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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  December 25, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm EST

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"techknow" is up next. and check our out website at >> undercover and now she's taking us to new york city where some of the toughest put it to the test. >> the engineer who designed the bionic eye. he takes us to colorado to meet the man who created the 3d bionic hand. i've seen a lot of amazing
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things in the field, but this is really cool. that's our team, now let's do some science. [♪ music ] >> hi, guys, we are back here at "techknow" for another week of amazing stories and screen and innovation. we'll get started with this "heart in a box." check it out, this is an actual beating heart outside of the body. this is seriously the most amazing thing i've ever seen and touched. let's check out the story. >> when it comes to heart transplants, it's always a race against time. we've all seen it on tv. when a donor heart becomes
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available, medical teams must move quickly. the organ is removed and preserved by placing it in ice. the heart must arrive at the recipient's hospital within six hours that's because the ice damages the heart making it unfit for transplant. in this will keep hearts warm and beating. this will be a major break through in transplant history. the first human transatlantic took place in a hospital in south africa in 1967. since then it has become a fairly routine proceed cur proch 2,000 happening in the united states. there is one aspect to the process that has remained the same. yep, getting the heart from point a to point b still
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involves putting it in cooler full of ice. here they're testing out a new device that will change the way organs are transported and make a cooler a thing of the past, well, as far as organ transport. >> ia human organ has never been kept alive outside of the human body until this machine became a clinical reality. >> reporter: the head of u la's heart and lung transplant program. >> to say that instead of having my heart on ice, i want it to be warm and beating. >> for some of his patients like 44-year-old sandra aguilar, this is a second chance at life.
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♪ >> she suffers from a debilita debilitating position, and has been waiting for a heart since last december. [ speaking spanish ] >> sandra decided to participate in a study, which is designed to compare the outcome of patients
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who receive hearts through the organ care system against patients who get their hearts transported on ice. >> the patients you were talking to, to participate in this trial, how have they responded to that? >> once they fully understand the concept, why don't you guys come up with this sooner? >> to date, eight out of ten available donor hearts never make it to a patient in need for a variety of factors, including distance between hospitals. this would preserve the hearts in a more optimal environment. >> we feel very confident in the organ care system to double the heart transplant volume. >> while the founder and transmetics, the company that came up with the organ care system, the eureka
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moment came while training as surgeon. >> the heart is just thrown in a plastic bag and thrown on ice. that was the first revelation that there has to be something better. >> learning how to use the ice will be standard for training for surgeons, but for now doctors use the human care system on the closest thing to a human heart, pig hearts. >> i've dissected my fair share of animals with my biology background, so i'll do my best to feel a beating heart in the machine. >> once removed from the donor's body the heart is quickly connected to the device through the aorta.
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[ heart pumping ] >> this is seriously one of the most amazing things i've seen. there is a heart beating right in front of me. >> it continues to receive warm blood as well as a proprietary formula of knew nutrients. >> how long could you keep a heart beating on this. >> as long as you would like. >> they showed me how the device aklaus clinicians to monitor the hearts' rhythm and other vital signs every step of the way. >> this thing let's you know that everything is going okay? >> absolutely. >> what happens if anything goes wrong. >> you have alarms telling you that you're out of range, and you can immediately control it,
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change pump flow, change the settings to treat this heart. you have a very comprehensive analysis of how this heart is behaving, and you have a chance to improve that behavior when needed. >> so i have two questions for you. one, how fragile is the heart, and, two, can i touch it? >> one, it's not very fragile, two, yes, you can touch it, but it's not the norm during clinical practices. this is a training heart today, by all means if you want to feel the ventricle pulsating, right side, left side, you can feel the vessel itself see the pressure in the vessel. >> oh, it's warm. >> it's warm, it's beating. it's functions. it's functioning as if it's in your body. >> and it's not just hearts that can be transported on this system. there is a similar system for lungs which has yielded promising results.
