By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - A powered prosthetic leg that predicts when the wearer is about to take steps on flat or inclined surfaces, or climb stairs, helped improve prosthesis control in a small new study. The control system, which uses electrodes in the cuff of the prosthesis to pick up signals from muscle contractions, is still in the testing stages but should be available on the market in a few more years, according to lead author Levi J. Hargrove of the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. His team is trying to allow people who use the artificial legs "to move exactly how they were moving previously,” Hargrove told Reuters Health. “They have the potential to make it easier for people to walk, and use less energy when walking,” he said. “They also allow for more natural walking patterns, and have the potential to recover from trips or stumbles.” About 115,000 people in the U.S. had major lower limb amputation due to trauma or cancer in 2005, and most prosthetic lower limbs are still “passive” and do not provide power, he and his coauthors write in JAMA. But, they add, powered limbs are becoming available, and the new control system helps the motorized prosthetic device predict whether the wearer needs to walk on level ground, on a ramp, or up or down stairs. Currently, people who use powered lower limbs need to slow down, stop and press buttons to switch between flat surfaces, ramps and stairs. The new intuitive control system uses signals generated during muscle contractions - called electromyographic (EMG) signals - to predict movement. For the new study, the researchers recruited seven people with a lower limb amputated at or above the knee who were currently able to use a passive prosthetic to get around at home. The participants wore EMG electrodes on the remaining muscles of the leg. They also wore a mechanical limb fitted with sensors of its own. They wore the limbs while completing 20 walking and climbing trials. While the participants moved, two computer algorithms predicted their steps: one used only the mechanical data from the prosthetic limb and the other used both mechanical data and EMG data from muscle contractions. They found the algorithm combining the mechanical and EMG data reduced the proportion of incorrect predictions from 6 percent to 3 percent. In a real-time trial, where the programs actually controlled the movement of the prosthetic instead of just predicting what it would do next, the EMG data reduced the error rate from 14 percent of steps to about 8 percent. Some errors weren't noticeable, but some caused moderate impact, like stubbing a toe. Less than 1 percent of errors caused substantial impacts, which would have resulted in a trip or fall, Hargrove said. It is important to eliminate those substantial impacts and reduce the other errors as much as possible, he said. This technology is already available in powered arm prostheses. While it's easier to predict leg movements compared to arm movements, Hargrove said the technology is more difficult to incorporate into lower limb prostheses, since walking around is a critical function in life and a mistake can lead to falls or injuries. “Over the next 5 to 10 years, I expect powered devices will start to emerge more fully, and I suspect (like the smartphone) people will find that they offer considerably more functionality and freedom than previously available devices,” said Michael Goldfarb, an expert in mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The powered prosthetics will be slightly more expensive than passive devices, but the benefits will justify the increase in cost, Goldfarb, who wasn't involved with the new study, told Reuters Health by email. When they are available, the experience of wearing the new prostheses should be the same as that for artificial limbs now, and no more invasive, Hargrove said. “I don’t think that we’re ever going to develop one prosthetic leg or technology optimized for all patients,” but this should be a great option for some, he said. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1S1kJgU JAMA, online June 9, 2015.
If one Tyrannosaurus rex - the school bus-sized meat-eating dinosaur that stalked the Cretaceous Period landscape - seems impressive, how about 2.5 billion of them? Researchers on Thursday unveiled the first calculation of the total T. rex population during the estimated 2.4 million years that this fearsome species inhabited western North America during the twilight of the age of dinosaurs. They considered factors including the size of its geographic range, its body mass, growth pattern, age at sexual maturity, life expectancy, duration of a single generation and the total time that T. rex existed before extinction 66 million years ago.
- Associated Press
Cincinnati has hired UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller to replace the fired John Brannen. Miller, regarded as one of the top young coaches in college basketball, won 185 games in 10 seasons at UNC Greensboro. Over the last five years, the Spartans have five-straight 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and two Southern Conference tournament championships.
"He's such a frightening presence where even if he doesn't say anything, I think you'll be afraid of him," the actor said of his character.
A woman said she accidentally pulled her IUD out with a menstrual cup. A gynecologist explains how it happens and how to prevent it.
It's rare to dislodge an IUD with a DivaCup, but it's possible. It's most likely to happen three months after you first get your IUD, a doctor says.
