohol consumption. Data were analyzed in a negative binomial multilevel regression. Results: As expected, both behaviors exhibited limited between-person variation. After controlling for age, gender, and seasonal and social calendar influences, daily deviations in PA were significantly associated with daily total alcohol use. Once the within-person process linking PA and alcohol use was controlled, usual PA and total alcohol use were not associated. Conclusions: The established between-person association linking PA and alcohol use reflects the aggregation of a daily process that unfolds within-people over time. Further work is needed to identify mediators of this daily association and to evaluate causality, as well as to investigate these relations in high-risk samples. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Psychology, Aggregate, Behavior, Human behavior, Control, Wine, All rights reserved, Life span

72

Small, genetically tractable species such as larval zebrafish, Drosophila, or Caenorhabditis elegans have become key model organisms in modern neuroscience. In addition to their low maintenance costs and easy sharing of strains across labs, one key appeal is the possibility to monitor single or groups of animals in a behavioural arena while controlling the activity of select neurons using optogenetic or thermogenetic tools. However, the purchase of a commercial solution for these types of experiments, including an appropriate camera system as well as a controlled behavioural arena, can be costly. Here, we present a low-cost and modular open-source alternative called ‘FlyPi’. Our design is based on a 3D-printed mainframe, a Raspberry Pi computer, and high-definition camera system as well as Arduino-based optical and thermal control circuits. Depending on the configuration, FlyPi can be assembled for well under €100 and features optional modules for light-emitting diode (LED)-based fluorescence microscopy and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier-based temperature stimulator for thermogenetics. The complete version with all modules costs approximately €200 or substantially less if the user is prepared to ‘shop around’. All functions of FlyPi can be controlled through a custom-written graphical user interface. To demonstrate FlyPi’s capabilities, we present its use in a series of state-of-the-art neurogenetics experiments. In addition, we demonstrate FlyPi’s utility as a medical diagnostic tool as well as a teaching aid at Neurogenetics courses held at several African universities. Taken together, the low cost and modular nature as well as fully open design of FlyPi make it a highly versatile tool in a range of applications, including the classroom, diagnostic centres, and research labs.

Concepts: Biology, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis, Model organism, Control, Open source, Graphical user interface, Model organisms

68

In-plane frost growth on chilled hydrophobic surfaces is an inter-droplet phenomenon, where frozen droplets harvest water from neighboring supercooled liquid droplets to grow ice bridges that propagate across the surface in a chain reaction. To date, no surface has been able to passively prevent the in-plane growth of ice bridges across the population of supercooled condensate. Here, we demonstrate that when the separation between adjacent nucleation sites for supercooled condensate is properly controlled with chemical micropatterns prior to freezing, inter-droplet ice bridging can be slowed and even halted entirely. Since the edge-to-edge separation between adjacent supercooled droplets decreases with growth time, deliberately triggering an early freezing event to minimize the size of nascent condensation was also necessary. These findings reveal that inter-droplet frost growth can be passively suppressed by designing surfaces to spatially control nucleation sites and by temporally controlling the onset of freezing events.

Concepts: Liquid, Control, Nucleation, Supercooling, Superheating, Melting point, Freezing rain, Frost

50

The origin of the idea of moving objects by acoustic vibration can be traced back to 1787, when Ernst Chladni reported the first detailed studies on the aggregation of sand onto nodal lines of a vibrating plate. Since then and to this date, the prevailing view has been that the particle motion out of nodal lines is random, implying uncontrollability. But how random really is the out-of-nodal-lines motion on a Chladni plate? Here we show that the motion is sufficiently regular to be statistically modelled, predicted and controlled. By playing carefully selected musical notes, we can control the position of multiple objects simultaneously and independently using a single acoustic actuator. Our method allows independent trajectory following, pattern transformation and sorting of multiple miniature objects in a wide range of materials, including electronic components, water droplets loaded on solid carriers, plant seeds, candy balls and metal parts.

Concepts: Scientific method, Wave, Sound, Seed, Control, Violin, Ernst Chladni

50

This randomised controlled trial investigated if the usage of running shoes with a motion control system modifies injury risk in regular leisure-time runners compared to standard shoes, and if this influence depends on foot morphology.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Control theory, Automation, Control, Control system, Chinese language, Grammatical conjugation, Motion control