A team of researchers at the University of Sheffield has developed an interesting way of detecting bacteria in a wound (I know, gross).
The researchers found that a polymer attached to a fluorescent dye on bandage can detect when bacteria or other harmful organisms come into contact with the wound. The polymer changes shape when the bacteria are present, activating the dye and emitting ultraviolet light.
The technique was mainly developed with military applications in mind. Being able to easily and quickly identify infected wounds on the battlefield could help significantly reduce the severity of injuries.
“If you know you’ve got infection it’s going to change how you treat your soldiers, it’s going to change how you’re going to treat those patients in the home,” Sheffield researcher Sheila McNeil said. [UPI.com]
At the moment, the technique has only been applied to artificial tissues. However, it currently takes several days to confirm the presence of infection, so there is quite an interest in expanding the technique to human trials.
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Using some duct tape, a helium balloon and styrofoam, Alex Baker and Chris Rose, PhD students at the University of Sheffield, sent a camera and a GPS tracking unit into the stratosphere and captured some pretty cool aerial footage.
They did this on 17 December 2010, (thought it was reported on the BBC today) and the flight time was about 2 hours and 50 mins as stated on their flickr page, which has a cool panoramic photo stitch from their footage from an altitude of about 35 km.