Biomedical Engineering

Tinna Rut Hannesdóttir

Text from English to Icelandic

Þróun minninga frá barnsaldri til fullorðnisára

Ný rannsókn var gerð af taugasérfræðingum við Wayne State Háskólann í samstarfi við Massachusetts Institute of Technology skoðuðu hvernig heilinn sækjir minningar og einnig hvernig þessir ferlar þróast frá frá aldri 8-21.

Vísindarmenn sýndu þáttakendum rannsóknarinnar margvísileg sögusvið: 140 myndir af hálfa innihurð og hálfa útihurð, í 2.5 sekúndur hvor. Til að tryggja að þáttakendurnir hefðu munað og umrita myndina rétt voru þeir beðnir um að bera kennsl hvort myndin væri innandyra eða utandyra. Seinna var bætt við öðrum 140 myndum og voru þau sýnd í 3 sekúndur hvert. Þáttakendur ákveða hvort þeir hefðu séð einhverjar myndir áður eða hvort einhverjum hefði verið bætt í (þannig að það var erfiðara að giska). Á meðan þáttakendurnir voru að muna, voru þeir inní heilaskanna sem tók myndir af heilanum þeirra. Sjónminnið var prófað vegna þess að það er ekki undir jafnmikilum áhrifum á breytingum eins og tungumál og minnis aðferðir(sem stýrandi og breytingunni), en er samt hæft til að takast á við mismunandi og flóknar myndir sem voru sýndar.

Niðurstöðurnar sýndu að með aldri, jókst hæfnin til að bera rétt kennsl á hvort mynd væri ný eða gömul. Viðbragstími var svipaður hjá öllum aldurshópum, en aldurhópurinn frá 18-21 sýndi meiri breytingu í hvirfilblaðinu(hvirfilblaðið er gula svæðið á myndinni fyrir ofan). Hvirfilblaðið er ábyrgt fyrir því að takast á við sjón- og staðbundnar upplýsingar. Einnig notuðu fullorðnir meiri hluta af heilabörknum, sem eru tengdur athygli og stjórn á minningum.

Memory Development from Childhood to Adulthood

A new study by neuroscientists at Wayne State University in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines how the brain retrieves memories, as well as how these processes develop from age 8 to 21.

Researchers showed participants in the study a variety of scenes: 140 images with half indoor and half outdoor, for 2.5 seconds each. To ensure that the participants had correctly remembered and encoded an image they were asked to identify it as indoors or outdoors. These scenes were later mixed with another 140 new scenes and shown for 3 seconds each. The study then had participants determine whether a scene had been viewed before, or whether it had been added (thus making it harder to guess). While the participants were remembering, they were inside of an MRI which was taking images of their brains. Scene memory was tested because it is less affected by differences in things such as language or memory strategies (thus controlling for these variables), and yet is still able to be challenged by varying the complexity of the displayed scene.

The findings showed that as age increased, the ability to correctly identify a scene as new or old increased. Reaction times were steady across all ages, but the 18-21 age group demonstrated a stronger change in the parietal signal (located in the yellow region of the brain shown above), which is responsible for dealing with visual and spatial information. Adults also made more use of cortical regions of the brain, which are related to attention and strategic control of memory or “metamemory”.

I chose this article because I found it interesting. The brain is so amazing and even though scientists have spent years trying to understand how it operates, there is still a lot we don’t know. Memory is one of the most important part of us. It is storage of everything we have done, said and felt. So when I read the title I really wanted to know how our memories developed.

The methods I used were really simple. I took one sentence at a time and translated it with the help of a dictionary, snara.is and sometimes google-translate.

Text from Icelandic to English

Biomedical engineering; engineering of the human body

Biomedical engineering is a new interdisciplinary subject in the subject field of engineering where engineering techniques are applied to the human body to solve different problems due to illness or injury, or simply to improve our life quality and safety.

Progressive engineering

With the development of engineering studies at the University of Reykjavík was not only looking at the day today, but also to the future. The analyzed which subjects were growing most rapidly in the world. It was clear that health technology, and thereby biomedical engineering, was progressing fast and was greatly needed both here at home and abroad.

