Medical Technology

By Pari Datta: Friday 28th April, 2017

The promise of improving outcomes for cancer patients through the liquid biopsy

This week’s publication in Nature  is another major step towards the promise of the liquid biopsy. The study shows that the residual DNA fragments from cancer cells which are found in a patient’s blood could really have a role in real-time monitoring of a patient’s cancer in the future. These fragments were used to track […]

Synthetic biology
By David Fang: Tuesday 25th April, 2017

The synthetic biology revolution

Just as the industrial revolutions of the previous centuries were enabled by novel technologies such as the spinning jenny, steam engine, and transistor, the tools and techniques for engineering biological machinery, known popularly as synthetic biology, may shepherd in the next great wave of innovations ranging from clean water and energy production to novel therapies […]

bogdan-dada-111692 (1)
By Ben Zwillinger: Friday 31st March, 2017

Unlocking the Value of an Expert Review

In this three-part series, I want to explore the expert review. The expert review is often looked down upon. However, it can be one of the most powerful tools in the human factor engineers (HFE) toolbox. Some companies use the expert review as a foundation for projects while other companies seem to rarely, if ever, utilize […]

Man looking at wall of notes and drawings
By Ben Zwillinger: Tuesday 28th February, 2017

The Number One Quality To Have as a Human Factors Engineer

In a departure from some of my more research based articles (read: long), I wanted to write about something a little more digestible. Human factors engineers (HFEs) often work in industries with highly complex and safety critical systems, most often aerospace, military, and medical. There are many attributes that are certainly helpful in this career, […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Wednesday 25th January, 2017

Are we making instructions too easy to read?

Is it possible to make something too easy? Is there a point where the easier something is to do, the fewer people do it correctly? For many of us, this seems counterintuitive. For those of us working in product development, whose job it is to create simple and intuitive products, it seems even crazier. However […]

By Ben Zwillinger: Monday 19th December, 2016

The Case For Quantifying The User Experience

As human factors engineers (HFEs), an important aspect of our job is being the voice of the user. For those who are HFEs or for anyone who may have worked with us before, what I am about to say next may seem odd and maybe even a little rash — I don’t think we are […]

Small Molecules
By Guest Author: Fabio Digiacomo: Monday 28th November, 2016

Indentification of small molecule drugs that could benefit from a synbio-based manufacturing process

Synthetic biology has been recognized as one of the most promising technologies that may impact our future and I, for one, believe that its potential applications are remarkable and incredibly diverse. In this series of articles I report the results of the work that I carried out as part of my internship at Cambridge Consultants.  […]

surgical operation
By Simon Karger: Thursday 24th November, 2016

Unblocking the bottleneck of overstretched cancer testing services

I don’t think many of us were shocked to hear the news that the NHS cancer testing service is under enormous strain. According to a report by Cancer Research UK: Demand for cancer pathology services has been increasing year on year Staffing levels are not increasing fast enough to keep up Interestingly, the Department of […]

Systems Engineering
By Dr Rodrigo Zapiain: Wednesday 16th November, 2016

Developing Diagnostics and Point Of Care Equipment – Project Management and Systems Engineering: Two sides of the same coin

In this series of blogs about systems engineering we have  covered five key elements so far. 1) Understanding and analysis of project requirements, 2) Functional analysis, and system architecture definition  3) Design generation and detail design , 4) System integration and interface management and 5) System Verification and Validation.  In this blog, I will cover the special influence the Systems Engineering approach has […]

By Guest author: Ciara McCarthy: Wednesday 16th November, 2016

The story behind the gold medal winning project

Whilst the majority of students had long since escaped the labs and libraries of Cambridge for the summer, 10 intrepid students remained in the Plant Sciences department. We were a mixture of engineers and natural scientists taking part in iGEM – an international synthetic biology competition. Teams from universities across the world participate, building genetically […]


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