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    NASA had received about 3,000 entries from 193 countries

    Two students from Shree Vidhya Mandhir, Pushpathur, Dindigul district won the NASA’s 2018 Commercial Crew Program Calendar Art Contest.

    The artworks of students Kaviya B.J. and K. Selva Sreejith of Class VI were among the 12 selected from about 3,000 entries submitted by children in the age group of 4-12 years from 193 countries. Their work will be printed in the 2018 calendar of NASA will be sent to the International Space Station.

    While Kaviya drew an organic space garden, Sreejit’s artwork was titled ‘What would you take from home’, where he drew an astronaut who brought along his daughter, dog and all his favourite possessions to the space shuttle. The winning students will receive a gift package from NASA. The students were able to participate in the contest because of a tie-up between the school and Imageminds, a digital media training centre.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 17th, 2018

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    Centre will largely benefit senior citizens and the physically-challenged

    Two years after shedding his stake in Metropolis Healthcare Limited, G.S.K.Velu is busy with his next healthcare venture — Neuberg Diagnostics — and has opened Chennai’s first drive-in Phlebotomy (blood collection) centre.

    “Neuberg Ehrlich has opened the first drive-in blood collection centre,” the healthcare entrepreneur told The Hindu.

    According to Mr. Velu, chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics, the drive-in blood collection centre will provide ease, especially for senior citizens and the physically challenged, for quick blood collection even without getting out of the car. If possible, they could briefly get out and give the blood in the drive-in area itself without even getting into the laboratory and waiting in queue. All testing requests can be made through the phone and the validated results can be obtained through the internet.

    Quick testing

    “The entire process can be done in seven minutes and if there is a pre-booking it can be done within three to four minutes and by pre-booking one can save on registration time,” he said.

    Mr. Velu said that the equipment were specially designed to collect samples.

    Neuberg Ehrlich currently has eight centres in Chennai, and the group intends to open 25 centres in the next one year. It also has operations in the UAE, South Africa and Sri Lanka, and carries out over 16 million tests per annum.

    Ehrlich Laboratory, accredited by NABL, Government of India and CAP (College of American Pathologist, USA) was recently renamed as Neuberg Ehrlich after it became a part of Neuberg Diagnostics Group.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – December 16th, 2017

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    December 12th, 2017adminRecords, All, Science & Technologies
    LUBDUB : Surgeons have successfully placed a heart in the dog's tummy

    LUBDUB : Surgeons have successfully placed a heart in the dog’s tummy



    • Heterotropic abdominal heart transplants or piggyback transplant uses discarded hearts of terminally ill patients
    • The new heart placed in the abdomen doesn’t replace the original heart, but supports it in performing its job
    • The technology can be a substitute for expensive heart assistive devices and pumps
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    Chennai :

    Soon, patients seeking a heart transplant could be left with two— including one in the tummy. City-based cardiac surgeons have put an extra heart in the tummy of two dogs to see if it could help those with a weak heart survive. The answer was yes.

    A Frontier Lifeline team has sought the state transplant authority’s permission to retrieve ‘misfit’ hearts from donors for ‘piggyback transplants’ in patients not fit for a full-fledged heart transplant.

    On Tuesday, when a few heart transplant surgeons presented their experiment to other heart surgeons and Transtan officials, they admitted they would have to do larger human trials to see if it will be successful. “We will be forwarding the recommendation to the government,” said Transtan member secretary Dr P Balaji.

    Surgeons discard donor hearts if their pumping capacity is below 30%. On the contrary, many patients with heart failure may not be able to go in for transplants because of multi-organ failure or other complications, said Frontier Lifeline chief Dr K M Cherian. Such patients will require a left ventricular assist device, a mechanical pump implanted inside the s chest to help a weak heart pump blood. “That machine costs up to Rs 1 crore, he said.

    Dr Cherian said, “Instead if we give them an additional heart that is marginally functioning, itcan save money and life,” Doctors call this ‘bio-left ventricular assist device.’ Earlier this year, doctors in Coimbatore did heterotropic heart transplants, where they left an additional smaller heart in the chest cavity of a patient. Doctors say by leaving the heart in the abdomen — and thereby avoiding cutting open the chest — they can reduce surgical risk by several times.
    Heterotropic abdominal heart transplants,leave the patient’s existing organ in place unlike a heart transplant. The new heart doesn’t replace the heart but helps it do its job. “It can be a bridge to transplant until the patients get fit, or it can just be the treatment required,” said heart-and-lung transplant surgeon Dr Madhu Shankar of Frontier Lifeline.

