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.

Can electrical stimulation be useful in treating certain psychiatric conditions, like depression? A study is underway at the Lindner Center of HOPE.

remote learning
Pixabay

Cincinnati Public Schools and other districts around the globe are the target of hundreds of thousands of hacking attempts almost daily. Cyber criminals see a COVID-forced remote learning environment as a vulnerability in internet security. As hackers scramble to get in, schools are looking for ways to keep them out.

In the next 5-10 years you may be charging your electric car at what used to be a gas station. And the charging will take only as long as the time it took to pump gas - five minutes.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

It may not be too much longer before airports around the world use self-driving vehicles to take you to your terminal, transport your luggage and clear the runway. Tests are underway now for the luggage part at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport with an autonomous tractor.

MSD

Testing wastewater is an easy and relatively cheap way to detect disease in a community. Even though scientists were unable to effectively use it as an early warning for  COVID-19, their research is expected to help with other viruses and bacteria.

pixy.org

Oranges and grapefruit are under siege in California. Growers are under pressure to protect all citrus varieties from an increasing threat that's already hit Florida.

Yuancheng Lu

One of the leading causes of blindness may be able to be reversed with some genetic engineering. Two Earlham College graduates were instrumental in the groundbreaking glaucoma research.

Courtesy of Joby Aviation

The Jetson's flying car is closer to reality now that the Air Force is partnering with pioneers in the flying car field. Researchers will test and evaluate the technology in Springfield for military and commercial purposes.

flu shot
Courtesy of Cincinnati Children's

It may not be surprising that the COVID vaccine is more effective than the flu shot. Scientists in Cincinnati are hard at work developing and testing what would be a holy grail - a universal flu vaccine that would protect in one dose against all strains of the flu.

Courtesy of Battelle

Ohio has its first success in identifying skeletal remains using a technology not previously available to the state's crime labs.

Corey Wallace

In what may be the most sophisticated real-time monitoring of groundwater, University of Cincinnati researchers are studying changes in water quality, vegetation and greenhouses gases in the Great Miami River Watershed.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

There are five very noticeable travelers at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. They have two wheels and lots of artificial intelligence. In fact, they're robots and are among an increasing number of solutions for contactless travel at CVG and other airports.

spine
Jesper Aggergaard / Unsplash

University of Cincinnati researchers are starting a clinical trial to determine if they can detect brain cancer in spinal fluid. This kind of a test, called a "liquid biopsy," appears to be more accurate than MRIs which sometimes prompt unnecessary surgery.

huawei
Ng Han Guan / AP

Experts say China appears to be winning the technology infrastructure war and has signed more than a dozen memorandums of understanding with countries around the world. A new report from the Council on Foreign Relations recommends the U.S. take steps to advance its own internet model and create a digital trade zone.

computer
Pixabay

Not long after Northern Kentucky University computer science professor James Walden's presentation on election security issues Wednesday, Iran was accused of accessing election information and sending emails to Florida voters. Walden lays out the most serious threats and has some advice on how to make elections more secure.

needpix.com

In the largest study of its kind, brain scans show people who are overweight and obese have a greater chance of reduced blood flow and brain activity. Scientists say low blood flow is a risk factor in developing Alzheimer's disease.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

U.S. cities and their residents are being preemptive to protect privacy when it comes to an increasing number of drones with cameras.

Reebok

Waste from the coffee you drank this morning at McDonald's may end up in a brand new Lincoln Continental. Reebok's new shoe offering this year is made from plants. These are just two examples of an increasing number of eco-friendly products by companies working toward a circular economy.

University of Cincinnati

A Phase 2 clinical trial is getting underway at UC and nearly 20 other sites across the U.S. to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug razuprotafib in treating COVID-19 patients. Researchers say this drug could possibly prevent "long-haulers syndrome."

Courtesy of Control Bionics

An international company with offices in Milford is expanding the ways it can help people with ALS and cerebral palsy communicate.

Courtesy Serum Institute of India

The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines, is already preparing to produce a COVID-19 vaccine once it's developed. But other plants around the world will also be needed for the billions of doses required.

Courtesy of Tengai Unbiased

Video job interviews are becoming the norm, especially during COVID-19. But there is some question as to how fairly you are evaluated in this medium.

Drone Express

A New Jersey high-tech logistics company, with plans to deliver grocery and drug store items to consumers via drone, is testing a unique kind of radar system in Springfield, Ohio, for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

Pixabay

People who are deaf and hearing impaired will soon be able to experience some of the emotion that the hearing public can when listening to music. A Cincinnati student is perfecting the experience with an invention he intends to make free and web-based.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

When President Trump's campaign sent out texts to a million voters last month, red flags went off causing Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to block them. The carriers, the FCC and the campaign are trying to get it all sorted out so that this peer-to-peer messaging can continue. The campaign claims it was not auto-dialing, but it caused some to wonder, what are the rights of cell phone users, companies and campaigns?

B. Hayes / NIST

With 60-70% of your face covered up by a mask, it isn't surprising that facial recognition algorithms designed pre-pandemic aren't working very well. The U.S. government did a study that proves this as companies and security agencies scramble to design new ones.

Pixabay

With an 80% success rate in contact tracing, few can match Northern Kentucky Health Department's lead on notifying and following up with potential COVID-19 targets. 

Ethos Labs

A Newport company has developed what it says is a more accurate test for COVID-19 antibodies. It gives you a percentage of how protected your body is if exposed to the virus again. But even that company - Ethos Laboratories - says nobody knows how long the antibodies last.

Courtesy of U.S. Military

Districts around the country are announcing their back-to-school plans, and in the age of coronavirus, many include remote learning. For some teachers and students, at-home learning didn't go very well this spring after the pandemic forced them to stay at home. How are districts looking to improve, and what can they do differently?

Courtesy of Venti-Now

Brazil, the second worst country in the world for COVID-19 cases, is getting some help from Cincinnati. The new non-profit Venti-Now will send ventilators there for free that it designed, built and tested in just three weeks. Tanzania is also on the list to get them.

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