Traditionally, the term life sciences has referred to several branches of science, such as biology, medicine, anthropology, or ecology, that describe living organisms and their organization... Read more
Researchers are developing big data techniques for large-scale DNA analysis. Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) techniques are revolutionizing the sequencing of DNA, greatly increasing the speed and decreasing the cost. But the mountains of data produced by sequencers can swamp current computing platforms. Researchers at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, have received a grant to develop software libraries to support DNA data analysis on High Performance Computers (HPCs).
Falls in the elderly have always been a serious medical and social problem, and as world-wide aging increases, this becomes an increasing problem in quality of living and in the resulting financial burden to families and society. This article reports on a project designed to both detect falls and to produce realtime predictions of fall incidents, with sufficient leadtime to allow deployment of wearable airbags to reduce bodily injury.
Life sciences is a wide and dynamic field that is being energized by other disciplines. The boom that has been already observed in the bio-medical domain is extending to other areas of life sciences, accompanied by many career opportunities and more exciting challenges for educational institutions.
Recently on the Portal, we have featured several articles on projects aimed at use of robotics to enhance the learning environment for autistic children Incorporating a Robot into an Autism Therapy Team, Physiological Signals of Autistic Children Can be Useful. Now, Aldebaran Robotics has launched a program, ASK NAO, to help in the education of children with special needs, starting with Autism. Studies have shown that many autistic children respond favorably to the presence of a robot, increasing their social interaction in the classroom. A recent article on IEEE Spectrum Online discusses the ASK NAO program in more detail, including fascinating video clip from NBC's Today show.