Technology & Innovation 14(1) Abstracts

Return to Technology and Innovation main page>

Technology and Innovation, Vol. 14, pp. 7–15, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13378627621635
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Review

Polycarbonates From Bisphenol A: A Good Invention Gone Awry?

Dean F. Martin and Barbara B. Martin

Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component of plastics that have a variety of significant uses. Unfortunately, the plastics can fail with age and the BPA or other substances possessing estrogenic activity (EA) can be released. BPA is also present in our bodies in detectable amounts in our blood stream. And it is present in the rivers and estuaries in detectable amounts, despite its low solubility in water. A significant concern arises as to the toxicity of this material, which because of the ubiquity of the material and the uncertainty of the toxicity, has become a matter of concern and significant debate, which seemingly leads to three choices: ban, restrict, ignore. The potential for control of EA materials in plastics is considered.

Key words: Bisphenol A (BPA); Toxicity; Polycarbonates; Epoxy resins; Plastics; Estrogenic activity (EA)

Accepted October 20, 2011.
Address correspondence to Dean F. Martin, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry CHE 205, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler, Tampa, FL 33620-5250, USA. Tel: 813-974-2374; Fax: 813-974-3203; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 14, pp. 17–24, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13378627621671
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

The Creation of a Didactic Tool for Learning Mexican Sign Language: Service-Learning and Innovation

Anne E. Pfister* and Stephanie Y. Teramoto Kimura†

*Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
†Independent Concentration Program in Neuroscience, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

The unique context of a service-learning project, which brought together hearing and deaf youth in Mexico City, Mexico, inspired a high school participant to use technological innovation to create a computer program intended to assist hearing individuals in learning Mexican Sign Language (or Lengua de Señas Mexicanas, LSM). This article describes and evaluates the effects of this student-created computer program that addressed a community need and surprised the inventor and participants when unintentional learning objectives were subsequently revealed. The discussion of this student’s invention illustrates how students involved in service-learning projects can apply their ingenuity in response to social and instructional needs. This project also suggests the need for empirical research to determine the effectiveness of didactic tools for teaching signed languages, such as computerized programs like the one described here.

Key words: Deaf; Computer program; Mexico; Service-learning

Accepted January 30, 2012.
Address correspondence to Anne E. Pfister, 34924 Williams Cemetery Road, Dade City, FL 33525, USA. Tel: 813-410-7786; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 14, pp. 25–38, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13378627621716
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

The Search for Medical Technologies Abroad: The Case of Medical Travel and Pediatric Oncology Treatment in Argentina

Cecilia Vindrola-Padros and Linda M. Whiteford

Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Many of the discussions related to technology in academia focus on the processes of innovation and the adaptation of technologies to suit the needs of users, rather than issues of access to technology and inequalities in its distribution. Medical travel, the process through which individuals leave their place of origin in search of medical services, is one of the strategies used to surmount obstacles and gain access to medical technologies. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the importance of taking into consideration the social, cultural, and economic factors, as well as those of structural violence, that play a role in patients’ decisions to undertake medical travel. The article uses data collected from Bolivian and Paraguayan families who traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to request pediatric oncology treatment for their ill children to highlight the different ways in which the experience of medical travel is shaped by constraints in the country of origin, policies in the host country, and the characteristics of the individuals who are migrating. The experiences of these families point to the fact that medical travel is not only used by economically comfortable patients searching for quicker, cheaper, or more private services, but can also be a strategy used by economically challenged patients who see travel as the only way to save their lives.

Key words: Medical travel; Cancer; Children; Argentina; Bolivia; Paraguay

Accepted December 16, 2011.
Address correspondence to Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, SOC 107, Tampa, FL 33620-8100, USA. Tel: 813-974-1347; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 14, pp. 39–48, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13378627621752
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Evaluation of How Cigarette Smoke Is a Direct Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Brian Giunta,*† Juan Deng,‡ Jingji Jin,*‡ Edin Sadic,* Saja Rum,* Huadong Zhou,§ Paul Sanberg,¶ and Jun Tan†‡§

*Neuroimmunology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
†James A. Haley Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA
‡Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
§Department of Neurology, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
¶Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Cigarette smoking is a risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the pathological hallmark of which is amyloid-β (Aβ) brain deposits. We found the adjusted risk of AD was significantly increased among medium level smokers (RR = 2.56; 95% CI = 1.65–5.52), with an even higher risk in the heavy smoking group (RR = 3.03; 95% CI = 1.25–4.02). This systematic review and original data further support this association. We searched Pubmed, Google scholar, and PsyINFO for original population study articles, meta-analyses, and reviews published between 1987 and 2011. Some studies were excluded due to design flaws including survivor bias. We performed analyses of: 1) amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing in N2a cells overexpressing Swedish mutant APP (SweAPP N2a) exposed to cigarette smoke condensate (CSC), 2) microglial inflammatory response to CSC, and 3) CSC exposed microglial phagocytosis of Aβ1-42. CSC significantly promotes neuronal Aβ generation, increases microglial IL-1β and TNF-α production, and decreases microglial Aβ1-42 phagocytosis. The mechanism underlying the epidemiological association of cigarette smoking with AD might involve the effect of cigarette smoke on APP processing, a reduction of Aβ clearance by microglia, and/or an increased microglial proinflammatory response. In vivo studies are required to fully elucidate how cigarette smoke promotes AD.

Key words: Cigarette; Smoking; Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Dementia; Risk; Amyloid-β (Aβ)

Accepted February 8, 2012.
Address correspondence to Brian Giunta, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, 3515 E. Fletcher Ave., MDT 14, Tampa, FL, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it