Skip to comments.Now, take a painless blood sugar test
Posted on 05/08/2007 4:54:39 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick
HONG KONG: Hong Kong scientists have invented a device to help diabetics measure their blood sugar painlessly for the first time without pricking their fingers.
The instrument, which is the size of a mobile phone, emits a weaker form of infrared, or near-infrared, which penetrates the skin on the finger and homes in on the bloodstream. Out of the many components in the blood, the beam is able to identify bits of glucose through the frequency or wavelengths they transmit and the amount of blood sugar present would be displayed in 10 seconds.
"There are different types of cells in the blood vessels red blood cells, white blood cells, other compounds, protein, glucose, cholesterol but our model selects those for glucose and tells you its levels," professor and associate head of research at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Universitys School of Nursing Joanne Chung said.
A team of 28 experts nurses, doctors, engineers, computer experts as well as a mathematician from Australia toiled for four years and came up with a device which is at least 85 per cent accurate after five clinical trials.
Good news, but not great news. 85% accurate.
That’s a great idea! Now they can move on to one that will detect all sorts of stuff - your cholesterol, blood pressure, etc - so you can monitor your overall health every day yourself, quickly & easily.
Of all the cool gadgets in Star Trek that could have seen reality, we end up with a crude version of the medical scanner.
Good news. I’ll look for one on eBay in about 6 months.
WOW! Great accuracy. We should apply that to aviation safety. That would ensure that at least 10 airliners crash daily worldwide. Solves overpopulation and global warming.
Ahh - checking my blood sugar is not exactly the same as a plane load of people hurtling through the sky at a thousand miles an hour.
I'll take the 85% accuracy over having to stab myself 3 times a day, like I do now.
Yeah, but still... it’s so Tricorder-y for Star Trek fans! By the 23rd century, it will be much more accurate, and test for a bazillion chemicals.
>> Of all the cool gadgets in Star Trek that could have seen reality, we end up with a crude version of the medical scanner. <<
We have built a starship with an Ion Propulsion System. The Warp Drive may take a lot longer. To the amazement of scientists, we’ve found a loophole in the Uncertainty Principle to allow us to construct a photonic teleportation device, even though it works only one cell at a time. We’ve built huge, flat, big-screen TVs, like Kirk was always watching from his Captain’s chair. We’ve got telecommunications devices as small and more versatile as the Next Generation’s. We’ve got doors that open automatically, and elevators that go on voice command.
Oops. One cell was supposed to read one atom.
The first communicators, uh, cell phones, were pretty crude too.
I guess its not as bad as I thought. Other than the flat panel displays, I was sort of hoping phasers, transporters, and warp drive would have been priorities.
Of course, those got all the glory, but the real useful things would have been the ships’ artificial gravity systems (which presumably allow inertial dampening) and the matter/antimatter power systems.
You know its all Bush’s fault we don’t have these things...
Aw, artificial gravity is simple; that’s why The Original Series had a saucer section: Concentric rings of decks could spin at proportional rates to make up a standard “gravity” force, which was really inertia.
Of course, The Next Generation folks were new-agey morons, rather than science-minded, and instead imagined the “saucer” section flat, and detachable from a mysteriously gravitational lower ship. The lower ship in The Original Series had been primarily zero-gravity propulsion.
And yes, that’s why “flying saucers” were first theorized in the 1940s: its a simple means of artificial gravity.
Deep Space 9 imagined a ring of developments spinning around a core. 2010 imagined two main compartments, spinning around a single core. Babylon 5 foreaw a rather conical spinning ship.
The real question is: what does “85% accuracy” mean, exactly?
That it yields results that are perfectly accurate 85% of the time, and the other 15% it’s way off? That it consistently gives results within 15% of the actual figure? I suspect it’s probably a statistical figure, as in it’s within 15% 19 times out of 20, or it’s within some fixed threshold of accuracy 17 times out of 20 (85%). I really hate journalists who are innumerate (and often half-illiterate these days, too).
Good theory, but why didn’t cranking up the impulse drive, or jumping into warp, in TOS, plaster everyone against the back of the bridge? Really, all the Star Trek series could more accurately be called “space fantasy” than science fiction. They used very little real science, and of that they got most of it very wrong.
For decades, diabetics have monitored their blood sugar using conventional instruments, which require them to prick their fingers and draw blood, up to several times a day. While these have an accuracy rate of around 80 to 85 percent, the process is less than ideal.So as long as they're comparing apples to apples it's the same as now, whatever definition they're using.
So what the heck is an “accuracy rate”? It’s not a statistical or scientific term I’m familiar with. It’s probably meaningless advertising-speak.
That I couldn’t say. But to me the big issue is its reliability compared to the current, inconvenient ways of testing. If it’s at least as accurate, that’s great.
The impulse drive DID typically plaster everyone into their chairs, although anti-gravity and anti-inertia systems would quickly compensate for the effect. To go faster than the speed of light, you have to attain your speed WITHOUT accelerating through intermediate speeds, otherwise, as you approach the speed of light, what appears to you like an instant would be an eternity to everyone else.
OTOH, I’ve heard that Warp Ten, and not Warp One, was the speed of light, and the various Warp numbers were a logarithmic scale, explaining why going from Warp five to Warp six was nothing at all, but going from Warp Eight to Warp Nine was would get Scotty all flustered.
The Original Series was actually frequently as dead-on science-fiction as anything ever put to film. Many scientific theories were first explained to mass audiences for the first time; some even appeared on Star Trek before the papers for the scientific journals were even prepared, most famously, “dark stars,” super-dense remnants of stars where even light and time were pulled back toward the star by gravity. (Such “stars” were eventually named “black holes.”)
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