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so far it has cut the complication rate by 60% and improved the survival rate by 30%. this is a clean room where the organ care system gets assembled. so far hundreds have been manufactured and sent to eight different countries around the world. hopefully next year with fda approval it will be available in the u.s. where there are more heart transplants than anywhere else in the world. >> not content with just the perfect way to transport organs, they're partnering up with research centers on testing cutting edge therapies with their device. >> we can take our lung out of a patient suffering from severe pneumonia, put it in the organ care system and subject the lung to an antibiotics that cannot be give to the patient because it would be. toxic, and then we transplant the lung back. we believe this will come to fruition over the next five or
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six years. >> it may sound like science fiction, but again when you see the machine working you begin to believe it. >> pretty cool, right? i mean, to keep this organ going on its own outside of the body. it's not just hearts. it's lungs, livers, they want to hit every organ in the body, what do you think? >> did you actually touch that thing? >> oh, yeah. >> had a did it feel like? >> it felt like a fist clenching over and over. it was warm, a little bit slimy. it's a pig party. >> is this better than a cooler? >> yes, the biggest thing they're looking at is increasing the amount of time that heart can survive outside of the body. when you put that heart on ice the organ is slowly dying. that means it only has four hours until it needs to hit the recipient. with this technique it keeps it
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alive and warm for eight hours, ten hours, that's a huge difference. they're not just talking about it for transporting organs. imagine a room full of organs, a heart there, a liver there, all these things bettin beating ready for anyone who needs one. >> that would make a great horror movie. >> what have you got next? >> i went to new york city spent the day riding around with cab drivers to test out cool technology, electric taxis in new york city. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at
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>> welcome back. i'm phil torres, an i'm with lindsay and costa. you were telling us about your c.i.a. days with taxi drivers. >> when i was in the agency i always struck up
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conversations with cab drivers. they're almost always from other countries and you nevada know who they are. they could be physicists. it in is a pilot program going on in new york city where they're driving around completely electric vehicles. it's a really cool story. >> imagine a new york city with taxi fleet dominated by electric vehicles. now imagine the year, is i it 2030? 2050? how about 1899. that's right. there were close to 100 batly powered taxis on the streets of new york. that same year one of the electric cabs earned the city's
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first speeding violations barreling down the avenue at 10 mph. 114 years later electric taxis are back. the city is rolling out six fully electric nissans for a year-long test run. >> this is where i plug in. >> an owner operator who has been driving a taxi for 17 years. he's also one of the test drivers. >> it's something new . it's never been tested before, and i wanted to be a part of it. >> this is the engine. it's not really "a" engine. it's the imitation of an engine. it covers the electric motor. >> why would you have a take engine in there? >> so people don't get concerned that there is something missing, perhaps. >> but there is no noise. the car is on right now? >> it is. >> you can't hear anything? >> nope. >> amazing. >> this car attracts more
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attention than a lamborghini or a rolls royce is. people are not phased by anything here, but this grabs their attention. >> do you feel like the angelina jolie of taxi drivers. >> i feel like the justin bieber of taxi drivers. >> you've been driving this electric car since june now. do you prefer it? >> yes, i never have to get to the gas station. that's one reason why i refer it. >> yellow cabs like these are responsible for releasing 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide night air every single year, but mayor bloomberg has a plan to replace these taxis by the year 2020.
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that could reduce emissions by 30,000 tons. >> the issue was how do you make the electric vehicle useable in the taxi business model. the first step was put a few on the road, and use that to take the next step of figuring out how to electrify a big chunk of the fleet. >> under the best of conditions. >> say traffic like this where con sta constant braking wears on the power. >> since i've been driving this, i've stuck to the central business areas of manhattan. i seek traffic. the more i'm in traffic, the longer i last. >> and then there is the task of station. >> this is what is called a level three quick charger. it takes 30 minutes to power up this electric taxi, about the
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time of your average lunch break. but here's is the thing. there are only two such chargers in new york city, and they're both located in manhattan. that means the driver has to keep an eye on his battery and location. >> we think we'll need 500 chargers in parts of the city where taxi s operate. >> do you consider yourself kind of a pioneer? >> yeah, i do, but then again my fellow drivers think i'm stupid for volunteering. look, someone needs to try it. everyone will benefit later on. >> he said he can't lose time on the road charging an electric taxi. he doesn't own his car. he lease it is and they have to make $150 a shift just to pay money. >> i don't know how that system will work. if you go downtown at any gas station, there is a big line
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waiting to fill up the gas. like 90% of them is taxis. >> do you think it would affect your earnings? >> yeah, definitely i'm going to be starting my solicit late oh i'll make less money. >> if you lose $0 on an average shift that could take you below minimum wage on certain days. >> since taxi drivers pay for their gas whether or not they own their gas, an electric car would pep their bottom line. >> fleets don't own the fuel. if this becomes a reality it will be the driver that make it so. >> the electric taxi has a way to go before it proves it has what it takes to make it in new york. but in a town where bigger and louder gets the attention, a quiet little car is beginning to time. >> thank you very much.
