Posts about college students

How to Stay Healthy: Avoiding the Flu

It is no secret that washing your hands is a great strategy to stay healthy. Still few people take care to wash their hands thoroughly frequently during each day. The H1N1 Flu is just the latest sickness that washing your hands protects you from.

The CDC recommends you take these everyday steps to protect your health to protect yourself from the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • And to keep others healthy you should

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. [others also suggest coughing into you elbow instead of your hands, again to reduce the spread of germs.]
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

The spread of this 2009 H1N1 flu is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

The incidence of H1N1flu is likely to be high this flu season based on results in the Southern Hemishpere. Symptoms are those of the flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue; can include diarrhea and vomiting.

The CDC includes weekly flu statistics on their web site. Since mid-April to August 30, 2009, a total of 9,079 hospitalizations and 593 deaths associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported to CDC an increase from 8,843 hospitalizations and 556 deaths from the prior week.

Related: New and Old Ways to Make Flu VaccinesGoogle Flu Leading Indicatorposts on the fluStudy Shows Why the Flu Likes WinterReducing the Impact of a Flu Pandemic
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Student Invents Solar-Powered Fridge

solar powered refrigerator illustration

Student Invents Solar-Powered Fridge for Developing Countries

21-year-old student/inventor/entrepreneur Emily Cummins has designed a brilliant portable solar-powered refrigerator that works based upon the principle of evaporation. Employing a combination of conduction and convection, the refrigerator requires no electricity and can be made from commonly available materials like cardboard, sand, and recycled metal.

Simply place perishable foods or temperature-sensitive medications in the solar refrigerator’s interior metal chamber and seal it. In-between the inner and outer chamber, organic material like sand, wool or soil is then saturated with water. As the sun warms the organic material, water evaporates, reducing the temperature of the inner chamber to a cool, 6 ºC [43 ºF] for days at a time!

After winning £5,000 from York Merchant Adventurers for her idea, Emily delayed going to college for a year to take her refrigerator to Africa for further development.

At 16 Emily won a regional Young Engineer for Britain Award for creating a toothpaste squeezer for people with arthritis, and the next year went on to win a Sustainable Design Award for a water-carrier made from wood and rubber tubing. In 2007 Emily was named the British Female Innovator of the Year, and last year was short-listed for Cosmopolitan’s 2008 Ultimate Women of the Year Competition.

Update: some readers seem confused by what related means below. Those links show previous post to related items and include previous similar designs to keep things cool, including “Refrigerator Without Electricity” which is a clay pot design by Mohammed Bah Abba of Nigeria for the Pot in Pot Cooling System that received the 2000 Rolex award.

Related: Refrigerator Without ElectricityCompressor-free Refrigeratorposts on appropriate engineeringUK Young Engineers CompetitionsWinter Air RefrigerationThe Glove, Engineering Coolness

False Teeth For Cats

False Teeth For Cats! What Next?

A team of eight British college students, calling themselves Fangs A Lot, have created the first false tooth for a cat and set up a business, Animal Solutions, to market false teeth for cats, dogs, and other animals. The group and its prototype false cat tooth have made it to the finals of the Ideas Igloo Roadshow, an invention contest for college students sponsored by Britain’s Make Your Mark Campaign and Microsoft, UK.

False teeth for cats may sound ridiculous, but they could be a solution to a serious problem for cats. Cats have notoriously bad dental problems. Cat owners seldom brush their cats’ teeth or scrape the surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque. By the time a cat is 3 or 4 years old, she may already have periodontal disease that can lead to tooth loss. Tooth loss may also come about as a result of tooth breakage, particularly in the canine teeth.

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Related: Engineering Students Design Innovative Hand DryerUK Young Engineers CompetitionsLa Vida RobotEco-Vehicle Student CompetitionGenetically Engineered Machines Competition

NASA Robotics Academy

The NASA Robotics Academy is an intensive resident summer program of higher learning for college undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing professional and leadership careers in robotics-related fields.

Besides attending lectures and workshops with experts in their field, the Robotics Academy students are involved in supervised research in GSFC laboratories, private companies, and universities, and will participate in visits to other NASA Centers, the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a number of robotics-related academic laboratories and industries.

Projects this year include: Conformal Gripping System for Space Robots and Cooperative Team-diagnosis in Multi-robot Systems