Focus On Technology

Mondays at 6:44 a.m.; 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Psilocybin, a key ingredient in hallucinogenic magic mushrooms, is time consuming and expensive to make. That could be a problem when producing it as a drug to treat depression and addiction. Miami University researchers have apparently figured out a way to make psychedelic drugs faster and cheaper.

Courtesy of Ohio Department of Transportation

Ohio continues to give the green light to businesses that want to help pioneer the development of self-driving vehicles. Just last week at a COSI conference, Lt. Governor Jon Husted was wooing Toyota, Waymo, Ford, the American Trucking Associations, AAA and others.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

More than a year ago, Shepherd Chemical, a fourth-generation family-owned manufacturer of specialty chemicals, started feeling the heat from China. But after making a few changes that didn't cost anything, it cut its production time by more than half. Now it's selling its products in Asia.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A once rare and potentially deadly condition among pregnant women is becoming more common. Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center are trying to pinpoint a cause and develop a treatment.

Steven Depolo / Flickr

At least four Southwest Ohio schools are participating in a program which uses a smart thermometer and an app to track and stop the spread of disease.

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Atsuo Sasaki, Ph.D., associate professor at the UC College of Medicine, says there's an FDA-approved drug that can shrink brain and other types of inoperable cancer in animal models by targeting the energy production mechanism of cancerous cells.

AP Photo/Molly Corfman

New research from scientists at Washington University in St. Louis looks at whether nine, 10 and 11 year olds who play team sports are less likely to become depressed.

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Professional and collegiate sports teams have begun to experiment with cryptocurrency. Some have tried it and backed away, while others have strict limits. Some even allow ticket purchases with it.

Courtesy of Tengai

How would you feel about a robot interviewing you for a job? Swedish company Tengai is working on an English version of its robot which it claims will ask you questions without biases. Other companies, like HireVue and Humantic, formerly DeepSense, dig for personality traits based on digital interviews and social media accounts.

Vincent Walter / Purdue University

Purdue University has installed the first all-digital nuclear reactor system in the United States. Scientists say the technology will allow for more data analysis which will make plants safer.

Clovernook
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Advances in printing technology are breaking down barriers for the blind and visually impaired. Researchers in India have created software to display images, text and audio stories side by side. That has the potential to cut printing costs by 90%. New printers at Cincinnati's Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired are also able to cut costs because they decrease the amount of time workers must spend hand-creating images.

Courtesy of Mercer University

Behind the scenes of world conflict are scientists solving problems on behalf of human rights organizations. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has a program called On-call Scientist and it's still going strong after decades of success.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Increasingly, sickle cell anemia patients in the U.S. are moving away from blood transfusions and instead using a medicine called Hydroxyurea to control their disease and eliminate the symptoms. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers are perfecting a technique that determines the correct dosage for each patient in one day.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Southwest Ohio leads the state in the number of people with developmental disabilities benefiting from tele-caregiving. That's when technology takes the place of overnight live-in caregivers who are often hard to hire and retain.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A Swedish company is marketing a stationary bike designed to help seniors reminisce in a safe and secure environment. Residents of The Kenwood by Senior Star retirement community are lining up to use it.

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To prevent overheating, U.S. power plants use as much water as the nations farms, 133 billion gallons a day. That puts an enormous strain on the water supply. But two University of Cincinnati professors have invented a way to cool things down that doesn't use any water. It uses air.

Demetrix

At least a dozen bio-tech companies plan to make the main chemicals in marijuana synthetically, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Kylie Johnson / Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati

As experts try to get to the bottom of what's ailing bees, some beekeepers are using sensors to monitor the hives and uncover data that could help the species survive.

Rice University

Researchers at Rice University, the University of Washington and others have created a working blood vessel network on a 3D printer that could eventually be part of a human lung or liver. But they stress it is only one step towards building organs that have very complex structures.

Uber economic and demand modeling

You could ride in a flying car as early as 2023 as long as you have the nerve and the money. Uber appears to be leading the pack of about a dozen developers. Research is also happening in Greater Cincinnati. UC students are designing their own model and hope to win $1 million in a competition.

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