All posts by joey01pd2012

Laser Eye Surgery

In biology class we were gong over the anatomy of the human eye, when Dr. Cha our teacher began to explain to use the risks and danger of laser eye surgery. Being a farsighted person (myopia) that constantly needs to put on glass and contacts laser eye surgery seemed like the perfect solution. My doctor has even told me that I had to wait for my eyes to stabilize, before I would get the surgery. But after hearing all of Dr. Cha concerns with laser eye surgery, I decided that I needed to do more research on the topic.

The first step of the surgery is to apply anesthetizing drops, then the surgeon makers the eye to indicate where the flap will be cut and then replaced. A suction ring holds the eye still and pressurizes it so it is firm enough to cut. Then a micokeratome slices a tiny flap in the cornea.  The flap is moved out of the way but is still attached, and then the finally the laser removes tissue to reshape the cornea. The flap is replace on the eye. The link has video demonstration of the laser surgery. Some of the sides’ affects are infection and night glare, which are starbursts or halos when the patients are looking at night-lights especially when driving. Also it is possible that the surgery not takes affect and the visions of the patients worsen. So is it worth the risk? I think it is because I believe that the risk do not over power the benefits of having good vision. There are many professional benefits to having the surgery, especially for surgeons and pilots.

However, these implications got me thinking about the limitations of laser surgery. Through further researcher I discover that at the moment there is a laser eye surgery that can change the color of the eye to what ever color the patients wants. BBC News did a story on Dr. Gregg Holmer an American that is conducting clinical trials to study the effects of the surgery.

The process involves a computerized scanning system that takes a picture of the iris and works out which areas to treat. The laser is then fired. The laser agitates the pigment on the surface of the iris,” Dr Homer – the firm’s chairman and chief scientific officer – told the BBC. “We use two frequencies that are absorbed by dark pigment, and it is fully absorbed so there is no danger of damage to the rest of the eye. “It heats it up and changes the structure of the pigment cells. The body recognises they are damaged tissue and sends out a protein. This recruits another feature that is like little pac-men that digest the tissue at a molecular level.”.Since the pigment – called melanin – does not regenerate the treatment is irreversible.Lasers are already used to remove the substance in skin to help treat brown spots and freckles. Some of the limitations of this surgery however they haven’t been completely identified, further research has to be done.

There are many implication to this surgery, it causes us to question how far we will go to benefit our appearance, to what point are our the risk less important then our appearance? Also it causes us to think about te future of science, how will the science advance to further our cosmetic appearance? Through some of the research I found that a laser surgery that causes the eye to be completely white taking away all of the small red line. Just like other surgery there are many risks.


“Doctor Trials laser treatment to change eye colour.” BBC Media News Technology. 5 11 2011: n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.

Handrill, Marilyn. “LASIK Risks and Complication.” All About Vision. n.d. n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.

“Laser Eye Surgery: Risks and COmplications Exposed.” Laser Eye Surgery Hub. 26 10 2010: n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.

Feig, Christy. “Clearing up picture on laser eye surgery.” CNN Health. n. page. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.

How Technology is helping the Government with Safety

It seems that everyday more people are getting caught for driving under the influence especially celebrities; most recently the constant offender of the law is Lindsay Lohan. In an attempt to stop this, courts are assigning offender to wear alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets, this bracelets are meant to be calculating the amount of alcohol a person is taking in, and when they reach a certain point send a signal to police offices. Every recently Lindsay Lohan monitor went off, and her lawyers started arguing that the monitor was other ways of send out signal. So this got me thinking how exactly could a monitor detect the level of alcohol in person, if the only contact it has is to the outer layer of the skin. Also I wondered to what point can the device work, it a person spilled alcohol on to the surface of the device would it go off.


The  DUI defense  Attorney of Michigan, Patrick T. Barone wrote an article exampling the function of the alcohol monitors. Through his explanation I have come up with this understanding.

Due to ethanol’s affinity for water, it is rapidly distributed throughout the body by the process of diffusion. Upon reaching equilibrium the fluids of the body will contain ethanol in proportion to their water content. The relationship between breath and blood alcohol is a constant ratio such that one volume of blood contains about the same amount of alcohol as 2100 volumes of alveolar air in normal healthy humans. This means that, in spite of a rather large concentration differences, alcohol excreted in the breath parallels that of the blood over the entire excretion phase (rising and falling).


Alcohol Monitor, calculates the amount of alcohol through the sweat that is released in for the skin.  Detecting alcohol level from the skin can be very complicated because there are many variables that most be kept in mind, examples are the rate in which the alcohol is being diffused through the skin, the type of skin also the area in which the monitor has been placed to function, the thickness of the stratum corneum and also the amount of sweating each individual does. Also it is important to understand the alcohol can be detected much faster from a breath analysis then form an analysis of the sweat. One study showed that this delay can vary from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. The amount of delay also depends on where the measurement is made, with the longest delay occurring in measurements taken from the individual’s forearm. However it has not been completely determined how long it takes to for the device to contact the alcohol. This is why alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets can only be used in order to become aware if there is any alcohol intake.

