News Clips for July 26-29, 2019

University of Utah scientists want to turn wasted heat into useful energy

New research from the University of Utah could blaze a path to help wasted energy become a source of added electrical power. Scientists from the U.'s Department of Mechanical Engineering believe they have found a method that will turn excess heat into a useful energy source. The findings were published in the paper titled "A Near-Field Radiative Heat Transfer Device," in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

A bionic hand named after Luke Skywalker could help amputees feel again

To lose a hand is to lose part of yourself, Gregory Clark, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Utah told USA TODAY. And while prosthetic hands have been in use for thousands of years, there is room for improvement. Researchers at the University of Utah, with the help of other organizations including Blackrock Microsystems and DEKA, have been on a mission to do just that. They have developed a prosthetic system that will allow patients to regain their sense of touch.

New in-vehicle tech distracts older drivers, study shows

Despite being heralded as a safer alternative to using hand-held devices while driving, in-vehicle infotainment technology has proven just as distracting to older motorists. Drivers between the ages of 55 and 75 were shown to have their eyes off the road for more than eight seconds longer than drivers ages 21-36 when using a navigation feature or tuning the radio, a AAA and University of Utah study revealed.

Is Kratom safe during pregnancy? Researchers start to investigate

“We just know so little about it from a research perspective,” remarks Marcela Smid, a maternal fetal medicine and addiction medicine specialist at the University of Utah who manages a specialty clinic for pregnant and postpartum women with addiction. “It needs to be studied.”

Professor investigating the role of T cells in cardiovascular disease

A researcher at The University of Texas at Arlington's College of Nursing and Health Innovation will use a $634,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study the role of T cells in cardiovascular disease among older people. Tony Donato, an associate professor at the University of Utah's School of Medicine; is also part of the grant.

Microbiome Species that Keep Mice Lean or Obese Are Balanced by Immune System

Studies in mice by researchers at the University of Utah have shown how specialized immune cells can protect against obesity and associated metabolic syndrome by controlling communities of intestinal bacteria that either promote or reduce fat absorption. The studies were reported in Science. “Now that we’ve found the minimal bacteria responsible for this slimming effect, we have the potential to really understand what the organisms are doing and whether they have therapeutic value,” suggested June Round, an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah Health, who is co-senior author.

A family held their relatives captive; a community set them free

In Colorado, law enforcement agents reported that 16 investigations were opened, all of them related to sex trafficking. But labor trafficking receives far less attention and fewer law enforcement resources than sex trafficking, experts say, so those numbers don’t reflect the scope of the problem. “Most people don’t identify as a victim,” says Annie Fukushima, an assistant professor at the University of Utah who specializes in human trafficking and migration.

How an undercover FBI sting busted an alleged multimillion-dollar stock fraud

The scheme: Black would offer a batch of shares for sale. A few minutes later, but not so soon as to appear suspicious, their new stockbroker pal would buy up all of Black’s shares. This sort of coordination, called “matched trading,” is in itself illegal, and is a common attribute of pump-and-dump schemes, said Jeff Schwartz, a law professor who runs an SEC enforcement clinic at the University of Utah. The trades create the appearance of trading volume in the stock and can generate artificial price gains, both of which can be used by scam artists to entice their victims into buying shares.

The ‘Why’ Behind Our Work: What Is ‘Purpose,’ And Do We Need It?

Art Brief, an organizational psychologist and presidential professor emeritus at the University of Utah, has spent his career studying the moral dimensions of organizational life. “If you realize meaning in your work, you tend to be more satisfied in your life,” he says. But Brief isn’t blind to the realities of the workforce, admitting that most people don’t hold jobs that bring them purpose, at least not all the time.

Texas doctors prescribe drugs. Why can’t they dispense them?

As doctors, we are just as qualified as our peers across the country to dispense safely and ethically, and doctors who happen to work near pharmacies (like us) are just as qualified as our rural peers to dispense medication at cost. Not only that, but comprehensive research out of the University of Utah confirms that doctors and pharmacies are equally safe when dispensing.

How police might access your Lyft, Tinder and Google accounts in a criminal investigation

Matthew Tokson, associate professor of law at the University of Utah, is less concerned that police have access to personal data and more concerned that it is being collected in the first place. “There are so many forms of personal information that are easy to access and so many ways for private companies to record what you are doing and saying,” said Tokson. “It’s the private side that is eroding privacy by collecting and selling all this data. Anyone might be able to get their hands on it, including the police.”