    During the animal experiment, doctors connected the donor heart to abdominal portion of the aorta and other major blood vessels in the abdomen. “In dogs, we found that thisheart worked as ‘assistant’ to the existing heart. While one of them died on the first day because it did not have adequate amount of donor blood, theother was alive for 48hours walking and taking feed,” said Dr Madhu Shankar. Tests and scans done on the animal showed that the second heart was pumping with efficient cardiac output.

    Postmortem on the two dogs showed that their heart muscle was viable. “It indicates the success of the transplant,” said Dr Shankar. The hospital has now sought permission from the ethics committee for clinical trial. “It may take some time before it this becomes a bedside therapy, but we should make a beginning.”

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / by Pushpa Narayan / TNN / December 11th, 2017

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    Two former students of a college in Kodambakkam make it to a special list by Forbes, for their innovations in health care

    While he and his team have developed a compact affordable device to treat pre-natal jaundice, she is working on a software platform to help addicts free themselves of substance abuse.

    Meet Vivek Kopparthi and Akshaya Shanmugam, who now work in the United States.

    A few years ago, they went to the same college.

    Alumni of Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering College in Kodambakkam, the two have made it to the “Forbes 30 Under 30” list, which recognises excellence in professionals aged under 30. Vivek is on the list released for 2017; and Akshaya, on the one for 2018.

    Social impact

    The son of Srinivasa Rao, a first-generation learner and Mangadevi, who believes employees in her small unit are family, Vivek says he hopes to make a social impact with the device, and is not interested in making money out of it.

    “The World Health Organisation says that in South East Asia India, Myanmar and Africa, roughly 5.4 million infants go untreated for jaundice, every year. Nine percent of them either die or suffer permanent brain damage, every day. Our device, which uses light to treat jaundice, would be among the most affordable in the market, as it based on simple plug-and-play technology that can run on solar power or batteries. The device has just four pieces, no complicated machinery and not much training is required to use it,” explains Vivek, who is co-founder and CEO of NeoLight, a healthcare company that engineers and designs solutions for newborns in need of neonatal medical care.

    Vivek is looking for organisations to tie up with him to supply the devices.

    Akshaya Shanmugam, CEO, Lumme Labs, an alumni of Meenakshi Sundarajan Engineering College in Chennai. Photo: Special Arangement | Photo Credit: Special_Arrangement

    Akshaya Shanmugam, CEO, Lumme Labs, an alumni of Meenakshi Sundarajan Engineering College in Chennai. Photo: Special Arangement | Photo Credit: Special_Arrangement

    Overcoming addiction

    His senior at college, Akshaya was part of team that was recognised for its work on creating a software platform to help addicts shake off their dependence.

    “What we have is a software platform that is capable of collecting data from wearable sensors like smartphones and watches, basically Android devices that help us understand the behaviour of addicts and the triggers associated with the behaviour. Finally, we also give them personalised interventions to help them recover,” explains Akshaya, who has co-founded Lumme Labs and whose first target are smokers.

    “This work is an outcome of research conducted at the University of Massachusetts and the Yale School of Medicine. Our work is funded and overseen by the National Institutes of Health. We have conducted two national-scale clinical trials in which we demonstrated that we can automatically detect smoking with an accuracy of 95% and predict smoking events six minutes in advance,” she explains.

    Their college secretary K.S. Babai, says that she is very proud of the achievements of her students.

    “Both of them did very well in academics when they were with us. We recognise leadership qualities in students and encourage them to organise events where they can showcase their capabilities,” she says.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Deepa H. Ramakrishnan / December 08th, 2017

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    The team from Christian Medical College, Vellore, receiving the BMJ South Asia award from Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently. | Photo Credit: Handout/email

    The team from Christian Medical College, Vellore, receiving the BMJ South Asia award from Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently. | Photo Credit: Handout/email

    Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, has bagged the British Medical Journal (BMJ) South Asian award under the category “Quality Improvement Team” of the year 2017.

    Lallu Joseph, quality manager, along with Santosh Varughese, deputy director (Quality and HR) and Vikram Mathews, associate director (Admin), received the award from Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at New Delhi on November 18, a press release said.

    The BMJ awards South Asia 2017 recognises healthcare teams for their contribution towards the improvement in quality of healthcare across the region. The fourth edition of the awards received 2,015 nominations from eight countries – India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh for 10 categories of awards such as healthcare quality, medical education, clinical excellence, innovation in technology and research.

    A total of 131 nominations were shortlisted in the first round for the 10 categories. The last round of jury presentations had 30 finalists, with CMC being the only institution that had two finalists, according to the release.

    The 30 finalists faced the jury consisting of eminent clinicians, healthcare leaders and industry veterans at New Delhi on November 17. Thirteen winners were announced in 10 categories – seven for India, two for Pakistan, two for Bangladesh and one each for Nepal and Sri Lanka.

