Bionic Eye Completes First Phase Of Testing

Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, its Doheny Retina Institute and Second Sight, LLC, are reporting on the initial results of their groundbreaking, FDA-approved feasibility trial of an intraocular retinal prosthesis that appears to be able to restore some degree of sight to the blind.
“We have successfully completed enrollment and implantation of three patients in the trial,” says Mark Humayun, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School. “And we have found that the devices are indeed electrically conducting, and can be used by the patients to detect light or even to distinguish between objects such as a cup or plate in forced choice tests conducted with one patient so far.”

Airfare analyzer could save big bucks by advising when to buy tickets

It’s a classic dilemma for air travelers in today’s world of wildly varying ticket prices ? should you purchase now if the rate seems reasonable, or wait for a better deal and take the risk that the price will go up? Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Southern California appear to have taken out some of the uncertainty with a new computer program that approaches a 90 percent score in saving money by predicting air fares.

Pharmacy consultations cut death, hospitalization rates

Patients may be less likely to die or be hospitalized from drug-related complications if they talk to their pharmacists about their prescriptions, new research finds. Intensive pharmacy consultations for patients taking “high-risk” medications contributed to an 8 percent drop in the number of drug-related deaths over two years, compared to the death rate among similar patients who received minimal or no pharmacy consultations, according to the study.

‘Hormonal’ software could help satellite self-assemble in space

A unique design for self-organizing robots controlled by “hormonal” software is moving toward space. At the Robosphere 2002 conference held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley November 14-15, Wei-Min Shen of the USC School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) presented an overview of an audacious project to have pieces of the proposed half-mile-long Space Solar Power System satellite put themselves together–self-assemble–without the help of astronauts.