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TGA Maximo: New 4-wheel Folding Mobility Scooter

TGA Maximo: New 4-wheel Folding Mobility Scooter | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Information regarding the TGA launch of the folding Maximo mobility scooter at Naidex National in 2014.

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Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets
Articles on the joys and challenges of being differently abled and the gadgets that help us be independent and productive.
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5 Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget | Marla Murasko's Musings From A Special Needs Mom | special needs, family, fashion, travel and more

5 Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget | Marla Murasko's Musings From A Special Needs Mom | special needs, family, fashion, travel and more | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

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Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions

Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Researchers find European tourism sector losing out on 142 billion a year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with disabilities.

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Retinitis Pigmentosa: Inherited Eye Diseases

Retinitis Pigmentosa: Inherited Eye Diseases | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Information regarding Retinitis Pigmentosa a group of inherited diseases that cause retinal degeneration in the eyes that causes gradual decline in vision.

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Tactile Interface Technology for People with Vision Disabilities

Tactile Interface Technology for People with Vision Disabilities | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Learning from the blind to effectively use multiple fingers and teach these strategies to sighted individuals who have recently lost vision or are using tactile displays.

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Oldest case of Down's syndrome from medieval France

Oldest case of Down's syndrome from medieval France | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

The oldest confirmed case of Down's syndrome has been found: the skeleton of a child who died 1500 years ago in early medieval France. According to the archaeologists, the way the child was buried hints that Down's syndrome was not necessarily stigmatized in the Middle Ages.

Down's syndrome is a genetic disorder that delays a person's growth and causes intellectual disability. People with Down's syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21, rather than the usual two. It was described in the 19th century, but has probably existed throughout human history. However there are few cases of Down's syndrome in the archaeological record.

 

The new example comes from a 5th- and 6th-century necropolis near a church in Chalon-sur-Saône in eastern France. Excavations there have uncovered the remains of 94 people, including the skeleton of a young child with a short and broad skull, a flattened skull base and thin cranial bones. These features are common in people with Down's syndrome, says Maïté Rivollat at the University of Bordeaux in France, who has studied the skeleton with her colleagues.

 

"I think the paper makes a convincing case for a diagnosis of Down's syndrome," says John Starbuck at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He has just analyzed a 1500-year-old figurine from the Mexican Tolteca culture that he says depicts someone with Down's syndrome.

 

A similar argument was put forward in a 2011 study that described the 1500-year-old burial in Israel of a man with dwarfism (International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, DOI: 10.1002/oa.1285). The body was buried in a similar manner to others at the site, and archaeologists took that as indicating that the man was treated as a normal member of society.

 


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FOXO1: Single gene switch to convert human gastrointestinal cells to insulin-producing cells

FOXO1: Single gene switch to convert human gastrointestinal cells to insulin-producing cells | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

By switching off a single gene, scientists have converted human gastrointestinal cells into insulin-producing cells, demonstrating in principle that a drug could retrain cells inside a person’s GI tract to produce insulin. The finding raises the possibility that cells lost in type 1 diabetes may be more easily replaced through the reeducation of existing cells than through the transplantation of new cells created from embryonic or adult stem cells. The new research was reported in the online issue of the journal Nature Communications.


"People have been talking about turning one cell into another for a long time, but until now we hadn't gotten to the point of creating a fully functional insulin-producing cell by the manipulation of a single target," said the study's senior author, Domenico Accili, MD, the Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Diabetes (in Medicine) at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).

 

The finding raises the possibility that cells lost in type 1 diabetes may be more easily replaced through the reeducation of existing cells than through the transplantation of new cells created from embryonic or adult stem cells.

 

For nearly two decades, researchers have been trying to make surrogate insulin-producing cells for type 1 diabetes patients. In type 1 diabetes, the body's natural insulin-producing cells are destroyed by the immune system.

 

Although insulin-producing cells can now be made in the lab from stem cells, these cells do not yet have all the functions of naturally occurring pancreatic beta cells.

 

This has led some researchers to try instead to transform existing cells in a patient into insulin-producers. Previous work by Dr. Accili's lab had shown that mouse intestinal cells can be transformed into insulin-producing cells; the current Columbia study shows that this technique also works in human cells.

