You should have seen the one that got away

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Dr. Karen Sci­as­cia came back from her Mon­tana fish­ing trip with a whopper of a fish­ing tale: how she helped res­cue a 25-pound moose calf that was be­ing swept away.

Seems Sci­as­cia, a gy­ne­col­o­gist who hails from Red Hill, Pa., was on the Big Hole River in south­west­ern Mon­tana re­cently when she and a guide spot­ted a cow moose with a calf try­ing to cross the river.

“We were watch­ing this adult fe­male strug­gling back and forth, and we didn’t see a baby un­til we got close,” Sci­as­cia told the Mis­sou­lian news­pa­per. “Mom kept push­ing—the cur­rent was pretty swift. The mother bolted and took off across the river. She was try­ing to get across the main por­tion of the chan­nel, and even she strug­gled.”

When the calf stepped off the gravel bar into the wa­ter to fol­low its mother, it was swept down­stream. “It was small, and the river was swift,” Sci­as­cia said. “We lost sight of the baby. It was hurtling down­stream and was be­ing pushed by the river. It was too small to ever fight the cur­rent.”

Sci­as­cia and guide Seth McLean with Four Rivers Fish­ing Co. in Twin Bridges fol­lowed down­river, fi­nally spot­ting the tiny moose’s nose just above the wa­ter. “We got up along­side it, and I just grabbed the lit­tle bug­ger. I scooped it up from the river un­der its front legs,” Sci­as­cia said.

McLean rowed the raft up­stream and snapped a photo be­fore they dropped off the calf at the side of the river. The mother had dis­ap­peared into the woods but re­turned to the river af­ter hear­ing the crying of her young calf. “The mother was head­ing to­ward it. She had come out of the woods and was head­ing to­ward her baby.”

If you think you can fly … a ro­bot

Sure, al­most any­one can have a ro­bot th­ese days. But can you con­trol yours with your mind? And make it fly?

A study sug­gests that mere hu­mans may be able to en­gage in a lit­tle telekine­sis af­ter all—and fly ro­bots by sheer will. And Out­liers thought drones were some­thing to get freaked out about.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota’s Col­lege of Science and En­gi­neer­ing have de­vel­oped a non­in­va­sive sys­tem that’s as ef­fec­tive at read­ing the brain’s signals as an im­planted de­vice.

In the study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Neu­ral En­gi­neer­ing, sub­jects wore a 64-elec­trode cap that worked as an EEG ma­chine to record elec­tri­cal ac­tiv­ity in the brain’s mo­tor cor­tex.

They were asked to imag­ine mov­ing their right hand, left hand or both hands to­gether—thoughts that trig­gered neu­rons to fire in the mo­tor cor­tex. The EEG cap recorded those signals and sent them over Wi-Fi to the quad­copter, which was then in­structed to turn right or left or lift or fall.

Sub­jects faced away from the quad­copter but could track its flight on a screen that re­layed im­ages from an on­board cam­era. Af­ter sev­eral train­ing ses­sions, they were able to fly the quad­copter through two rings sus­pended from the ceil­ing. A group of sub­jects us­ing a key­board to fly the ro­bot served as the con­trol group.

The cool­ness fac­tor aside, the re­searchers said the de­vice has the po­ten­tial to help pa­tients suf­fer­ing from paral­y­sis or neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases.

Lights, ac­tion, CDC!

It’s not all pub­lic health wonk work at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion. Seems the fed­eral agency has won the grand prize at a film fes­ti­val. Not quite Cannes, but cheers, none­the­less.

The CDC and the Safe In­jec­tion Prac­tices Coali­tion took the hon­ors last week at the As­so­ci­a­tion for Pro­fes­sion­als in In­fec­tion Con­trol and Epi­demi­ol­ogy’s third an­nual film fes­ti­val in con­junc­tion with the group’s 40th an­nual con­fer­ence in Fort Laud­erdale, Fla. The win­ner is “Safe In­jec­tion Prac­tices—How to Do it Right.” The video—which runs a lit­tle more than 4 min­utes and can be viewed on YouTube at—por­trays the ex­pe­ri­ences of Joe, an an­i­mated char­ac­ter with hip pain who ac­quires an in­fec­tion from un­safe in­jec­tion prac­tices. As the nar­ra­tor ex­plains, the bac­te­ria from an al­ready-used vial “eas­ily hitched a ride” with the in­jec­tion into Joe’s hip.

“Given the im­pact of un­safe in­jec­tion prac­tices have on the spread of in­fec­tions, we feel that this video can be a great tool to raise aware­ness among health­care providers and con­sumers,” Karen Hoff­man, chair of the APIC 2013 An­nual Con­fer­ence, said in a news re­lease.

And if you’re in the mood for more health­care on the sil­ver screen, the AFI Docs Film Fes­ti­val’s lineup in­cludes nine doc­u­men­taries on health­care and men­tal health themes. The fest runs June 19-23 at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and will fea­ture the lat­est from Acad­emy Award-win­ning di­rec­tor Bar­bara Kop­ple, “Run­ning From Crazy.” The film looks at the fam­ily of author Ernest Hem­ing­way and their strug­gles with men­tal ill­ness and sub­stance abuse. Other films delve into late-term abor­tion providers, Alzheimer’s dis­ease, trau­matic brain in­jury and the unin­sured. More info at afi­


Sci­as­cia helped out a new-found friend dur­ing her trip to Mon­tana.

The CDC video talks about the dangers of reusing “one-dose” vials, which can be­come con­tam­i­nated af­ter the ini­tial use.

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