    CMC bagged the award under the category “Quality Improvement Team” of the year for its hub and spoke model of quality management.

    In her presentation to the jury, Lallu Joseph said the quality management system at CMC involved the stakeholders of the departments and the central quality team as facilitators. “The benefits of this model in terms of trust, ownership, culture of openness and cost effectiveness have helped the hospital establish a strong quality culture, sustainability and improvement. The involvement of the clinical teams in the day-to-day quality management initiative is the major success of this model,” she said.

    J,V. Peter, director of CMC, said the award has provided their quality management systems the necessary visibility to encourage hospitals, to adopt the hub and spoke model, which will benefit the quality and safety of healthcare delivery in the country, the release said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Staff Reporter / Vellore – November 30th, 2017

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    Renewable energy producer Mytrah Energy has erected and commissioned the tallest Met mast in the Asia-Pacific region.

    With a height of 160 metres, the mast is located at Kayathar in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district.

    With this, Mytrah Energy broke its own record of installing a 150-metre mast in October. Since then, Mytrah has installed 150-metre masts across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

    “Power output depends on the size and height of turbines. Larger wind turbines lead to cost-effective power generation. Mytrah’s commissioning of this Met mast reflects its focus on developing technological tools for revolutionising the renewable energy sector in the country,” said Vikram Kailas, Vice-Chairman & MD, Mytrah Energy (India).

    The Met mast has five wind speed monitoring levels (160m, 140m, 120m, 90m, 50m), three wind direction monitoring levels (138m, 118m and 88m), two temperature monitoring levels (160m and 10m) and one pressure sensor level (10m).

    It is a combination of 400mm x400mm and 300mmx300mm square lattice structure with L angle tube that has all the sensors placed according to the IEC 61400-12-1 standard for accurate measurement of wind speed and direction.

    source: / Business Line / Home> News> National / The Hindu Bureau / Hyderabad – November 23rd, 2017

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    November 22nd, 2017adminEducation, Science & Technologies, World Opinion
    Trend-setters: Infinite Engineers is working on an educational project involving both adults and young children.

    Trend-setters: Infinite Engineers is working on an educational project involving both adults and young children.

    Chennai-based enterprise spreads mission to Singapore

    Their realisation during college that there was more to learning than marks brought this team of seven youngsters to start ‘Infinite Engineers’ to impart science concepts through hands-on experience. Now, this Chennai-based social enterprise is making headway in education institutions in Singapore too.

    Started in 2014 during their final year in college, the ‘Infinite Engineers’ conducted workshops for schools to make science learning an enjoyable experience in Chennai. To equip teachers with simple tools to impart science lessons, they designed ‘Dexter Box,’ a kit with prototype science experiments aligned with the school curriculum of classes VI to IX.

    S. Harish, co-founder of Infinite Engineers, said, “Children get to learn about concepts from their lessons. For instance, we provide an experiment module to help students conduct nutrient test, learn about sprinkler and drip irrigation and human anatomy through simple activities. We have reached about 10,000 children in 300 government schools and 20 private schools so far in five districts.” Each ‘Dexter Box’ has 12 types of experiments, games and activity based on the syllabus. “The challenge is to design the experiments to demonstrate within the class hours. We are now focussing on designing Dexter Boxes for primary school children,” he said.

    At an interactive session organised by Singapore International Foundation at St. Luke’s Eldercare, Singapore, Sruthi Sadanand, one of the team members pursuing masters degree in the country, said she had identified the potential for their enterprise there and reached out to schools. “There is a robust environment for social enterprise to flourish in Singapore. If we prove we can add value to society, the start-ups could get financial aid too,” she said. “We have joined hands with Air Amber, another social enterprise in Singapore, for an inter-generation project wherein children and aged persons are involved in trying out experiments together. We are also launching a study on how the tools help the elderly and children with autism,” she said. The enterprise plans to launch online stores soon.

    (This correspondent was in Singapore at the invitation of Singapore International Foundation, which encourages social entrepreneurs)

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by K. Lakshmi / Chennai – November 22nd, 2017

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    Former Governor of West Bengal Gopalakrishna Gandhi paid rich tributes to the late neurologist Krishnamoorthy Srinivas at the Buddhi Immersion 2017, a workshop on the Brain, Mind and Integrative Medicine, held in the city on Friday. Mr. Gandhi said Dr. Srinivas had a microchip of a memory with a giga byte voltage containing everything in tight configuration and it could be unravelled at the slightest touch. Dr. Srinivas had the knack to describe an event, relate an episode or explain a phenomenon with sparkling clarity.