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>> it has been a pleasure, worth every penny. >> likewise, and thanks for helping to keep new york city glean these were some veteran taxi drivers, what was the environment working with them? >> trying to introduce these electrivehicles is really a challenge. >> i love imagining the new york city of the future where it will smell different because of the emissions, and it will sound different. >> there are tiny little speakers that amplify a slight motor sound. but more b bizarre than that. if you lift the hood of the car, it has a fake motor. i'm from the c.i.a. and i'm used to bodies in trunks. my first thought is you could take that out and have more room for luggage.
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>> you got to interview a very remarkable young man. >> 17 years old, he invented a mind-controlled bionic arm. kind of amazing. i can't wait to tell you about it when we get back.
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the stream is uniquely
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>> okay, i'm phil with lindsay and costa, costa, what have you got going for us? >> let's take a look. 17 years old, he invented a
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mind-controlled prosthetic army. he's trying to hit that $100,000 price point so more people can have access to prosthetics. >> where do you use your mountain bike. >> all over where i live, in the mountains. >> the beautiful mountains of colorado, the place of this extraordinary teenager finds his inspiration. >> had a would be your dreams? to have your own lab tear? i'm getting into the final product. >> inspiration that has taken him all the way to the white house, even the president was amazed by his creations. >> i never would have imagined anything i made in my bedroom would be shaking hands with the president. >> gaining attention around the world for the creation of a low-cost prosthetic army that interfaces with the human brain. completely self-taught he fabricated the arm in his
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bedroom lab here in colorado. >> i'm hoping to give someone a functional prosthetic arm for under $1,000. the firsthand was made out of tubing. this works but it's an improved concept. i'm looking for human shape. it has to be appealing to users as well others. instead of going through a 3d can, i printed the first items on this arm. 3d printing is amazing technology. >> you printed all the parts for these hands in your room. >> yes, this is my primary printer, and i was able to print extremely large parts with a lot of detail. >> i think he's showing what he can do on a 3d print, and to realize his vision of making a
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prosthetic arm at a very low cost. >> he is a self starter, and he figured it out himself. his room has become just where creativity just took off . >> i combined all these of those into getting a really cool taught assault. >> what do you have to think now? [ laughing ] >> who is one of your big mentors of all this. >> mary at the hand clinic helped me to understand the limitation of the human hand, where i need to surpass and increase the you functionality. >> easton. >> hi. >> yay, all of us, of course, right away took to such a young kid, who is a pretty cool kid, who is also into what we do. >> i can definitely show you
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what the limits are. i learned from anatomy. i look at a lot of drawings. that's why i came to see you. the human limits of the arm and finally the boundaries. within that i want to capture all that and hopefully surface sur pass human strength. >> you should come here and spend time in the clinic to see patients who are needing help. >> that's one of the hardest things, half the information i know about prosthetics i never would have found online. >> well, if he manages to make an external prosthetic device for under $1,000 the most meaningful thing that easton taught me was how a person can go so far with an idea, and have that idea help humanity. >> easten's accomplishments
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earned him scholarship to nasa. >> a really fascinating cutter edge robotic astronaut. it could replace the astronaut in the future. i'm about to make the next generation of arm arm which coud evolve into who knows what. it could change people's lives. >> if i could do the rest of my life what i'm doing now that, would be a dream. if i could help people along the way, that would be the extra bit. >> so clearly a young man whose changing the way we look at prosthesis, very motivated. he's going to meet his goal. what do you think? >> if i were a teenage kid, and i had that kind of smarts to create something, i would create something with nefarious purposes. but the fact that he's doing something good.
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he's making affordable prosthetics, something which many people need. >> he's so driven, inspired and passionate about this, which is what you need to succeed in science. that's it for "techknow" this week, amazing stuff, we'll see you on the show. >> go behind the scenes at /
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>> this is al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey with a look at today's top stories. egypt's interim government is formerly declaring muslim brotherhood terrorist. pope francis in his christmas message hopes for a better world and asked for the end of fighting in egypt, middle east and africa. christians were targeted in three separate bomb negotiation baghdad. most of the deaths were in front of a catholic church. the catholics have been a common target for al-qaeda militants.


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