VR medical training 🏥, Robot food 🤖 and Chipotle food safety fine 🤢!

Technology


Doctors and nurses are using VR to learn skills to treat coronavirus patients

At Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, more than 300 doctors have learned skills such as how to assess a patient’s symptoms or perform CPR while wearing protective gear, through VR. The hospital uses software from startup Virti, which provides detailed feedback and metrics on which procedures medical professionals may need more practice with. “One simulation puts the user alone in an isolation room, where they can see nurses and doctors come in and out, so they can get an idea of how scary it is for patients. It’s easy to forget the basics of communicating through the masks, so scenarios like this help with bedside manner.”

Google’s data centers will process some tasks when clean energy is abundant

Google has detailed a new technology called carbon-intelligent computing that optimizes its data centres to do more work where there’s greater availability of clean energy from sources like wind turbines and solar farms. The platform can reduce the carbon impact of its data centres without the need for additional hardware and without impacting the performance of its most popular services, including Search, Maps and YouTube. The company is using the tech at some of its biggest “hyperscale” data centres across the world.

Science


Penn Engineering’s new scavenger technology allows robots to ‘eat’ metal for energy

When electronics need their own power sources, there are two basic options: batteries and harvesters, with both having their drawbacks. New research from the University of Pennsylvania’s is bridging the gap between these two fundamental technologies in the form of a “metal-air scavenger”. This metal-air scavenger works like a battery providing power by repeatedly breaking and forming a series of chemical bonds. It also works like a harvester, in that power is supplied by energy in its environment: specifically, the chemical bonds in metal and air surrounding the metal-air scavenger.

Lung-Heart Super Sensor on a Chip Tinier Than a Ladybug

A new study shows how a sensor chip smaller than a ladybug records multiple lung and heart signals along with body movements and could enable future health monitoring. Vibrations from bodily motions and sounds put part of the chip in flux, making the voltage flux too, creating readable electronic outputs. In human testing, the chip has recorded a variety of signals from the mechanical workings of the lungs and the heart with clarity, signals that often escape meaningful detection by current medical technology. The signals are recorded in sync, potentially offering the big picture of a patient’s heart and lung health.

Business


Chipotle to pay largest-ever food safety fine, $25 million, for illness outbreak that sickened 1,100

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will pay $25 million to settle criminal charges related to the food-borne illness outbreaks that sickened more than 1,100 people between 2015 and 2018. In a July 2018 case, 647 people who ate at an Ohio location reported illness from a pathogen that grows quickly when food is not kept at the proper temperature. Some employees also reported that they were pressured to work while sick. “Chipotle failed to ensure that its employees both understood and complied with its food safety protocols, resulting in hundreds of customers across the country getting sick.”

Amazon launches its first African AWS datacenters as demand for cloud services surges

Amazon has officially opened its first datacenters in Africa, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud division launching three new availability zones in Cape Town, South Africa. Demand for cloud services has surged due to the COVID-19 crisis, with businesses embracing bandwidth-intensive remote working options like video-conferencing and individuals on lockdown consuming more internet-based services. This could alleviate a little stress from AWS datacenters elsewhere in the world, though the main benefit for Amazon is that it’s now in a better position to appeal to African companies.

Miscellaneous


Lebanon becomes first Arab country to legalise cannabis for medical use

Lebanese legislators approved a law legalising the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and industrial use. The decision makes Lebanon the first Arab country to legalise marijuana growing, offers economic incentives for the debt-ridden state. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime ranked Lebanon in 2018 as one of the world’s top five producers of cannabis. It makes the state the sole proprietor for trading cannabis, which has been grown illicitly for decades in Bekaa, in the east of the country.

Man runs around his bed for more than 10 hours to replicate ultramarathon

A Russian man in the far eastern city of Vladivostok ran circles around his bed for more than 10 hours in an effort to replicate completing a 100-kilometer ultramarathon. Dmitry had planned to run the 250-kilometer (155-mile) Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, but instead found himself stuck at home due to the coronavirus. “My head started spinning and my leg was aching on one side, so every 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) I changed the direction I was running.” He was inspired by a Frenchman who ran a marathon on his balcony last month, but decided to take it further.

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