 

The Columbia researchers were able to teach human gut cells to make insulin in response to physiological circumstances by deactivating the cells' FOXO1 gene. Accili and postdoctoral fellow Ryotaro Bouchi first created a tissue model of the human intestine with human pluripotent stem cells. Through genetic engineering, they then deactivated any functioning FOXO1 inside the intestinal cells. After seven days, some of the cells started releasing insulin and, equally important, only in response to glucose.

 

The team had used a comparable approach in its earlier, mouse study. In the mice, insulin made by gut cells was released into the bloodstream, worked like normal insulin, and was able to nearly normalize blood glucose levels in otherwise diabetic mice: New Approach to Treating Type I Diabetes? Columbia Scientists Transform Gut Cells into Insulin Factories. That work, which was reported in 2012 in the journal Nature Genetics, has since received independent confirmation from another group.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Peter Phillips's curator insight, July 2, 6:43 PM

New hope for diabetics - without a transplant.

malek's comment, July 10, 7:52 AM
an epiphany when you have it in the family
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, July 13, 10:08 AM

These findings indicate that gastrointestinal cells and insulin producing β cells in the pancreas probably differentiated from the same line of cells during development. Insulin production in gastrointestinal cells is probably deactivated by the FOXO1 gene.

 

This opens up new possibilities as there is already a proof of concept for treating HIV with induced pluripotent stem cells. http://sco.lt/7yg3g9

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Maternal malnutrition may influence health of future generations

Maternal malnutrition may influence health of future generations | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Malnutrition in even just a few weeks of pregnancy could create a 'domino effect' that influences the weight and disease risk of future generations, according to new research in mice.

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U.S. Disability Statistics and Information

Number of people with disability living in the United States and other Disability in America facts and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

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Scientists have created a bionic pancreas that outperforms insulin pumps

Scientists have created a bionic pancreas that outperforms insulin pumps | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

In two random-order, crossover studies with similar but distinct designs, we compared glycemic control with a wearable, bihormonal, automated, “bionic” pancreas (bionic-pancreas period) with glycemic control with an insulin pump (control period) for 5 days in 20 adults and 32 adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The automatically adaptive algorithm of the bionic pancreas received data from a continuous glucose monitor to control subcutaneous delivery of insulin and glucagon.


Among the adults, the mean plasma glucose level over the 5-day bionic-pancreas period was 138 mg per deciliter (7.7 mmol per liter), and the mean percentage of time with a low glucose level (<70 mg per deciliter [3.9 mmol per liter]) was 4.8%. After 1 day of automatic adaptation by the bionic pancreas, the mean (±SD) glucose level on continuous monitoring was lower than the mean level during the control period (133±13 vs. 159±30 mg per deciliter [7.4±0.7 vs. 8.8±1.7 mmol per liter], P<0.001) and the percentage of time with a low glucose reading was lower (4.1% vs. 7.3%, P=0.01). Among the adolescents, the mean plasma glucose level was also lower during the bionic-pancreas period than during the control period (138±18 vs. 157±27 mg per deciliter [7.7±1.0 vs. 8.7±1.5 mmol per liter], P=0.004), but the percentage of time with a low plasma glucose reading was similar during the two periods (6.1% and 7.6%, respectively; P=0.23). The mean frequency of interventions for hypoglycemia among the adolescents was lower during the bionic-pancreas period than during the control period (one per 1.6 days vs. one per 0.8 days, P<0.001)


As compared with an insulin pump, a wearable, automated, bihormonal, bionic pancreas improved mean glycemic levels, with less frequent hypoglycemic episodes, among both adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01762059 and NCT01833988.)


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A Walk in the Park - Maintaining Mobility in Seniors

A Walk in the Park - Maintaining Mobility in Seniors | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Study proves physical activity can help elderly people maintain their mobility and dodge physical disability.

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An Always-Listening App That Alerts the Hearing Impaired To Alarms

An Always-Listening App That Alerts the Hearing Impaired To Alarms | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
In an ideal world, every audible alarm would include a visual indication that something was wrong, so that the hearing impaired would immediately be notified too.

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Accessibility Arcade for disabled gamers opens April 26 at the University of Toronto

Accessibility Arcade for disabled gamers opens April 26 at the University of Toronto | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
The University of Toronto will open its Accessibility Arcade April 26 to showcase technology that allows disabled gamers to play, The Globe and Mail reports.
Created in cooperation with the...

