Today I bring to you the sixth episode of my “What I Learnt The Previous Week" series. The topics below represent a summary of some interesting discoveries I made within the last week which spanned between 21st - 25th of May 2018. I hope you find them interesting.
So, let's get going!
MONDAY: Exploring the possibility of using WiFi as a Home Security Alarms Trigger
WiFi . Source: Pixabay - CC0 Creative Commons
I can remember the days of infrared and the not too long and still in existence Bluetooth connection.
I can remember putting phones side by side only to transfer a 10kb file. But WiFi has made a lot of things easier and better.
We can now stream movies, steal some web access while at the library or waiting at the airport by just connecting to the WiFi.
But what if we could do more than just entertainment and file transfer? What if we explore more about the other places WiFi connection could prove useful?
Well, that's what I found while reading some awesome tech news.
Some Researchers in Denmark are working on a feature that enables us to detect the presence of an intruder in our homes through changes in the Radio Frequency (RF) signal of the wireless network.
This would replace the existing physical sensors like the Passive InfraRed (PIR) sensors, door contacts detectors and many others that are considered less efficient.
Using the Motion Technology that adopts cognitive systems to detect motion through wireless network radio frequency signals, the possibility of this security model becomes more achievable.
With the WiFi, there are even more possibilities like detecting intruders in other rooms as certain radio waves can travel through the wall.
This would give us better and the data received would be more perfect
The Researchers think that by integrating the WiFi network along with an alarm system, a security trigger can be made as soon as an intruder is detected swiftly and more accurately than the infrared and ultrasound sensors.
This high tech surveillance possibility would add to the growing tech of the Internet of Things (IoT) as virtually every device is now being connected wirelessly
So, a WIFI enabled alarm system wouldn't be a bad one either.
Do read more about the researcher's thoughts here
TUESDAY: The Color Changing Compression Bandages and Stockings
Compression Bandage. Source: Wikimedia Commons under GNU Free Documentation License -CC BY SA 2.5
Maybe, maybe not. Well, whether you have or not, I'm even here to tell you things have gotten better!
Recently, Engineers at MIT just concluded the development of a color changing and pressure detecting compression bandage. Ok, I need to say what a Compression Bandage (or Stocking) is right? Sure, I'll tell you.
A Compression Stocking or Bandage is a custom designed stocking that is used for compression therapy which is performed on a patient that is suffering from a venous disorder like venous ulcer, phlebitis or edema whereby they struggle to have blood move up from their lower part of the body to the upper parts.
So, with these bandages, the pressure can be increased and the flow velocity rise hence catalyzing a better blood flow.
Most times when health personnel help patients fix this stockings or bandages on their legs, they don't have a means to know whether the pressure is the required or an overdone one.
This a times even cause more problem to the patient than planned.
So, with this awesome development whereby pressure sensing photonic fibers are integrated into the bandages and the desired or required pressure can first be set using a color chart to read the color changes that follows a stretch of the bandages.
The health personnel can now do a pressure check before and not afterward unlike before.
Also, the photonic fibers continue to act as a pressure sensor as the patient has the compression bandages on.
So, any critical changes can be easily seen with a color change and care can be immediately given.
The fibers are made of ultrathin layers of rubber materials that are rolled up in a jelly-like manner.
The photonic fibers capitalize on the optical properties of transparent materials whereby when a light is reflected on them, vibrant colors are produced with respect to the layer structure and the material.
So a data of the pressure applied in stretching the rubber along with the color reflected, a color chart is built which can be used to interpret the effect on the patient.
I am sure you'll want to know more about this fabulous development. You can read more on it here
WEDNESDAY: Gephyrophobia – Fear of Bridges
Bridge. Source: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain license
Gephyrophobia is one of the particular phobias that I know many people wouldn't be free of especially people that fear water bodies like I do.
Gephyrophobia is the mental state where someone perceives an illusional view that a bridge, especially one running over a big water, is drawing him/her to itself.
Here in Africa, Nigeria especially, people often believe mermaids causes this particular phobia and most times parents will prevent their child from getting close to such a place for the fear of losing them to the scary mermaid!
Gephyrophobia is more than just a perceived feeling by a person. It gradually becomes registered in the mind that passing through such a route, even a times driving pass it could turn out badly for them.
So much that a gephyrophobic can apply the brake untimely on seeing that he approaches a bridge or sometimes a tunnel.
This situation many times isn't funny but can be critical and causes anxiety that could later prove risky to the sufferer's life.
Causes of Gephyrophobia
The fear of bridges is closely related to claustrophobia (fear of small spaces) and Acrophobia which is the fear of height. Each of this is usually arising from a past experience or a perceived thought.
Also, the sufferer might have witnessed a death or some event that arose from a related event of someone crossing a bridge or emerging from a tunnel.
Movie scenes amongst others could also be a source of this fear.
Maybe a bridge collapse or a related accident are displayed in some scenes, it could create an uncurable fear in the person so much that he/she will avoid anything related to a bridge crossing.
