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World News: Heartbeat could power pacemakers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Experimental device lets heartbeat, not battery, power pacemakers
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: An experimental device that converts energy from a beating heart could provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker, eliminating the need for expensive surgeries to replace pacemakers with depleted batteries, according to results from a study released yesterday.

Researchers in a preliminary study have tested an energy-harvesting device that uses piezoelectricity – the electrical charge generated from motion – to power a pacemaker which requires only small amounts of power. It is a promising technological solution that may eliminate the need for replacements when batteries are spent.

“Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years. You can imagine how many operations they are spared if this new technology is implemented,” said M. Amin Karami, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and research fellow in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Currently, pacemakers must be replaced every five to seven years when their batteries run out, which is both costly and inconvenient.

According to the findings released at the annual American Heart Association scientific conference, researchers measured heartbeat-induced vibrations in the chest. They then used a ‘shaker’ to reproduce the vibrations in a laboratory and connected it to a prototype cardiac energy harvester they developed.

Measurements of the prototype’s performance, based on sets of 100 simulated heartbeats at various heart rates, showed the energy harvester generated more than 10 times the power needed.

Researchers now hope to integrate their technology, which is about half the size of batteries currently used, into commercially-available pacemakers. A nonlinear energy harvester – which uses magnets to enhance power production and make it less sensitive to heart rate changes – was used in the study. It generated enough power from heartbeats, ranging from 20 to 600 beats per minute, to continuously power a pacemaker.

Karami said devices such as cell phones or microwave ovens do not affect the device, which would not work in linear harvesters because they only work well at a specific heart rate. Researchers believe piezoelectricity could also power other implantable cardiac devices such as defibrillators, which also have minimal energy needs.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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World

Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground

Tanutam Thawan

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A tourist walking on a glass bridge in China, looking down at the ground 100 metres below, quickly had to cling onto the bridge’s rails after high winds caused some of the panels of the glass-bottom bridge to shatter.

Reports say the wind blew at up to 145 kilometres per hour, damaging the glass bridge and leaving the tourists stuck in the middle. Firefighters and other emergency responders helped guide the tourist to safety.

The bridge was built at a resort at Piyan Mountain in Longjing. The scenic walkway has been popular among tourists. A photo of the tourists trapped on the damaged bridge was shared on the Chinese social media platform Weibo and other social media sites. One Twitter user reacted to the photo saying “This is basically one of my anxiety dreams played out in the real world.”

Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Daily Mail

 

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World

Third supsect arrested in bomb attack of Maldives ex-president

Neill Fronde

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Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed survived an assasination attempt May 6. (Via Flickr - Presidency Maldives)

After a bomb attack in the Maldives attempting to assassinate former president Mohamed Nasheed, police have arrested a third suspect. The Manhunt has continued in the Maldivian capital city of Malé as the police appealed to the public for any information they may have about another suspect. Religious extremists have been blamed for the attempt on the former president’s life.

Police did not release any details about the person that they arrested other than to confirm that they believed him to be connected to the bombing attack on Thursday. The bomb had been attached to a motorcycle that was parked near the Maldives ex-president’s car, and the owner of that motorcycle along with the second man was already arrested yesterday.

Mohamed Nasheed was not killed by the bomb detonation as he walked to his car, but he was seriously injured and has been hospitalized since the blast. The explosion injured 3 other people including one British national. The ex-president is now the Maldives parliament speaker and his family has tweeted updates about his condition since the bomb blast. He was moved from requiring life-support to intensive care yesterday after removing shrapnel from the blast in a 16-hour surgery. Doctors say one stray piece just barely missed his heart.

Nasheed had been the first democratically elected president of the Maldives in 2008 after decades of one-party rule. But a military coup in 2012 overthrew the government and ended his presidency. He was widely applauded for his progressive push for democracy and climate activism. The Maldives is a collection of 1,192 coral islands with no mountains, making it the lowest nation on Earth at just 1 metre above sea level on average. Nasheed’s pleas for action become a powerfully effective voice against climate change that could submerge the entire country he led.

Officials from the ex-president’s Maldivian Democratic Party have accused religious extremists of the attack believing that it could be politically motivated. But as of now, no group has claimed responsibility. The Maldives is mostly Muslim and has had problems in the past with an Islamic State recruiter injuring 12 Chinese tourists with a homemade bomb in 2007 and sending local recruits to Syria in 2019.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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World

UPDATE: Chinese rocket debris plunges into Indian Ocean

Thaiger

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PHOTO China's Long March 5B Rocket's debris will be crashing down to earth this weekend. (via CBS)

UPDATE:

10.30am (Thai Time) Trackers have confirmed that the debris has splashed down somewhere west of The Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

9.30am (Thai Time)

The Chinese Long March 5B carrier rocket should land in this area… 72.47°E longitude and 2.65°N latitude, just west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. That’s according to China’s National Space Agency.

“Most of the rocket was “destroyed” on re-entry to the atmosphere.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Long March 5B rocket left the Earth on April 29th, launching from Hainan island in China.

The launch was the first part of an 11 part mission to construct China’s own space station in Earth orbit. The Long March 5B rocket was carrying an unmanned Tianhe module as its payload, the first part of many to be constructed together in space. When attached as part of a permanent Chinese space station, it will serve as living quarters for future astronauts.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson reassured that China is monitoring the rocket’s journey very closely and that most parts of the spacecraft would burn up on re-entry. Any debris looks likely to land in international oceans, and the chances of damage being done on dry land is considered to be extremely low.

The US military announced earlier in the week that the rocket would be tracked by US Space Command, calling it an uncontrolled re-entry. Statistically speaking, the debris is most likely to fall into an ocean somewhere as the Earth is 70% covered by water.

As the rocket tears at hypersonic speed into the Earth’s atmosphere, most debris would be quickly incinerated by the heat generated from the re-entry. But another Chinese Long March 5B rocket fell to Earth last year in May 2020 and some parts did hit land, doing damage to some buildings in the Ivory Coast.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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