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New Swiffer commercial includes interracial family with amputee dad

New Swiffer commercial includes interracial family with amputee dad | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
It's not a Super Bowl ad, but it does have a lot of people talking.  A new Swiffer advertisement picks up where a Cheerios' ad with an interracial family left off.  In this one, Dad is also an amputee.

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Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block: Our Children Aren't Broken - Thoughts On How Society Treats Disability

Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block: Our Children Aren't Broken - Thoughts On How Society Treats Disability | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

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Lisa Friedman's curator insight, July 21, 7:28 PM
When we spend our lives trying to “fix” our children and our students; no matter how pure our intentions, we perpetuate a societal concept of “normal” that views disability as broken. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpufDo you know Jonathan Mooney? You need to. He’s awesome. This past Spring I heard him speak and I’ve recently finished reading his book, “The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpufDo you know Jonathan Mooney? You need to. He’s awesome. This past Spring I heard him speak and I’ve recently finished reading his book, “The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpuf
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Recent U.S. Disability Statistics from the Census Bureau

Recent U.S. Disability Statistics from the Census Bureau | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
The U.S. Census Bureau provides American disability facts for features for the anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26 .

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Idiopathic Coliosis (AIS) - Pediatric Spinal Deformity Information

Idiopathic Coliosis (AIS) - Pediatric Spinal Deformity Information | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Information regarding AIS a common form of pediatric spinal deformity affecting 3% of children in the world.

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FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time

FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.

 

The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.

 

Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media Lab.

 

For Jerry Berrier, 62, who was born blind, the promise of the FingerReader is its portability and offer of real-time functionality at school, a doctor’s office and restaurants.

 

“When I go to the doctor’s office, there may be forms that I wanna read before I sign them,” Berrier said.

 

He said there are other optical character recognition devices on the market for those with vision impairments, but none that he knows of that will read in real time.


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Chris Carter's curator insight, July 10, 11:39 AM

This is extraordinarily useful!

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New Social Security Policy for Same Sex Relationships

New Social Security Policy for Same Sex Relationships | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
New US Social Security policy lets the agency recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits.

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Distant Triple Monster Black Hole Discovered

Distant Triple Monster Black Hole Discovered | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Astronomers have witnessed a triplet of monster black holes swirling in the center of a distant galaxy, a new study says.

 

Astronomers have learned over the past decade or two that virtually every full-size galaxy such as our own Milky Way has a giant black hole lurking in its core. These monsters weigh in with a mass equal to millions or even billions of stars.


The new observations, however, described in the journal Nature, suggest that many galaxies have not one, but two or more giant black holes in their centers, orbiting each other in a tight gravitational dance that will ultimately lead the objects to merge together into something even more gigantic.


Watching these mergers will offer insight into how gravity behaves when stretched to its limits, astronomers predict, with clues revealed by monster black hole mash-ups such as the just-discovered triplet.


"We were quite surprised to find it," says Roger Deane, of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, lead author of the report. In one sense, Deane and his colleagues shouldn't have been surprised. It's widely accepted that when galaxies come close together, their gravity can force them to form a single agglomeration of stars. In fact, the Milky Way and the (relatively) nearby Andromeda galaxy will probably experience such a merger in about four billion years. Since each galaxy hosts a single massive black hole, the resulting single galaxy should end up with two.


Deane and his group originally became interested in this particular galaxy, known by the unwieldy name SDSS J150243.091111557.3, because it had been flagged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (thus the "SDSS" in the name) as having what looked like two sources of bright light in its core.


That indicated the possibility of two black holes there, with the light coming not from the invisible objects themselves but from the whirlpools of gas heated to incandescence as they spiral in under the black holes' intense gravity. Jets emitted by the black holes pinpointed their location.


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Scientists link poor nutrition with chronic diseases for first time

Scientists link poor nutrition with chronic diseases for first time | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
International research involving the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that poor nutrition, including a lack of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, is associated with the development of several chronic diseases over time.

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New device to remove stroke-causing blood clots proves better than standard tool

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a common cause of long-term disability in the United States, but doctors have very few proven treatment methods.

