Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tech update

And now, some tech news from the Nesmith family

Nesmiths attend Med School
Actually, it was a session of "mini medical school," a program put on by the U of I's med school, on Tuesday here in Cedar Rapids. I think it's a PR effort for the school and hospitals. I found out about the program from an email, and signed us up (all but Bruce, who stayed home to watch the State of the Union).

Topics were advances in cancer treatment and the virtual cadaver. I especially wanted to see the latter as I'd just done a story on it.

Both presentations were excellent. We learned about gene therapy for cancer. The scientists manipulate molecules--molecules!--to attach to genes to get them to stop creating cancer. The presenter also explained how treatment trials are set up. The boys and I remembered how Grandpa liked to be involved in those.

We also saw how the virtual cadaver--a software projection system--works as the presenter showed us how cancer might spread through the lymph system. He could slice through the projected image of the cadaver, strip away different elements, and rotate it so we could see what he wanted us to.

Eli talked with the presenter afterwards about some ideas he had for making the program even better. The presenter thought that "by the time you're in med school" the virtual cadaver program should even be able to show organ systems at work.

About 200 people were in attendance with us; we all got notepads, powerpoint handouts (Eli took notes!), and a nice reception beforehand. All took place at the new hotel that our community college has constructed for its "Hotel management" training program.
Yeah, that's me and Robbie getting some refreshments!

Robbie Nesmith Applies for Engineering Internship
Robbie heard about a high school internship at Rockwell Collins, and applied for it last week. He was interviewed by phone, and told the interviewer about the programs he's created (he's taught himself some programming).

We're not sure when he'll hear about the internship. It requires 10 hours of work per week, probably mostly after school, which might be tricky since Robbie's busy with band stuff after school many days. We'll see.

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