NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for December, 2014

Pitt Group Working to Introduce a New World for Wheelchairs

Wheelchair users around the planet long have experienced issues with availability of equipment, repair, manufacture and oversight. In fact, even standards and professionalism across the United States vary dramatically.

Now a group of University of Pittsburgh scientists will be attempting to unify the wheelchair world – thanks to a two-year, $2.3 million sub-award from the U.S. Agency for International Development and Advancing Partners and Communities. (more…)

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Latest Research: Quadraplegic Shapes Robot Hand in Multiple Degrees

BCI-10D horizontal

Two years ago, the world saw Jan Scheuermann, a woman with quadriplegia, feed herself chocolate using a robot arm she controlled with her thoughts. Last night, a University of Pittsburgh research team published their latest findings in the Journal of Neural Engineering: Scheuermann was able to shape the robot hand into several positions to pick up a variety of objects, achieving what it is believed to be the highest degree of control of a prosthetic arm to date. (more…)

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E-Cigarette Poisonings May Increase as Vaping Gains Popularity

Vapor stores are popping up around the country as the subculture of “vaping” grows.  The term refers to e-cigarettes that emit a vapor–like mist instead of smoke.  Some non-smokers and smokers looking to quit have adopted the e-cigarette habit as an alternative to smoking.

It remains unclear whether or not e-cigarettes are safe when used properly, but they have significant risks when the liquid nicotine is accidentally ingested or exposed to the skin.  The recent death of a child in New York after drinking the fluid from an e-cigarette highlights the dangers of e-cigarettes to children. (more…)

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Harnessing the World’s Infatuation With Video Games for Better Health

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – the biggest movie opening of all time when it was released in 2011 – made $90 million in its first day. Sounds pretty impressive. Until you learn that the video game Grand Theft Auto made $800 million in its first day.

Video gaming is an incredibly powerful tool to influence human behavior – between 1 and 2 billion people worldwide play video games for a combined 3 billion hours every week. (more…)

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