Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

REPATRIATING REMAINS TO THE PONCA TRIBE OF NEBRASKA

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO REPATRIATE REMAINS AND OBJECTS TO THE PONCA TRIBE OF NEBRASKA – Transfer to be Completed November 22nd. The skeletal remains of 10 individuals along with about 300 funerary objects will be repatriated to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska on November 22nd. The transfer is being conducted by the Nebraska State Historical Society’s State Archeology Office and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska under the requirements of the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the Nebraska Unmarked Human Burial Sites and Skeletal Remains Protection Act.

All remains and objects, many being glass beads, date back to the 1700s and 1800s. They were inadvertently discovered during construction projects in Knox, Platte, and Butler counties. When human skeletal remains and burial goods are discovered and law enforcement determines a crime is not involved, Nebraska State Historical Society Archeology staff will be contacted by the appropriate county attorney’s office. Staff members are required to conduct an on-site investigation to determine the origin and identity of the remains and promptly relate the findings in writing to the county attorney and interested parties, who may include: a descendant Indian Tribe, a descendant family, or the Nebraska Indian Commission.

This specific repatriation is a joint project of the Nebraska State Historical Society, The Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Tribal members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will reclaim and prepare the remains for transfer and reburial in the Ponca homeland along the lower Niobrara River.

Lincoln, NE, November 17, 2017 – About The Nebraska State Historical Society

https://history.nebraska.gov/

The Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS) collects, preserves, and opens to all the histories we share.  In addition to the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln and historic sites around the state, NSHS administers the State Archives and Library; the State Historic Preservation Office; the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, Omaha; the Office of the State Archeologist; publishes Nebraska History magazine and Nebraska History News; and is responsible for the administration of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission. More at History.nebraska.gov or follow us on Facebook.

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Smart bandage could promote better, faster healing | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nebraska researcher Ali Tamayol has co-designed a smart bandage that can strategically release multiple medications to accelerate healing and fight infection.

SMARTPHONE-CONTROLLED DESIGN PRECISELY DELIVERS MEDICATION
Someday, a smart bandage could heal chronic wounds or battlefield injuries.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have designed a smart bandage that could eventually heal chronic wounds or battlefield injuries with every fiber of its being.

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Advanced Functional Materials

The bandage consists of electrically conductive fibers coated in a gel that can be individually loaded with infection-fighting antibiotics, tissue-regenerating growth factors, painkillers or other medications.

A microcontroller no larger than a postage stamp, which could be triggered by a smartphone or other wireless device, sends small amounts of voltage through a chosen fiber. That voltage heats the fiber and its hydrogel, releasing whatever cargo it contains.

Smart Bandage
Video: Smart bandage

A single bandage could accommodate multiple medications tailored to a specific type of wound, the researchers said, while offering the ability to precisely control the dose and delivery schedule of those medications. That combination of customization and control could substantially improve or accelerate the healing process, said Ali Tamayol, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Nebraska.

“This is the first bandage that is capable of dose-dependent drug release,” Tamayol said. “You can release multiple drugs with different release profiles. That’s a big advantage in comparison with other systems. What we did here was come up with a strategy for building a bandage from the bottom up.

“This is a platform that can be applied to many different areas of biomedical engineering and medicine.”

The team envisions its smart bandage being used initially to treat chronic skin wounds that stem from diabetes. More than 25 million Americans – and more than 25 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older – could suffer from such wounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that diabetes cases will double or triple by the year 2050.

Ali Tamayol
Ali Tamayol

“The medical cost associated with these types of wounds is tremendous,” Tamayol said. “So there is a big need to find solutions for that.”

Those wounded in combat might also benefit from the bandage’s versatility and customizability, Tamayol said, whether to stimulate faster healing of bullet and shrapnel wounds or prevent the onset of infection in remote environments.

“Soldiers on the battlefield may be suffering from a number of different injuries or infections,” he said. “They might be dealing with a number of different pathogens. Imagine that you have a variable patch that has antidotes or drugs targeted toward specific hazards in the environment.”

Bandage aid

Existing bandages range from basic dry patches to more advanced designs that can passively release an embedded medication over time. To evaluate the potential advantages of their smart bandage, Tamayol and his colleagues at Harvard ran a series of experiments.

In one, the researchers applied a smart bandage loaded with growth factor to wounded mice. When compared with a dry bandage, the team’s version regrew three times as much of the blood-rich tissue critical to the healing process.

Another experiment showed that an antibiotic-loaded version of the bandage could eradicate infection-causing bacteria. Collectively, Tamayol said, the experiments also demonstrated that the heat needed to release the medications did not affect their potency.

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Advanced Functional Materials – A prototype of the team’s design.

Though the researchers have patented their design, it will need to undergo further animal and then human testing before going to market. That could take several years, though the fact that most of the design’s components are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration should streamline the process, Tamayol said.

In the meantime, he said, the researchers are also working to incorporate thread-based sensors that can measure glucose, pH and other health-related indicators of skin tissue. Integrating that capability would allow the team to create a bandage that could autonomously deliver proper treatments.

The authors detailed their design and findings in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. Tamayol authored the study with Harvard’s Ali Khademhosseini, Pooria Mostafalu, Gita Kiaee, Giorgio Giatsidis, Akbar Khalilpour, Mahboobeh Nabavinia, Mehmet Dokmeci and Dennis Orgill, along with Sameer Sonkusale of Tufts University.

The researchers received support from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the National Institutes of Health under grants HL092836, DE019024, EB012597, AR057837, DE021468, HL099073, and EB008392.

