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Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
Date:11/19/2008

onship between the fluid dynamics, electrophysiology, and biochemistry of the embryonic heart, which may allow doctors to detect the beginnings of congenital heart disease.

"The ultimate goal of the research would be to enable doctors to use electrocardiograms and ultrasounds for the early detection of congenital heart disease. It may also be possible to use techniques such as microfluidic surgery to correct problems in heart chamber and valve formation," Miller says.

Miller will describe the heart models in her talk, "Fluid-structure interaction and electrophysiology of the embryonic heart," at 10:43 am on Sunday, November 23, 2008, in Room 103A of the San Antonio Convention Center. Abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD08/Event/89766.


7) WALKERS' WAKES CAN SPREAD GERMS IN AIRPLANES

Airliner ventilation systems are designed to limit passengers' exposure to airborne particles -- from ill travelers' contagious germs to terrorists' aerosol biohazards. Vents in a plane's center ceiling direct air out and down toward the floor below the windows, creating a swirling flow pattern within each row of seats that effectively confines contaminants to a single row or, at worst, its next-row neighbors.

But new research at Purdue University has shown that anyone -- a flight attendant or a passenger, for instance -- merely walking down an airliner's aisle will disrupt this carefully designed flow pattern by creating a wake of eddies that can spread contaminants as far as 10 rows away. Moreover, lead scientist Michael Plesniak says, the eddies' interaction with the ventilation system's swirling flow creates a stagnant zone "at just the wrong place." The height of the stagnant zone is exactly where seated passengers breathe. Future research aims to devise ways for breaking up this stagnant zone and reducing the ability of wakes from people moving around the
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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