Pain in the Neck? New Surgical Method Could be Game-changing

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is widely used to treat spinal disorders. The fusion involves placing a bone graft or “cage” and/or implants where the surgically removed damaged disc was originally located to stabilize and strengthen the area. The risk factors for cage migration are multifactorial and include patient, radiological characteristics, surgical techniques and postoperative factors. A study is the first to evaluate the effect of the range of motion, cage migration and penetration using variable angle screws and cervical spine models. The plate developed and tested by the researchers provided directional stability and excellent fusion, showing promising clinical outcomes for patients with degenerative cervical spine disease.

Melting ice caps may not shut down ocean current

Most simulations of our climate’s future may be overly sensitive to Arctic ice melt as a cause of abrupt changes in ocean circulation, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Climate scientists count the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (or AMOC) among the biggest tipping points on the way to a planetary climate disaster.

Evacuating under dire wildfire scenarios

Climate change has made wildfires in the West catastrophic—and common disaster responses are unprepared for this new reality. A team of researchers led by the University of Utah proposed a framework for simulating dire scenarios, which the authors define as scenarios where there is less time to evacuate an area than is required.

Scientists Use Supercomputers to Study Reliable Fusion Reactor Design, Operation

A team used two DOE supercomputers to complete simulations of the full-power ITER fusion device and found that the component that removes exhaust heat from ITER may be more likely to maintain its integrity than was predicted by the current trend of fusion devices.

Advanced Simulations Reveal How Air Conditioning Spreads COVID-19 Aerosols

A restaurant outbreak in China was widely reported as strong evidence of airflow-induced transmission of COVID-19, but it lacked a detailed investigation about exactly how transmission occurred. In Physics of Fluids, researchers at the University of Minnesota report using advanced simulation methods to capture the complex flows that occur when the cold airflow from air conditioners interacts with the hot plume from a dining table and the transport of virus-loading particles within such flows.

Sharing Elevators during COVID

With COVID-19 vaccines in reach, city officials, business administrators, and high-rise building managers are planning how to safely open offices as people come back to work. Columbia engineers have been exploring solutions to this problem, with real-world data and context provided by the Office of the Mayor of New York City. They used mathematical modeling and epidemiological principles to design interventions for queuing safely in elevators during a pandemic, without having to program any elevators.

Supercomputers Aid Scientists Studying the Smallest Particles in the Universe

Using the nation’s fastest supercomputer, Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of nuclear physicists developed a promising method for measuring quark interactions in hadrons and applied the method to simulations using quarks with close-to-physical masses.

CARES Act funds major upgrade to Corona supercomputer for COVID-19 work

With funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, chipmaker AMD and information technology company Supermicro have upgraded the supercomputing cluster Corona, providing additional resources to scientists for COVID-19 drug discovery and vaccine research

Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19?

If CDC guidelines aren’t enough to convince you that face shields alone shouldn’t be used to stop the spread of COVID-19, then maybe a new visualization study will. Researchers simulated coughing and sneezing from a mannequin’s mouth using a laser light to visualize droplets expelled. They tested a plastic face shield and found that they block the initial forward motion of the exhaled jet, however, aerosolized droplets are able to move around the visor with relative ease.

Standardized Curriculum Introduces ICU Nurses to ECMO

Vanderbilt University Medical Center designed and rapidly deployed a curriculum specifically to equip nurses new to ECMO with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to provide proficient and safe care for patients receiving ECMO. The pre-COVID ECMO training proved to be an effective, resource-efficient and pragmatic solution that can be used across different types of ICUs and across institutions.

Ultraviolet Light Exposes Contagion Spread from Improper PPE Use

Despite PPE use, reports show that many health care workers contracted COVID-19. A novel training technique reinforces the importance of using proper procedures to put on and take off PPE when caring for patients during the pandemic. Researchers vividly demonstrate how aerosol-generating procedures can lead to exposure of the contagion with improper PPE use. The most common error made by the health care workers was contaminating the face or forearms during PPE removal.

Simulation-based Training Helps Providers Prepare for Prone Position Ventilation for Patients With ARDS

An interprofessional simulation-based educational program helped Mount Sinai Hospital train nearly 90% of its medical ICU staff to care for patients in prone position, as part of its 2018 implementation of a new protocol related to prone position ventilation for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

FAU Smart City Project Paves the Way for Forecasting COVID-19 Infection Transmission

Researchers are exploring the untapped potential of emerging smart cities to enable hyper-contextualized computational epidemiology to tackle COVID-19. The idea is to partner with the computational epidemiology community to integrate evidence-based models of COVID-19 transmission with hyper-local mobility data to provide place-specific forecasts of disease transmission. When these tools are integrated into city planning efforts, they will provide real-time insights into how mobility changes within the city affect the local population’s susceptibility to future outbreaks.

Simulating Borehole Ballooning Helps Ensure Safe Drilling of Deep-Water Oil, Gas

A device which simulates borehole ballooning, a detrimental side effect of deep-water drilling operations, is expected to ensure safe and efficient operations. If not prevented, borehole ballooning can lead to irreversible damage and serious drilling accidents, which can result in reservoir pollution and huge economic loss. In Review of Scientific Instruments, researchers present a device that can simulate this dangerous phenomenon in the hopes of preventing it.

Stay 6 Feet Apart. Mechanically Simulated Cough Reveals That May Not be Enough

A preliminary, flow visualization experiment suggests that staying 6 feet apart may not be sufficient. It only took the particles from the simulated cough a couple of seconds to travel 3 feet; in about 12 seconds it reached 6 feet and in about 41 seconds it reached around 9 feet. For a heavy cough, the particles can even travel up to 12 feet. In addition, a face mask doesn’t stop the particles 100 percent, but it does slow down the cough jets.

Upgrades for LLNL supercomputer from AMD, Penguin Computing aid COVID-19 research

To assist in the COVID-19 research effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the Lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing (HPC) cluster with an in-kind contribution of cutting-edge AMD Instinct™ accelerators, expected to nearly double the peak performance of the machine.

Lab researchers aid COVID-19 response in antibody, anti-viral research

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists are contributing to the global fight against COVID-19 by combining artificial intelligence/machine learning, bioinformatics and supercomputing to help discover candidates for new antibodies and pharmaceutical drugs to combat the disease.

FAU Emergency Medicine Resident Physicians Train for Coronavirus Contagion

With seven reported cases in Florida to-date, FAU emergency medicine resident physicians prepared for the threat of a coronavirus contagion using a simulated or “mock” disaster scenario at FORTS Medical. The simulation involved a cruise ship dock-setting scenario and mock passengers were transported by bus. The passengers stormed into the large warehouse to challenge the resident physicians to react and respond quickly to triage the patients. About 100 people participated in the half-day simulation including local nurses, paramedics, and student and community actors.

Sustaining simulation education requires evidence of effectiveness

Simulation education has evolved significantly over the years and has become essential to preparing nurses for clinical practice, but sustaining its evolution will require greater evidence of its effectiveness, according to a summary of Columbia University School of Nursing’s 2018 inaugural “Innovations in Simulation Summit,” which appears in the October 2019 issue of Clinical Simulation in Nursing.