Listen to the Toilet — It Could Detect Disease #ASA183

Researchers describe how a noninvasive microphone sensor could identify bowel diseases without collecting any identifiable information. They tested the technique on audio data from online sources, transforming each audio sample of an excretion event into a spectrogram, which essentially captures the sound in an image. The images were fed to a machine learning algorithm that learned to classify each event based on its features. The algorithm’s performance was tested against data with and without background noises.

Muscle Models Mimic Diabetes, Inform Personalized Medicine

Scientists are using in vitro skeletal muscle engineering to gain a better understanding of the complex genetic and environmental factors underlying diabetes, putting lab-grown, healthy skeletal muscle tissues in a state resembling diabetes or growing skeletal muscle from diabetic patients’ muscle stem cells. In Biophysics Reviews, researchers describe how skeletal muscle engineering has advanced significantly during the past few decades and recent developments that make it easier to explore diabetes in humans and have led to more personalized medicine.

Tiny Magnetic Particles Enable New Material to Bend, Twist, and Grab

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University has developed a soft polymer material, called magnetic shape memory polymer, that uses magnetic fields to transform into a variety of shapes. The material could enable a range of new applications from antennas that change frequencies on the fly to gripper arms for delicate or heavy objects.