Symptoms of Gephyrophobia
The symptoms of this phobia is mostly a visible panic or increased breathing when he/she is required to cross a bridge.
Most sufferer would prefer to go and turn through miles than take a shortcut through a bridge.
Females are known victims of this phobia that even a bridge over a gutter a time is seen as a task for them.
They are usually seen to be trembling and a times shout whenever the fear is heightened.
People who easily think of death or bad happenings whenever they are at places relating to acrophobia and claustrophobia are mostly sufferers of gephyrophobia.
How to get rid of Gephyrophobia
Getting over this phobia is sometimes daunting because it is mostly related to a past event that usually sticks.
So, medical attention and therapies might be needed before the sufferer is relieved of this thoughts.
Gradual trials with small bridges that aren't deep or that runs over a small water can be used to get the sufferer familiar with such situation.
Driving across similar bridges also will help the victim get rid of this perception.
Controlled breathing sessions can also help the person from panic attacks and tremble. The person can try to approach a bridge alongside a friend whom he or she trusts.
So, with consistent practice, the sufferer will get used to the situation and eventually escape from the feel.
You can as well read more about Gephyrophobia here
THURSDAY: Human Health Technology - an Ingestible Chip for Disease Diagnosis
Biosensors. Source: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain license
The reason why this industry is seeing this much growth is however not far-fetched as it is a life-sustaining industry and thus, needs be paid attention.
At MIT, researchers have discovered a better way to monitor disease growth by combining genetically engineering bacterial with electronic sensors that have been tested to be useful for detecting blood-related diseases and gastrointestinal problems.
This combination will generate some wireless feedback signal that can be interpreted with the smartphone using an android app built specifically for this function.
The main aim of this project is to circumvent long procedures of detecting diseases which require tests and x-ray scanning in some cases.
With the ingestible sensor, the patient's health condition can simply be swallowed and within minutes, his/her state can be easily diagnosed and treated.
The sensor is a combination of an electronic chip with an artificial biological sensor that would be able to detect biological changes in the body.
The electronic chip will aid translation of this signal into a readable format by means of a smartphone with a programmed software for this function.
The whole sensor set-up is of a cylindrical shape about 1.5 inches long. It is equipped with an in-built voltaic battery that supplies about 2.7 volts which were estimated to power the device for about a month and a half as it would be recharged by the acidic fluids in the body.
The chip is planted with a bacteria that helps detect a particular causative microorganism of a specific disease.
It has also been said that multiple bacteria can be integrated into the chip thereby allowing for more diseases to be detected at once.
The goal of the design is thus, the possibility and administering of a device which stays in the body for sometimes, analyzing the biological changes in the body through the synthetic biosensors planted on a chip which reads and interpret the changes into readable formats and would hasten disease detection and make real-time disease diagnosis possible.
Different tests have been ongoing and many improvements are constantly being done on the project Results and Conclusions from the experiment was published in the Science Journal by the researchers, reporting the promising potentials of the ingestible micro-bio-electronic device.
You can read more about the study here
FRIDAY: Yikes! Animals have Role Model too - the Mongoose Behavioral Inheritance
Mongoose. Source: Pxhere under CC0 Public Domain license
Last time, we saw a group of Bonobo (a family of Ape) performing midwifery duties on one of their mates delivering a baby.
There, we were able to see that animals can exhibit some human features.
Today again, I am reporting a case of Mongoose which after numerous studies, researchers were able to detect that they do inherit some behavior from some other animal rather than their parents.
So, we can then say, animals have role models too!
A group of young Mongoose, usually called pups were studied by researchers from the University of Exeter.
They were able to detect that these pups are usually being led by a single adult mongoose that they call "escort".
The escort, which is usually not the young mongoose's father nor mother by leading them around to where they get food and shelter become the coordinator of their life from which they learned almost everything.
From feeding habits to hunting habits, the pups learn from the escort for which it spends most of his days with rather than its parent.
We can liken it to a case of a teacher taking a group of students. If it is a lesson that has to do with recitation, the students will be more accustomed to the teacher's way of pronouncing the words.
It will take a lot of time before that tone can be changed after they have gotten used to it. Even if it was the child's parent trying to force the change.
Hence, cultural inheritance isn't genetic and hence can be learned from the environment or person one is accustomed to.
It is, of course, a surprise to see it happen amongst the lower animals.
You can read more about this discovery in a published Paper here on the subject and read more on the Mongoose gist here
Thanks for Reading
So, guys! This is the summary of what I learned in the previous week. I hope you learned something.
Special Thanks to @mobbs for starting this movement and also @samminator - my nigga. It gives me joy sharing my discoveries...Till next time!
References for further reading
If you find it interesting, then, more is awaiting you down here. Check out my previous release on this series
What I Learnt the Previous Week - #1
What I Learnt the Previous Week - #2
What I Learnt the Previous Week - #3
What I Learnt the Previous Week - #4
What I Learnt the Previous Week - #5
If you write STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related posts, consider joining #steemSTEM on steemit chat or discord here. If you are from Nigeria, you may want to include the #stemng tag in your post. You can visit this blog by @stemng for more details.