Monday, December 22, 2014

The Top Apple App of 2014 Is...

The Apple App store is a huge business.  What started out a few years ago as a couple of programs, has blossomed into a way of life for many of us and a business for others.

It is estimated that Apple has over 1.2 million apps available for download.  Amazing huh?

So amazing, in fact that some apps become a franchise/brand unto themselves... Angry Birds anyone?

Have you ever stopped to consider which one is most popular?  Games come & go, but some apps become fairly ingrained in our collective consciousness.

The top app for 2014 is Elevate, a personal trainer for your brain.

Fox Business has a great article on the app.  To read the article, click here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Flucke's 10 dental practice predictions for 2015

It's that time of year again.  Time for my technology predictions.

This article is always fun, but always a bit stressful because it really bugs me to get things wrong... and invariably, that happens with this project.

So here are the topics:

  1. Smart Equipment
  2. The Cloud Connection
  3. The Electronic Health Record
  4. HIPAA
  5. Open Source CAD/CAM
  6. 3D and 3D Integration
  7. Security
  8. Backups
  9. Evolving Magnification
  10. 3D Printing

Also, thank you so much for your support and for reading both here on the Blog, on, and also in every issue of Dental Products Report.  I'm honored that you continue to read my articles and I'm proud to be able to give you the info I hope you need.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Could Alcatraz Escapees have Survived?

On June 11, 1962, 3 men attempted a bold escape from a federal penitentiary affectionately called "The Rock".  Frank Morris and 2 brothers John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin pulled off a complicated and many have felt "impossible" plot to escape Alcatraz in a raft made of raincoats.

The 3 inmates disappeared into the night and were never heard from again.

Over the years there has been a lot of speculation and even a fairly decent movie starring Clint Eastwood about the jail break.  

It seems that this subject is something that both urban legend loving folks and science loving folks alike have an interest in this particular piece of history.

Heck, even my heros, the guys with the perfect job (other than mine), The MythBusters, took a look at this one.  And their trial showed that it was *possible* to have gotten off the island and survived.

However, despite all the romantic tales of the 3 inmates surviving, the vast majority have felt they met with a rather quick and unfortunate end.

But wait just a moment...

It seems that science isn't quite done with this one... yet.

2 Durch researchers have presented some very interesting data that indicates *scientifically* that this little escapade may darn well have been doable and survivable.

Take a look at the article from Wired and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Apple Halts e-sales in Russia Due to that Country's Continuing Economic Struggles...

Here's an interesting bit of info when you take into consideration the current situation facing the Russian Ruble.  Although economics is not my area of expertise, from what I understand, the current decrease in global oil prices combined with economic sanctions due to the Russian situation in Ukraine has begun to cause a bit of a meltdown in the Russian economy.

The value of the Ruble is falling dramatically and to help prop it up, the country recently increased interest rates to something in the neighborhood of 17%.

As the value of the Ruble falls, that means that the costs of American goods, goes up.  Recently Apple increased the cost of the iPhone 6 by 25% to help compensate for the drop in value of the Ruble.

Now comes word that Cupertino has decided to stop e-sales to the troubled country.

This is especially interesting because there are not many retail outlets for Apple products in Russia and there are NO Apple stores in the country.  That means that the bulk of Apple's sales in Russia come via e-sales.  Basically this means that the country now has an extremely limited access to Apple products.

In the big picture what does this mean?  It's hard to say, but I always like to see what the big boys do to help evaluate a situation.  It has been estimated that last year Apple sold 1 billion dollars worth of products in Russia.  When a company like Apple suddenly cuts off a huge chunk of that much money, I see storm clouds on the horizon for the Russian economy.

Thoughts?  I'd love to see some comments on this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

High-tech home gift guide

We're all a little rushed over the holiday season and I'm no exception.

So, a short post today, but well worth the read via Fox News.

Here is the link.

Read & enjoy.

Also, looking for drone?  Take a look here.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

DEXISTM Wins Another Group Of Peer-Elected Awards!

The imaging products of DEXIS have garnered the “Best” in 3 categories—Digital X-ray Sensor, Digital Image Management Software, and Intra-oral Camera, of the 2014 Townie Choice Awards! A TCA winner for many years, this marks the fourth con- secutive year that this DEXIS trio of products has gained these particular accolades.

