New Scoliosis Brace that Grows With Patients Wins Dyson Award For Grad Student Who Wants to Make a Difference:
Airy – 2022 James Dyson Award
A University of Cincinnati grad student has invented an adjustable brace for young patients who need to reposition their curved spines, winning a prestigious award for her design genius. Impacting 7 million Americans every year, scoliosis is a curvature in the spine that often occurs before puberty. Despite the large number affected, advancements in braces that treat this medical condition have not changed since the late 1950s. Common braces are bulky, inflexible, and most importantly to teenagers, very noticeable which can deter many youths from wearing the device as often as they should. That’s why Sangyu Xi won the American James Dyson Award for creating a novel prototype called Airy, a breathable, comfortable, and adjustable brace that can accommodate a patient’s growth for up to three years. The exterior color of Airy can also be modified or padding can be removed to make it translucent, allowing young patients to wear the brace confidently. There also is an app paired with the brace also lets physicians communicate with patients in real-time on any adjustments to treatment plans. This brace can even be recycled up to ten times due to the absence of glue in its design. Since Airy’s creation, it has been tested on four teen patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where feedback was extremely positive.
Detailed insight into friction: How objects start to slide:
The researchers dragged a sphere over a glass surface decorated with special fluorescent molecules. Credit: HIMS / UvA
Chemists and physicists at the University of Amsterdam shed light on a crucial aspect of friction: how things begin to slide. Using fluorescence microscopy and dedicated fluorescent molecules, they are able to pinpoint how and when the friction at the contact between two objects is overcome and sliding starts to occur. These concepts were found through using a sphere marked with fluorescent molecules that light up when it touches a surface and even allowed the researchers to track the magnitude of the force as well. One of the key questions for the stability of many systems is how and when objects start to slide with respect to each other. For example, how an earthquake causes sliding between the ground and a building would be included in this. Basically, when this happens a contact area is formed by the many microscopic protrusions of the two interfaces that touch and interlock. Then shearing force is applied to the objects, causing them to slide along their surfaces, breaking the initial contact area.
A protogalaxy in the Milky Way may be our galaxy’s original nucleus:
A population of millions of stars near the center of the Milky Way (shown) is the original seed from which the galaxy grew, researchers say. The eight-star "teapot" in the constellation Sagittarius can be seen on the left.
New data from the Gaia spacecraft has revealed the full extent of what seems to be the galaxy’s original nucleus, the ancient stellar population that the rest of the Milky Way grew around which came together more than 12.5 billion years ago. The Milky Way’s ancient heart is a round protogalaxy that spans nearly 18,000 light-years and possesses roughly 100 million times the mass of the sun in stars, or about 0.2 percent of the Milky Way’s current stellar mass. This was found in a study done by Walter Rix and colleagues through searching through the GAIA spacecraft database, sifting through 2 million stars within a broad region around the galaxy’s center, which lies in the constellation Sagittarius. The astronomers then examined how those stars move through space, retaining only the ones that don’t dart off into the vast halo of metal-poor stars engulfing the Milky Way’s disk. The end result: a sample of 18,000 ancient stars that represents the kernel around which the entire galaxy blossomed. By accounting for stars obscured by dust, Rix estimates that the protogalaxy is between 50 million and 200 million times as massive as the sun.