Bio Spectrum — May 2017

(Jacob Rumans) #1

A team of researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic
University (PolyU) has developed a new system for three-
dimensional (3D) fingerprinting identification for providing
more accuracy during crime investigation, immigration
control, security of access and forensic applications.
Law enforcement agencies commonly use automated
contact-based 2D fingerprinting identification system for
identifying people. The major drawback of this system is that
contact-based acquisition of biometric scans by rolling or
pressing fingers against a hard surface such as glass, silicon
or polymer often results in partial or degraded images due
to skin deformations, slippages or smearing. Non-contact
fingerprint systems reduce these inaccuracies by avoiding
direct contact between the imaging sensor and the elastic
surface of the skin.
The new
identification system
developed by Dr
Ajay Kumar’s team
at the Department of
Computing overcomes
all the limitations
imposed by contact-
based 2D biometric
scans. The system involves the use of a single, low-cost digital
camera coupled with a few LED light sources controlled by a
camera. This allows researchers to efficiently acquire high-
frequency information in 3D fingerprints using advanced
proprietary 3D fingerprint template generation algorithms to
recover 3D minutiae features.
This new system offers compact size, high accuracy of
around 97 per cent, reduced cost of up to $780, the faster
processing time of approximately two seconds, and reduced
amount of equipment needed. The new practical system is all
set for commercialisation with several US patents granted on
its ground-breaking technologies.

New 3D fingerprint

identification system developed

Cancer drugs

developed from

Rampatri plant

Scientists at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
(BARC), Mumbai have developed two anti-
cancer drugs from the fruit extract of Rampatri
plant. These medicines can be used to destroying
tumours and reviving cells damaged by radiation.
Rampatri plant or Myristica malabarica belongs
to the Myristicaceae family. It is used in Ayurvedic
medicine and has been shown to have anticancer
and anti-inflammatory properties.
The medicines made from this plant were
tested on mice and were found to be effective in
treating lung cancer and neuroblastoma, a rare
cancer found in children. The team of researchers
at the Bio Science Division at BARC working on
developing cancer medicines from herbal plants
found out that the molecules of Rampatri fruit
have properties to destroy cancer cells.
They have developed medicines in the form of
Radio Modifier and Radio Protector. The Radio
Modifier protects healthy cells during radiation
therapy. Pre-clinical trials have been conducted
for both these medicines and permission from
DCGI has been taken for testing it on humans.

A new system has been developed at
the University of British Columbia
that uses bacteria for turning non-
potable water into drinking water.
The system would be tested in West
Vancouver before getting installed
in the remote communities of
Fibre membranes have been used
to design the system for holding the
contaminants such as dirt, bacteria

and viruses away from the water. A
community of beneficial bacteria or
biofilm is used as the second line of
defence for helping break down the
pollutants in the water. The biofilm
layer helps in essentially eating away
the captured contaminants which
would otherwise get accumulated
and clog the membrane. The waste
then flows out through gravity. It
offers much more efficiency than

the conventional purifying systems
The new system has been
developed to offer a low-cost,
effective water treatment for
communities and to provide a
healthier environment to the local
communities. The project has been
supported by the federally funded
Canada-India research organisation

Bacteria can be used for purifying water | May 2017 | BioSpectrum l SCIENCE NEWS^19

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