Yusran Adhitya Kurniawan’s Blog


New Technology Enable Machines To Detect Microscopic Pathogens In Water

by on Apr.05, 2010, under Information Technology

pathogenDetecting one of the world's most common pathogens in drinking water soon may no longer be bottle-necked under a laboratory microscope.

Pathogens, meet technology.

A new system developed by Texas AgriLife Research automatically scans a water sample and points to potential pathogens much faster than what humans can accomplish. Hence, the diseases these pathogens may be nipped in the bud before making people sick.

“Currently, it takes humans a long time and a lot of effort to peer through microscopes and look for green dots (indicating the presence of cryptosporidium or giardia pathogens),” said Dr. Suresh Pillai, AgriLife Research scientist and professor of microbiology at Texas A&M University. “This system is more accurate and can provide results immediately for users around the world.”

Pillai and his team have been working on the issue since 1996 when he first proposed that to fine-tune the search for pathogens, scientists needed to find a way to “substitute humans with automatic image analysis systems.” By the year 2000, “we actually proved that it could be done,” Pillai said, who then spent the next nine years seeking a commercial partner who could “move this technology into the marketplace.”

Eventually, Pillai found Smart Imaging Technology in Houston. Together they sought additional funding from the state through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to bring the process into reality. Pillai said the company is in the “final stages” of bringing the detection system online.

“Basically, you put a slide under a microscope, and it will automatically scan the microscope and put potential flags on all potential objects of interest,” Pillai explained. “Then the software that was developed as part of this project can hone down on every one of those potential objects and query it to see whether it is the right image based on a number of parameters that we have developed for it to detect.”

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Sprint’s new 4G technology not the only high-speed game in town

by on Mar.27, 2010, under Information Technology

four1This week at the CTIA Wireless Show, Sprint rolled out its new 4G-capable phone – but speed demons don’t necessarily need to become Sprint customers.

The device – made by Taiwanese phone company HTC and called the EVO 4G – is certainly impressive. It runs Android 2.1, has two cameras and runs on a 1-gigahertz Snapdragon processor – and, on paper, it bests even Google’s well-received Nexus One, PC magazine noted Wednesday.

But the 4G, or WiMAX, service that is the EVO 4G’s trademark is also its Achilles’ heel. At the moment, 4G speed is only available to about 30 million people in a select cadre of cities. Sprint promised to quadruple that number by year-end – but, as PC pointed out, the wireless company overpromised with WiMAX years ago, and has been under-delivering ever since.

It’s good to know, then, that another new high-speed network will soon be available.

T-Mobile announced this week an upgrade to its HSPA 3G standard, dubbed simply HSPA+. The new version of 3G – which InformationWeek said would be “peppier” than T-Mobile’s current 3G service – will be introduced across the carrier’s network by the end of the year.


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