Specialties of biomedical engineering

Biomedical engineering does have its specialties within engineering. Biomedical engineers have to integrate knowledge about the human body and engineering methods. The biomedical engineering fundamental subjects are mathematics, physics and physiology. The physiology and functioning of the human is exactly what sets biomedical engineering apart from other subjects in the field of engineering.

Diverse job opportunities

What is it biomedical engineers do? For example, they design artificial limbs, various electronic devices to improve hearing and sophisticated equipment used in operations in hospitals. They also participate in different measurements of the functioning of the body. Examples of devices which biomedical engineers have helped design and built are implantable defibrillator, a device that quite a few Icelanders walk around with in their breast. […]. They develop tools for medical image taken and ways to improve disease diagnosis. Biomedical engineers have also been sought for management of companies and hospitals. These examples show that biomedical engineers often work in teams of different professionals in the field of health-science, such as doctors, physical therapists, physicists and neurological researchers.

Heilbrigðisverkfræði; verkfræði mannslíkamans

Nýleg grein verkfræðinnar er heilbrigðisverkfræði þverfagleg grein þar sem aðferðum verkfræðinnar er beitt á mannslíkamann til að leysa mismunandi vandamál tilkomin vegna veikinda eða slysa, eða einfaldlega til að bæta lífsgæði og öryggi okkar allra.

Framsækin verkfræði

Við uppbyggingu verkfræðináms við Háskólann í Reykjavík var ekki bara horft á daginn í dag heldur var rýnt í framtíðina og greint hvaða greinar væru í mestum vexti í heiminum. Það blasti við að heilbrigðistæknin, og þar með heilbrigðisverkfræðin, væri einstaklega framsækin grein sem mikil þörf væri fyrir, bæði hér heima og erlendis.

Sérstaða heilbrigðisverkfræðinnar

Heilbrigðisverkfræðin hefur nokkra sérstöðu innan verkfræðinnar. Heilbrigðisverkfræðingar þurfa í starfi sínu að samþætta þekkingu á mannslíkamanum og verkfræðilegum aðferðum. Undirstöðugreinar heilbrigðisverkfræðinnar eru stærðfræði, eðlisfræði og lífeðlisfræði, og það er einmitt lífeðlisfræðin og starfsemi mannslíkamans sem setur heilbrigðisverkfræðina í nokkra sérstöðu miðað við aðrar greinar verkfræðinnar.

Fjölbreytt atvinnutækifæri

Og hvað gera svo heilbrigðisverkfræðingar? Sem dæmi þá hanna þeir gervilimi, ýmis raftæki til að bæta heyrn heyrnarskertra og háþróuð tæki sem notuð eru á skurðstofum sjúkrahúsa. Einnig taka þeir þátt í ólíkum mælingum á starfsemi líkamans. Sem dæmi um tæki sem heilbrigðisverkfræðingar hafa tekið þátt í að hanna og smíða eru ígræðanleg hjartastuðtæki, tæki sem þó nokkrir Íslendingar ganga með í brjóstinu. Heilbrigðisverkfræðingar beita raförvun á einstaklinga til að bæta vöðvastarfsemi sem annars væri ekki til staðar vegna lömunar, sem og greina burðarþol beina með þrívíddar tölvulíkönum. Þeir þróa tæki til læknisfræðilegrar myndgerðar og aðferðir til að bæta sjúkdómsgreiningu. Einnig hafa heilbrigðisverkfræðingar verið eftirsóttir í stjórnun fyrirtækja og sjúkrahúsa. Þessi dæmi sýna að heilbrigðisverkfræðingar vinna gjarnan í teymum ólíkra sérfræðinga innan heilbrigðisvísindanna, svo sem lækna, sjúkraþjálfara, eðlisfræðinga og taugavísindamanna.

The reason why I chose this article is that I found it was very informative about what biomedical engineering is, what the subjects requires and it also tells you about the job opportunities. The article gives a well rounded understanding about what biomedical engineering is all about.

The methods I used were really simple. I took one sentence at a time and translated it with the help of a dictionary, snara.is and sometimes google-translate

An Interview with Robert Langer

Big image

Robert Langer

Robert Langer is an american engineer, scientist, entrepreneur and an inventor. He's the David H. Koch Institute Professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). Formerly he was the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. He also maintains the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT.

I chose to take an interview with Robert Langer because he runs the largest biomedical engineering laboratory in the world, which is very impressive. He is also very educated and I wanted to understand him as a engineer.