- The Daily Beast
GettyDespite a seemingly daily string of new revelations, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pressed ahead Thursday with his position that Rep. Matt Gaetz should retain his seats on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees.“Matt Gaetz is the same as any American—he’s innocent until proven guilty,” McCarthy said Thursday. “There’s no charges against him yet. If a charge comes forward, that would be dealt with at that time.”Gaetz, who’s currently under federal investigation for his involvement with an alleged sex ring, also faces a probe from the House Ethics Committee for a litany of potential violations.“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds for personal use, and/or accepted a bribe/improper gratuity, or impermissible gift in violation of House rules,” the Ethics Committee wrote in a letter last week.But McCarthy continues to insist that everyone needs to “wait for the facts” before Gaetz faces any internal repercussions in Congress, even as he’s insisted that Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) should be stripped of committee assignments for having repeated contact with a woman who turned out to be a Chinese government operative. Swalwell cut off contact as soon as he became aware of the situation, and there are no allegations that he broke any law.Gaetz Paid Accused Sex Trafficker, Who Then Venmo’d TeenGaetz’s situation seems far more precarious. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, he has oversight responsibilities of the very same Justice Department that is investigating him—and which he has accused of fomenting a witch hunt against him under President Joe Biden.But McCarthy ignored that question Thursday. He repeated that Gaetz was innocent until proven guilty, that he had spoken with Gaetz and the Florida Republican said he was innocent, and that he would “let the investigation take care of itself.” (Gaetz has publicly denied wrongdoing.)The GOP leader’s continued punting on Gaetz comes as his party largely settles into a circumspect stance on the allegations—unless, or until, there are more developments. Most aides believe wider calls for his resignation, or disciplinary measures like a loss of committee assignments, will only come if Gaetz is indicted.On Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking House Republican, told reporters that party leadership will “of course react and take action” if “something really formal” happens with the Department of Justice probe.Matt Gaetz’s Wingman Paid Dozens of Young Women—and a 17-Year-OldMeanwhile, rank-and-file Republicans aren’t exactly circling the wagons around the embattled congressman. Most don’t like Gaetz, and the congressman himself acknowledges he has few friends on Capitol Hill. Only close MAGA allies like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have actively rallied to his defense—Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jim Jordan (R-OH) to a lesser extent—but even fewer Republicans have tried to build pressure on him to resign. Only one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, has called on Gaetz to leave office over the allegations, and the two very different Republicans already had an acrimonious beef. Kinzinger’s final straw with Gaetz cited The Daily Beast’s reporting on the congressman’s payments to Joel Greenberg, the Florida official said to have facilitated his access to girls and young women.Through it all, Gaetz has been defiant. At first, he claimed that the allegations he paid for underage sex were part of a sweeping extortion plot against his family. He has since moved on to framing the rapidly mounting scandal as proof the “deep state” and mainstream media are out to get him.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Legal and psychological experts weighed in on James Charles' claim that desperation led to his sexting scandal.
- The Week
Yet another movie franchise is about to go Mads. Mads Mikkelsen has joined the cast of the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones film, Deadline reported on Thursday. He'll be starring opposite Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who recently landed the role of the female lead, as well as, of course, Harrison Ford himself. Details about Mikkelsen's character in the movie weren't revealed — though fans were quick to speculate he could be the antagonist — and it still isn't clear what the overall plot of the sequel is. James Mangold is directing the new Indy installment, though, with Steven Spielberg only producing this time. This is, of course, just the latest big movie series that Mikkelsen can add to his resume after previously having roles in Star Wars, James Bond, and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and he's also set to replace Johnny Depp in the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts. Just think of Mikkelsen as Thanos, making his way through Hollywood and collecting every major film series into some sort of casting Infinity Gauntlet. And like Thanos, his eventual appearance in every ongoing movie franchise may well be inevitable. More stories from theweek.com5 colossally funny cartoons about Biden's infrastructure planMatt Gaetz's girlfriend was reportedly paid $6,500 by Joel Greenberg, alleged sex ring leaderMany GOP officials still privately hope prosecutors, some other outside force will make Trump go away
More migrants are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas than Martinez recalls in his 13 years as Val Verde County Sheriff. Last month, he said, a resident fired his gun to scare a group of migrants walking on the outskirts of town; nearby schools were locked down in response. Tensions are rising in Del Rio, a city of 35,000, as the nation once again grapples with an increase in migrants seeking entry into the United States.