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MRI brain scans detect people with early Parkinson's disease

MRI brain scans detect people with early Parkinson's disease | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Oxford University researchers have developed a simple and quick MRI technique that offers promise for early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

 

The new MRI approach can detect people who have early-stage Parkinson's disease with 85% accuracy, according to research published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

 

'At the moment we have no way to predict who is at risk of Parkinson's disease in the vast majority of cases,' says Dr Clare Mackay of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, one of the joint lead researchers. 'We are excited that this MRI technique might prove to be a good marker for the earliest signs of Parkinson's. The results are very promising.'

 

Claire Bale, research communications manager at Parkinson's UK, which funded the work, explains: 'This new research takes us one step closer to diagnosing Parkinson's at a much earlier stage – one of the biggest challenges facing research into the condition. By using a new, simple scanning technique the team at Oxford University have been able to study levels of activity in the brain which may suggest that Parkinson's is present. One person every hour is diagnosed with Parkinson's in the UK, and we hope that the researchers are able to continue to refine their test so that it can one day be part of clinical practice.'

 

Parkinson's disease is characterised by tremor, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles. It's thought to affect around 1 in 500 people. There is currently no cure for the disease, although there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.


Parkinson's disease is caused by the progressive loss of a particular set of nerve cells in the brain, but this damage to nerve cells will have been going on for a long time before symptoms become apparent.


Conventional MRI cannot detect early signs of Parkinson's, so the Oxford researchers used an MRI technique, called resting-state fMRI, in which people are simply required to stay still in the scanner. They used the MRI data to look at the 'connectivity', or strength of brain networks, in the basal ganglia – part of the brain known to be involved in Parkinson's disease.


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Mice with MS-like condition walk again after neural stem-cell treatment

Mice with MS-like condition walk again after neural stem-cell treatment | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

When scientists transplanted human neural stem cells into mice with multiple sclerosis (MS), within a remarkably short period of time, 10 to 14 days, the mice had regained motor skills.

 

Six months later, they showed no signs of slowing down.

Results from the study demonstrate that the mice experience at least a partial reversal of symptoms. Immune attacks are blunted, and the damaged myelin is repaired, explaining their dramatic recovery.

The finding, which uncovers potential new avenues for treating MS, was published May 15, 2014 in the journal Stem Cell Reports (open access).

 

How they did it: Ronald Coleman (a graduate student of Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., co-senior author and director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute and co-first author on the publication) changed the normal protocol and grew the neural stem cells so they were less crowded on a Petri dish than usual.

 

That yielded a human neural stem cell type that turned out to be extremely potent. The experiments have since been successfully repeated with cells produced under the same conditions, but by different laboratories.

 

The human neural stem cells send chemical signals that instruct the mouse’s own cells to repair the damage caused by MS. Experiments by Lane’s team suggest that TGF-beta proteins comprise one type of signal, but there are likely others. This realization has important implications for translating the work to clinical trials in the future.

 

“Rather than having to engraft stem cells into a patient, which can be challenging from a medical standpoint, we might be able to develop a drug that can be used to deliver the therapy much more easily,” said Tom Lane, Ph.D., a professor of pathology at the University of Utah.

 

With clinical trials as the long-term goal, the next steps are to assess the durability and safety of the stem cell therapy in mice. “We want to try to move as quickly and carefully as possible,” he said. “I would love to see something that could promote repair and ease the burden that patients with MS have.”

 

“The aspect I am most interested is to define what is being secreted from the human cells that influence demyelination,” Lane told KurzweilAI in an email interview. “Other studies have shown either effects on neuroinflammation or demyelination; ours is one of a select few to show that stem cells influence both.”

 

However, it is too soon to say when can we expect this innovation to be available for MS patients, Lane added.


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Assistive Technology-Accessibility Features on My Computer

Assistive Technology-Accessibility Features on My Computer | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
For the past year, I have had a student in my class who is autistic and non-verbal.  He cannot speak to you.  When he gets frustrated or upset, he makes noises to show his emotions.  He said, "Hell...

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Assistive Technology Blog: Google Glass: For People With Parkinson's Disease?

Assistive Technology Blog: Google Glass: For People With Parkinson's Disease? | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Assistive Technology Blog: Google Glass: For People With Parkinson's Disease?


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