The most surprising part of understanding the function of the ankle monitor is the implications that they cause, which is how do to technology in theory the government could almost control most aspect of your lives.  The ankle alcohol monitor is only one of many examples of how technology is helping keep track of subjects, another example is the locator ankle bracelet which can keep a person’s location know at all times. Everyday new technology is created. maybe in the future governments might inject chip into people brains, we don’t know anything is possible. This brings up the point of ethics, To what point are we really free? and In the future will our freedom be limited?


Barone, Patrick T. “Alcohol Monitoring Ankle Bracelets.” 1.800.DUI.Laws. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2005. Web. 18 Jan 2011. <>.

Eligon, John. “Not Just for Drunk and Famous; Ankle Bracelets that Monitor Alcohol.” New York Times(2010): n. pag. Web. 18 Jan 2011. <>.

Buddy , Thompson. “Ankle Bracelet Measures Alcohol LEvel 24/7.” (2010): 1. Web. 24 Jan 2011. <>.

The Rescue Plan That Saved the 33 Men

Chilean Victory
Chilean Victory

A news report that made a the whole world stop what they were doing as  the story was being revealed. On the August 5 a rockfall caused a 33 miners to be trapped 700m underground in a mine that is 800km form Santiago the capital of Chile. Seventeen days later after no contact, the a note was found, declaring that the miners were still alive. Once the miners were located, a huge relief was felt about a the all of the world wide viewers that were keeping tract of the event, however once the miners were located the rescuers were faced with a new dilemma, how were they going to get the miner out? They needed a plan that would get the miner as fast as possible and without causing a rockfall on the miners, due the previous rockfall the mine was at a very unstable situation.

All of the Experts came together and they came up with three main plans of getting the miners out. The collapse 46om  and at 520m underground. They had Plan A, a drill called Strata 950 raise bore machine, the diameter of the drill is 3m to 6m. This drill has a 0-62 rpm speed. The drill that was going to be used for Plan A was a mining drill that is used all over the world, one of the main manufactures are an Australian company called RUC Cementation Mining Contractors.This information led to the estimation that the miner  would be saved at the end of the year. According  to BBC there are three main steps  33 cm hole is made to reach the miners, then hole is reamed to create a larger hole the size of diameter of 60 to 70 cm.  A capsule is brought down to slowly bring up the miners.

Plan A to Rescue the Miners
Plan A to Rescue the Miners

The second plan, Plan B, that experts had come up with was to use Scharamm T-30, this a drilling machine that is attached to a truck it very heavy machinery, that is used to for mining it can be mounted into most standard shaped trucks, it has a rotating head that creates the hole by rotation the blades. The drill releases   a lot of depre that the miner took shifts to clear out. The diameter of the hole created is 156mm at start and it closely increase till the diameter is 56 cm wide.

Plan B
Plan B

Plan C that the experts came up was to used a The Rig 422, an important function that this drill had that other one didn’t was that this machine had its own way of bring up the rumble to the surface. This is the largest drill, that is suppose to get the miner out the fastest. The original purpose of the drill is a to get into  oil chambers so it has more power then the mining drill. The drill creates a hole the diameter of 60cm wide, with the power of the drill The Rig 422 the expert said that the miners could have been rescued by november.

On September the 20th the all three drills where set up and the rescuers were waiting for a one of the drill to reach the miners. During the rescue mission there was a couple of days that the drill from plan B was not working because a part of the machinery break off, however after a couple of days drilling continued.During the wait the miners were keep busy and all of their necessities were met. The men were all talked to therapist to make sure they were in emotionally stable, they a had a nutritionist and a personal trainer so that some of them could lose some weight to they could fit in the rescue shafts. On the 10th of October the plan B has a break through, it is able to get to the miners. Then the top 54 meter of the hole made was lined with steel tubes to reinforce it, the rest of the tube was surrounded by rocks that were strong to withstand by them selfs.

The rescue operation began on October 13 when the first miner was realized from the mine. In the process of saving the miners many scientific aspects had to be used to save the miners. All of the mathematical aspects of physics were important factor in the rescue mission.  For each of the drill the speed and the mechanical understanding as the main factors that saved the miners.


Brown, Adrian . “Rescuers face though challenge to save Chile Miners.” BBC Mobile: News Latin America & Caribbean. British Broadcasting Company, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <>.

“Chile Begins Drilling Third Hole to Reach Trapped Miners.” Asia One News. Singapore Press Holding Ltd., 20 Sep 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <>.

Jasovsky, Zoltan. “Drilling Machinery – Drilling Rigs.” Envigeo. N.p., 2006. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <


“Jubilation as Chile mine rescue ends.” BBC Mobile: News Latin America & Caribbean 1.1 (2010): 1-10. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <>.

Nelsen, Aaron. “Chilean Miners trapped, but citizen approve government response.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 07 Sep. 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <>.

“Strata 950.” RUC Cementation Mining Contractors. Murray & Robert Group Company, 2009. Web. 19 Oct 2010. <>.