Source: Smart bandage could promote better, faster healing | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Open Enrollment Season Study: Americans’ Knowledge on Health Care Topics

As Nebraskans enter the open enrollment season, UnitedHealthcare has worked with an independent polling firm to uncover Americans’ knowledge and opinions about a range of health topics.

The 2017 UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey reveals Americans’ attitudes about five key health care topics: open enrollment, technology trends, health literacy, customer service, and the future of Medicare.

The results, which will be officially announced on Thursday, Oct. 5, include:

  • More Americans are turning to technology first to access health information and care. A growing number (42 percent) said they would be likely to use telemedicine in the future to access care, a 5 percentage point increase from 2016.
  • Most people underestimated the connection between lifestyle choices and disease. Many respondents underestimated the connection between modifiable lifestyle choice and chronic conditions, with just 23 percent of people correctly recognizing that 80 percent or more of premature chronic conditions are linked to controllable decisions such as smoking or poor diet.       
  • Many people say they are prepared for open enrollment. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of people said they are prepared for open enrollment, while 22 percent said they are unprepared.
  • Understanding of basic insurance terms slightly improved. Just 9 percent of respondents successfully defined all four basic health insurance concepts: plan premium, deductible, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximum. That’s a slight improvement from 7 percent a year ago.
  • When it comes to customer service, people prefer live support. Most people (84 percent)
    preferred speaking with a customer service representative, up from 78 percent last year.

If you are interested in the results of the survey, please click here or let me know and I can connect you with Rebecca Madsen, chief consumer officer of UnitedHealthcare. Rebecca can discuss the survey results and provide tips and advice to help consumers more easily navigate the open enrollment process, helping them save money and make more informed health care choices.

 

Chinese History I: Antiquity to Early Imperial (2000 BCE -220 CE) | Confucius Institute | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Take a look at the resource material on China. -keith

Source: Chinese History I: Antiquity to Early Imperial (2000 BCE -220 CE) | Confucius Institute | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Huskers bring the heat to improve biodegradable plastics

Introducing a simple step to the production of plant-derived, biodegradable plastic could improve its properties while overcoming obstacles to manufacturing it on a commercial scale, says new research from Nebraska.

Use link below for the full story….

HUSKERS BRING THE HEAT TO IMPROVE BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS
PHOTOS: Three high-resolution color photos are available at http://go.unl.edu/p8io.

Lincoln, Nebraska, Aug. 31, 2017 – Introducing a simple step to the production of plant-derived, biodegradable plastic could improve its properties while overcoming obstacles to manufacturing it commercially, says new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Jiangnan University.
That step? Bringing the heat.
Nebraska’s Yiqi Yang and colleagues found that raising the temperature of bio-plastic fibers to several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, then slowly allowing them to cool, greatly improved the bio-plastic’s normally lackluster resistance to heat and moisture.
Its thermal approach also allowed the team to bypass solvents and other expensive, time-consuming techniques typically needed to manufacture a commercially viable bio-plastic, the study reported.
Yang said the approach could allow manufacturers of corn-derived plastic – such as a Cargill plant in Blair – to continuously produce the biodegradable material on a scale that at least approaches petroleum-based plastic, the industry standard. Recent research estimates about 90 percent of U.S. plastic goes unrecycled.
“This clean technology makes possible (the) industrial-scale production of commercializable bio-based plastics,” the authors reported.

NOT EASY BEING GREEN

Source: Huskers bring the heat to improve biodegradable plastics | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The Carbon Cycle : Feature Articles

Carbon flows between the atmosphere, land, and ocean in a cycle that encompasses nearly all life and sets the thermostat for Earth’s climate. By burning fossil fuels, people are changing the carbon cycle with far-reaching consequences.

Source: The Carbon Cycle : Feature Articles

A New Solar Still to Provide Clean Water For All | Science & Tech – BabaMail

A New Solar Still to Provide Clean Water For All

Planet Earth is now home to some 7.5 billion people. In spite of the ever-increasing population and life expectancy figures, one of the sad truths of our world is that more than one in 10 people do not have access to clean drinking water  – but all that might be about to change.Researchers at the State University of New York have created a portable solar still, which is a technology that will allow people to generate their own drinking water much like they generate energy with solar panels.

water

Solar stills have actually been around for millennia. They’re essentially black-bottomed vessels that filled with water after it has been trapped using a clear material (such as a sheet of plastic). The suns heats up the black container, causing the water to evaporate and become trapped in its upper layer, leaving contaminants and dirt behind.

The problems with solar stills to date have been the cost to set one up, and the amount of surface area required to produce an adequate amount of clean water each day. The researchers at the State University of New York managed to improve the ancient design in two fundamental ways, namely ensuring that it’s just the topmost layer of the water that gets heated for less lost energy, and employing materials that would make the new solar still design viable for the poorest people in the world to own.

water

Materials include a fiber-rich paper, similar to the paper used to print currency on, that’s coated in carbon black. The latter is a cheap powder that is left as a by-product of oil and tar production. Polystyrene blocks are also cut up and turned into 25 connected sections.

The polystyrene foam allows the solar still to float on the surface untreated water and acts as an insulating barrier, preventing sunlight from heating up too much of the water below. Evaporated water is trapped by a clear acrylic cover before being funneled into a collection vessel.

water

According to a report on the new solar still design, it channels the energy in sunlight into evaporating water with 88% efficiency. This level of efficiency allows the new design with a 1-square-meter surface area to purify 1 liter of water every hour, which is four times faster than commercially-available solar still designs.

At an estimated cost of just $1.60 per square meter, providing the minimal level water needed to sustain a family of four might cost as little as $5 per solar still. Are we on the cusp of a water revolution? Only time will tell.

Source: A New Solar Still to Provide Clean Water For All | Science & Tech – BabaMail

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