Hatfield, PA (December 12, 2014) DEXIS, a brand of the KaVo Kerr Group, is proud to announce that Dentaltown has chosen the DEXISTM Platinum digital intra-oral sensor, DEXISTM digital imaging software, and DEXcamTM 3 intra-oral camera as winners of the 2014 Townie Choice awards. DEXIS sends its appreciation to Townies across the nation, clinicians who use technology in everyday practice, and whose votes reflected their loyal use of DEXIS products.
Dentaltown states, “For over a decade, Townies have voted on the most comprehensive list of peer- recommended products and services in dentistry. Winners have become recognized as the most reliable and reputable in dentistry. By voting in the Townie Choice Awards, [Townies] improve the profession by advancing the best technologies and practices used by dentists around the world, helping them practice better dentistry. One vote can impact dentistry for thousands of practices and millions of patients.” To this point, the DEXIS Platinum single-size sensor offers dentists remarkable image quality, patient comfort, ease of use, portability, and time savings. DEXcam 3, a direct-USB intra-oral video camera, adds to the capabilities for patient education and communication.
DEXIS digital radiographs and photographs are combined for use in diagnostics and in patient communication within the DEXISTM Imaging Suite software. This program streamlines workflow and integrates with practice management software, digital pans and select 3D products. DEXIS goTM, the supporting application for DEXIS Imaging Suite, increases portability and patient education opportunities even more. DEXIS go displays all radiographic and photographic images within a patient’s record so dental professionals can communicate with patients using an iPad®.
“DEXIS products have won Townie Choice recognition over the years, and each year, it is still just as exciting that dental peers take their valuable time and effort to vote for us,” says Richard Matty, Director of Marketing for DEXIS. “We are thrilled that our intra-oral imaging products are helping them to achieve their goals in diagnostics and patient education. Dentists use DEXIS imaging products every day, and on almost every patient, and for this, we always strive to maintain the level of excellence that keeps our dental professionals loyal to our brand.”
Team DEXIS is grateful for the positive feedback on these products, continuing its legacy as the most highly awarded digital X-ray system. These votes of confidence encourage the pursuit of the development of new digital dental imaging solutions that can aid in better dental care.
Indications for use:\ifu 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vitamin Supplement Successfully Prevents Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

As someone that has been around high pitched whining dental handpieces for more than half my life, I'm starting to feel like my high end hearing is starting to fade a bit.  It might be all of that loud music in my youth too, but on second thought... probably not.

Anyway, there is good news for all of us who either *are* experiencing hearing loss or will at some point in our lives.  It seems researchers have discovered a way to both prevent it *and* help restore it.

Read this press release for all the info:

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO—December 2, 2014—Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.
The researchers set about trying to prevent this nerve damage by giving mice NR before or after exposing them to loud noises. NR was successful at preventing damage to the synaptic connections, avoiding both short-term and long-term hearing loss. What’s more, NR was equally effective regardless of whether it was given before or after the noise exposure.Published today in Cell Metabolism, the researchers used the chemicalnicotinamide riboside (NR) to protect the nerves that innervate the cochlea. The cochlea transmits sound information through these nerves to the spiral ganglion, which then passes along those messages to the brain. Exposure to loud noises damages the synapses connecting the nerves and the hair cells in the cochlea, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss.
"One of the major limitations in managing disorders of the inner ear, including hearing loss, is there are a very limited number of treatments options. This discovery identifies a unique pathway and a potential drug therapy to treat noise-induced hearing loss," says Dr. Kevin Brown, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and first author on the paper. Dr. Brown conducted the research while at Weill Cornell.
The researchers chose NR because it is a precursor to the chemical compound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which had previously been shown by Dr. Brown and co-senior author Dr. Samie Jaffrey to protect cochlea nerve cells from injury. However, NAD+ is an unstable compound, calling into question whether it could be used out of the petri dish and in a live animal. That led the scientists to use NR instead.
Methods for synthesizing NR were recently developed by Dr. Anthony Sauve, a professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell and co-author of the study. This resulted in quantities of NR that were sufficient to test in animals.
"NR gets into cells very readily and can be absorbed when you take it orally. It has all the properties that you would expect in a medicine that could be administered to people,” said Dr. Jaffrey, a professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell.
Beyond just preventing hearing loss, the researchers think the results may have broader applications because of the underlying way NR protects nerve cells. The scientists showed that NR and NAD+ prevent hearing loss by increasing the activity of the protein sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), which is critically involved in the function of mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell.
The researchers hypothesized that it was this enhancement of SIRT3 that was behind the protective properties of NR. To test this, they manipulated SIRT3 levels independently of NR to see if they could still prevent noise-induced hearing loss by administering NR. Sure enough, deleting the SIRT3 gene in mice abolished any of the protective properties of NR. The researchers also showed that a new strain of mice, generated in the lab of co-senior author Dr. Eric Verdin at the Gladstone Institutes and engineered to express high levels of SIRT3, were inherently resistant to noise-induced hearing loss, even without administration of NR.
SIRT3 decreases naturally as we age, which could partially explain aging-related hearing loss. Additionally, some individuals carry different versions of the SIRT3 genes that result in reduced enzyme activity, which may make them more susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss.
Dr. Verdin, an investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says, "The success of this study suggests that targeting SIRT3 using NR could be a viable target for treating all sorts of aging-related disorders—not only hearing loss but also metabolic syndromes like obesity, pulmonary hypertension, and even diabetes."
Other scientists who participated in this research include Sadia Maqsood, William Harkcom, Dr. Wei Li, and Dr. Sauve from Weill Cornell, and Jing-Yi Huang and Dr. Yong Pan from the Gladstone Institutes. Funding was provided by Weill Cornell, the NYS DOH Spinal Cord Injury Fund, the Gladstone Institutes, and the National Institutes of Health.