- The Independent
Trump supporters called Ivanka a ‘disappointment’ for getting the jab
- Kansas City Star
“It is a deliberate attempt to fundamentally change a core institution of American government and to overturn, effectively overturn the results of past elections,” said Hawley, who voted to overturn the 2020 election.
- The Daily Beast
CBNUltra-conservative evangelical leader Pat Robertson delivered a surprisingly searing rant about the recent “onslaught” of police violence, blasting former officers Kim Potter and Derek Chauvin while saying cops have “got to stop this stuff.”During his 700 Club broadcast on Thursday, Robertson and co-host Terry Meeuwsen discussed the shooting death of Daunte Wright, noting that Potter—who has been charged with manslaughter—has claimed that she confused her pistol and Taser when she shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop.Using plastic models of the two weapons, Robertson and Meeuwsen demonstrated the difference in size and weight between the sidearm and Taser, prompting Robertson to say there’s “no comparison” between the two.“Now how she made the difference, when she shot that poor guy to death, saying this is what I thought was my Taser,” Robertson fumed while wielding a plastic handgun. “And if you can’t tell the difference in the feel of those things, it’s crazy!”The longtime right-wing activist, meanwhile, assured viewers that he is firmly “pro-police” and believes that “we need their service” before continuing his criticism.When the police are starting to lose the approval of Pat Robertson, you know things are bad. pic.twitter.com/Pu7tw6aoDC— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) April 15, 2021 “They do a good job, but if they don’t stop this onslaught, they cannot do this,” he exclaimed.Robertson then moved on to Chauvin, who is currently on trial for murder for the killing of George Floyd, and the recent Virginia traffic stop that featured two police officers violently threatening and arresting Army Lt. Caron Nazario.“You know the police in Virginia picked up a lieutenant in the Army and began to give him trouble, and our state police are highly trained, but why they don’t stop this, and this thing that’s going on in Minnesota with the Derek Chauvin. I mean they ought to put him under the jail,” he seethed. “He has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the death of George Floyd, I mean his neck, it’s just terrible what’s happening.”Robertson added: “And the police, why don’t they open their eyes to what the public relations are, they’ve got to stop this stuff!”Meeuwsen would then wonder aloud if the answer was “more training” for the police, prompting Robertson to say the solution was actually to increase police pay in order to attract better candidates.“I think the problem is they’ve got to pay them more,” he said. “We don’t have the finest in the police department. They’re low-paid people… it’s not a question of training, it’s a question of hiring a more superior workforce, and we aren’t doing it.”“But we need police, we need them, and we need to honor them, and I’m all for it, but at the same time, we cannot have a bunch of clowns running around who are underpaid and who really are not the best and brightest,” Robertson concluded.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Jonathan Pentland's social-media accounts list him as a drill sergeant at the Fort Jackson garrison, the Associated Press reported.
- The Independent
Justin Trudeau claims UK is facing ‘very serious’ third Covid wave amid Canada’s slow vaccine rollout
Downing Street says UK’s case data ‘speaks for itself’ as infections continue to fall
- Business Insider
Biden administration reveals the intelligence community is not very confident Russia actually put bounties on US troops
American intelligence had reportedly found last year that Russian military intelligence officered the bounties to Taliban-linked militants.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Police say they found the toddler’s two siblings, ages 3 and 8, alone in a hotel room with the door ajar.
- Business Insider
Though the change in leadership will not necessarily lead to drastic shifts in policy in Cuba, it's still a historic moment for the country.
A new "Fast 9" trailer teases the return of some characters from "Tokyo Drift" and the bucket list item Helen Mirren has been waiting years to do.
- Associated Press
Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong on Thursday warned foreign forces not to interfere with the “bottom line” of national security in the city, threatening retaliation amid tensions between China and Western powers. The U.S., Britain and their allies have condemned China's tightening control over Hong Kong's freedoms, including the sweeping national security law and electoral reforms that have all but silenced the once-vibrant opposition in the semi-autonomous territory. “When it is time, actions must be taken in relation to any external or foreign forces that may interfere Hong Kong affairs or attempts to use Hong Kong as a pawn,” said Luo Huining, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong.
- Business Insider
The US officially designates Paul Manafort's associate Konstantin Kilimnik as a 'known Russian agent'
The Treasury also said Kilimnik "provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy."
Cameron Diaz, Kristen Wiig, and Mena Suvari are just three of the most recent celebrities to become moms after 40.