When Burnout Affects Healthcare Physicians And Its Effect On Working Mothers

When asked in a national survey from the University of Utah Health if it would be worth it for providers to have more time with fewer patients—even if it means a reduction in revenue or income—72% of clinicians agreed.

Utah lawmakers paid more attention to incarcerated women this year

Larry Bench, an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Sociology who worked in the criminal justice system for decades, has tried for years to get money to start a reproductive health education program for female inmates. After getting funding through Romero’s appropriation request, the goal is to start the program this fall in the state prison system, he said. “We just want to give women the information that they need in order to make informed decisions,” Bench said.

New Jason Chaffetz book says he was targeted by Democrats' power grab

"I think Jason Chaffetz has found his own voice," said Jason Perry, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. "I think that he's maybe more promoting his own opinion and focus than he is the president's or anyone else's." Perry said there is an audience for Chaffetz's work, in Utah and the rest of the country. "There is a significant 'deep state' mentality in some parts of our country," he said. "There are a lot of people who subscribe to those theories. I think Utah has its pockets of that as well. I don't know we hear about it as much."

Bionic arm lets Utah man control it with just his thoughts

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Keven Walgamott lost his left hand and part of his lower arm after an accident about 17 years ago. Since then, he says it’s taken some getting used to. He was left-handed, so he then had to learn how to do everything right-handed. “I have a very wonderful supportive wife who

Utah Amputee Can Feel Objects He Holds With Star Wars-Inspired Prosthetic Arm

About 17 years ago, Keven Walgamott lost his left hand and part of his forearm in an electrical accident. Now, Walgamott can use his thoughts to tell the fingers of his bionic hand to pick up eggs …

The Star Wars-Inspired Robotic Arm That Gives Amputees a Sense of Touch

The revolutionary prosthesis is a nod to Luke Skywalker.

Amputee can feel objects with prosthetic arm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – About 17 years ago, Keven Walgamott lost his left hand and part of his forearm in an electrical accident. Now, Walgamott can use his thoughts to tell the fingers of his…

Scientists Develop Robotic Arm That Could Help Amputees Feel Again

Researchers from the University of Utah and other organizations say they have created a prosthetic arm that may help amputees regain their sense of touch.

Amputee can feel objects again with prosthetic arm inspired by Luke Skywalker

About 17 years ago, Keven Walgamott lost his left hand and part of his forearm in an electrical accident. Now, Walgamott can use his thoughts to tell the finger...

This Robotic Arm Inspired by Luke Skywalker Has Allowed an Amputee to Feel Again

Research on robotic prostheses is coming along in leaps and bounds, but one hurdle is proving quite tricky to overcome: a sense of touch. Among other things, this sense helps us control our grip strength - which is vitally important when it comes to

AAA: Vehicle Infotainment Systems Especially Distracting For Older Drivers

Their research found while the technology created unsafe distractions for all drivers, those between the ages of 55 and 75 were slower to complete tasks and had increased visual distractions.

Star Wars-inspired prosthetic lets amputee 'feel' again

Academics at the University of Utah have a developed a Star Wars-inspired prosthetic arm which allows people to use their minds to perform delicate tasks such as handling eggs and even plucking grapes. Joe Davies reports.

Star Wars-inspired bionic arm helps users control device with their mind

The arm will allow an amputee to not only grasp objects but to control the device with the mind and to return the sense of touch once again.

Med Scape

A quick overview of three medical stories that are worth a mention.

Vehicle infotainment systems dangerously distracting, especially for seniors

Many of the interactive information and entertainment systems turning up in newer cars may be distracting enough to increase the risk for accidents, especially for older drivers, a new AAA Foundation study finds.

New technology a distraction to older drivers

COLUMBUS — In-vehicle infotainment technology creates potentially unsafe distractions for all drivers, but is especially demanding for older adults (ages 5

AAA warns of distracted driving in seniors

AAA is advising of a new danger when it comes to distracted driving - seniors are getting distracted by in-vehicle information systems.

AAA Research: In-vehicle infotainment systems distracting to older drivers

AAA Research: In-vehicle infotainment systems distracting to older drivers

Could Our Gut Bacteria Keep Us Slim?

Researchers have identified a specific class of bacteria from the gut that prevents mice from becoming obese, suggesting these same microbes may similarly control weight in people.