    Mr. Gandhi said, “If you had to mention a name but were struggling, he (Dr. Srinivas) would complete the name, the background, ancestry, the signs of the zodiac, the traits of personality, the foils and foibles and it was only his highest professional rectitude which kept him from further going into the person’s medical history.”

    Mr. Gandhi recalled a pertinent conversation with Dr. Srinivas about old age and the reasons for forgetfulness wherein he said the main reason for one to forget was not that they had forgotten but they did not choose to remember, which meant they did not register with due care what was being said to them.

    Book released

    “Dr. Srinivas said that if only they had registered it with due attention, they would not have experienced what seems to be the case of forgetfulness. So if you are interested in something, you are not likely to forget,” Mr. Gandhi recalled. He released the book ‘Autism: The Buddhi Book’ written by Ennapadam K. Krishnamoorthy and Subbulakshmy Natarajan on the occasion.

    B.N. Gangadhar, director of NIMHANS, delivering the Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas Lecture 2017, talked on the subject ‘Yoga for Integrative Mental Health: Neurobiological Evidence’.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – November 18th, 2017

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    Non-functional mobile phone chargers, adaptors, calculators, old wires, bulbs, printers, and toners are all part of the e-waste generated at offices, industries, and even households. These mostly get into the regular garbage bags.

    Green Era Recyclers, a seven-month-old start-up by Prasanth Omanakuttan and Syam Premachandran, looks at recycling the e-waste generated in the city. In the last seven months, it has collected and recycled eight to 10 tonnes.

    The firm has recently got a five-year authorisation from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to recycle 150 tonnes of e-waste annually.

    According to Mr. Prasanth, a study on the e-waste inventory shows that Coimbatore generates nearly 2,500 tonnes of e-waste a year. However, most of it goes unsegregated.

    The waste batteries, cartridges, displays, and printers are all collected from institutions, a few houses, and industries and dismantled. The waste is segregated into hazardous and non-hazardous and the non-hazardous waste is recycled. “We also try to recover a lot of materials and refurbish some products,” he said.

    Green Era is in talks with Coimbatore Corporation to collect e-waste from houses in one or two wards initially. “We have designed a special bin for households. It has four compartments to collect bulbs, wires, printers and toners, and miscellaneous items. We will pay an amount for most of these and collect them,” he says. The civic body has asked for some more details on recycling and the company will submit the information in a week or so. The preliminary recycling will be done in Coimbatore and the hazardous waste will be sent to Chennai for safe disposal.

    Started with an investment of ₹15 lakh, the start-up also has a research unit that designs and develops machinery for recycling, “We now have shredder, extruder, and cable stripper,” says Mr. Prasanth. If the machinery available in the market is purchased, a large-scale recylcing plant needs at least ₹2 crore investment. The start-up has machinery that costs much less and plans to commercialise these too.

    “We will go for external funding after developing the machinery,” he said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Coimbatore / by M. Soundariya Preetha / Coimbatore – November 17th, 2017

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    A software engineer is offering guidance to anyone seeking to set up a low-cost rainwater harvesting system

    Sriram Vasudevan, a software engineer, uses his free time for work involving hardware. Not the hardware you associate with computers. He’s working with PVC pipes, L-joints and valves and other material necessary to build rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. Having set up a self-designed, cost-effective RWH structure at his house in Ramapuram, he is helping others install such structures at theirs.

    He had been researching intensely on how to install cost-effective RWH structures before devising such a model himself. He says this work is motivated by a desire to solve water-related problems in the city. Sometime ago, he posted an announcement on Facebook, expressing his desire to guide anyone who wants to install such an RWH structure. “My friend Balaji set up an RWH structure at his house recently and I was greatly inspired by it. I believe a good RWH structure in each house will help solve many water-related problems in the city,” he says. Here’s how this model works.

    “The rainwater that gets collected in someone’s terrace should be directed to their borewell, well or sump,” he explains. In regular RWH systems, the collected rainwater is directed to a rainwater harvesting pit dug near the house. This pit has a layer of coarse pebbles to help filter impurities and channel the water underground directly. In a variation of this model, Sriram suggests that a valve be placed in the RWH pipes.

    This valve is capable of clearing out the impurities, thereby helping bypass the need for a rainwater harvesting pit.

    Sriram says channeling the collected rainwater directly to the borewell will help improve water quality.

    “There will be a evident change in water quality and taste, post-monsoon,” he says.

    He points out that in case of any overflow in the collection system, an extra tank can always be set up to store excess water.

    Sriram has already helped two residents set up RWH structures at their houses.

    Sriram can be reached at 9944888755

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Anjana Shekar / November 17th, 2017

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