Big Thinkers - Robert Langer [Biomedical Engineer]

The questions


  1. What is biomedical engineering about?
  2. Why did you chose biomedical engineering?
  3. What is your favorite thing about the subject?
  4. What is Biomedical engineering to you?
  5. Do you find the job demanding? –In what way?
  6. What are your goals for your job?
  7. What are the latest advances in biomedical engineering?
  8. What is a typical day like for you?
  9. How do you see biomedical engineering in the future?
  10. Is there anything you would like to say to young adults who are interested in studying biomedical engineering?

The Interview with Robert Langer


When I asked Langer what biomedical engineering is he said that it is an application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes.

His way to biomedical engineering wasn't all that straightforward. But it started at 11 years old, when his he got a Gilbert chemistry set. In school he really enjoyed science and math. So he applied to engineering schools and was accepted to Cornell University, there he majored in Chemical engineering. After that he applied to graduate school and entered MIT. There he finished with a doctorate in chemical engineering. But still he didn't what he wanted to do career-wise, he told me. He really wanted to use his background in chemistry and chemical engineering to improve people’s lives. He wanted to make things, organs, drugs, tissues etc. and that's how he discovered Biomedical engineering.

His favorite part about biomedical engineering is the fact that the discoveries help people and that is all he wants to do. He said "I have only ever wanted to help people, make them happy and do good in the world".

A normal day for Langer is busy, understandably since he runs the largest biomedical engineering laboratory in the world. He works with his students, attends meetings and answers emails all day long. His biggest goal when it comes to his students is to create leaders, someone who thinks outside the box and isn't afraid to find solutions for big questions. When it comes to projects at his lab he tries include students from many subjects field, he believes it gives them a greater understanding and an opportunity to get to know all fields.

In the end Langer told me that he thing that the possibilities for biomedical engineering are almost unlimited and over the next 20-100 years it will transform the way we live.

Ted.com - Videos

The single biggest health threat women face

Merz talks about heart disease in women. Surprisingly heart disease is more common in women even though heart disease has always been thought of as a man disease. She said that the disease is the leading killer of women, more dangerous than breast cancer. But still no one really knows about it which is scary.

In 1984, the number of men who died of heart disease decreased and has been going down since. While women’s number has been increasing. This suggested that the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies which had been developed worked great for men but not for women. This was a big wake-up call in the 1980’s. The reason why it’s hard to diagnose women today is that when women get an angiogram nothing bad shows up because it’s kind hard to see the female-pattern disease, while it’s easy to recognize the male-pattern disease. But thankfully new devices are in the making as we speak.

The single biggest health threat women face - My reason

The reason why I chose this video is because the title really caught my attention. The title specially mentions women so I felt almost like it was my obligation to watch it and I am happy I did because I feel like this subject does need more awareness.

How do we combine biomedical data in new ways?

In this video Eric Silfren is talking about how far technology has come. He tells a story about himself, a few years ago he found at that he had a problem with his heart so he went to surgery. He says he all good and the only evidence of the problem is that he had a scar on his chest. Then he says that people today how have the same problem he had wouldn't have go into an open heart surgery like he did. Because of new devices and technology you wont have to be cut up and there will be no scares.

How do we combine biomedical data in new ways? - My reason

To be totally honest I chose this video because it had to word biomedical in the title, I had a hard time finding videos that fitted perfectly with my subject. But watching the video I learnt many things and kind off got a peek into the future of medicine and technology.

How schools kill creativity

In this video Sir Ken Robinson talks about how the educating system affects creativity. One thing he said really hit me, he said "if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original". So to be creative you can't be afraid to be wrong. I feel like today if you say something "stupid" or something wrong at school, in class you are judged so sometimes it is just better to say nothing at all. He also says that schools only educate children's brain. He's unhappy that subjects like art, dance and drama are at the bottom of the important list. I do have to say that I really do agree with him. Everybody should watch this video it is an eye opener.

How schools kill creativity - My reason

I chose this video because it is the most viewed video on the site. I wanted to know why it was so popular. Now that I have watched it I can see why. Not only is the topic interesting but Robinson, who was giving the presentation was very funny and it made presentation fun to watch. Also the title really got my attention.