Interesting projects

It is great that there are other interesting projects out there that are also concerned with making science available to more people! Here is a short list of projects I came across. They are not necessarily focusing on open source, but worth getting to know anyhow:

TReND in Africa: Where TReND stands for Teaching and Research in Neuroscience for Development, is a initiative to stop the brain drain in sub-Saharan Africa. They are a non-profit organisation led by a small group of researchers that are training and teaching local African scientists. On top of that they also coordinate the collection of money and equipment donation to establish permanent research facilities on African universities.

Open Stent project: Although more into medicine rather than neuroscience is the open stent project is developed by NDC. Their stent was first designed to aid customer interaction. It seems that when giving examples on design improvements, they would always bump into proprietary issues, therefore they developed their own design and made the blueprints available for everyone.

Open source stethoscope: This is a 3D printed stethoscope, developed by Tarek Loubani, a doctor that works in Gaza and with a 3D printer and 5 dollars worth of materials (tubes, ear piece and plastic to be printed) he and his group were able to outperform the Littmann Cardiology 3, a market leader, that sells for over 20X the price of the printed one.

Hackteria – Is a wiki page that collects several DIY projects related to Biology and Open Source Art Projects that use Biology, LifeSciences, Biotechnology. Among the projects listed are centrifuges, water baths, field microscopes.

Open Source Lab:   A project by Prof. Joshua Pearce of Michigan University. It advocates in favour of researchers building their own lab equipment using 3D printers and other “off the shelf” available items. Although the main focus of the lab are environmental problems, a lot of the solutions there stated can easily be harvested/modified for neuroscience purposes.

e-Health sensor platform: A device created at the open source division of Libelium, called cooking hacks. It allows integration of several health related sensors (blood pressure, oxygen level, glucose level, muscle activity, airflow, galvanic response) into arduino and raspberry pi. Which can be used to make real time monitoring of patients and/or test subjects.

Bitalino: On the same lines as e-health (above), the Bitalino is a complete platform for measurements of biosignals, but this project is more focused on learning and prototyping. It also has free software for data visualization.

Little Devices: develops tools to improve health care and diagnostics. They are open source, and DIY.

Public lab: Involved with environmental issues, Public lab is a platform that empowers communities to measure environmental variables around them. This way hard data concerning water, air and soil pollution can be used to put pressure on governments.

Open source Muon Detector: an undergraduate-level physics project that incorporates various aspects of machine- and electronics-shop technical development. The desktop muon detector is a self-contained apparatus that employs plastic scintillator as a detection medium and a silicon photomultiplier for light collection. These detectors can be used in conjunction with the provided software to make interesting physics measurements. The total cost of each counter is approximately $100.

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