For Young ones in the Healthcare facility, Online video Games Are Aspect of Restoration

Shane Rafferty plays movie game titles for a dwelling. He’s neither a developer nor a rated qualified, but his do the job revolves all over gaming all the very same: Rafferty is a gaming technological know-how expert. As the title implies, he uses technology—and video games in particular—to offer social and psychological assistance for hospitalized children and their families.

Although the task description sounds like fantasy, gaming technological innovation experts are a reality at a lot more than 50 hospitals throughout the world. Among the them is the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Given that August 2021, Rafferty has performed dozens of game titles there, ranging from Mario Kart to Tetris to Tremendous Smash Bros., with hundreds of kids.

Rafferty arrives from a well being treatment background, so he’s no stranger to educating patients, distracting them, and helping them cope with diagnoses, but gaming permits him to hook up with sufferers over typical passions, also.

“It’s a good way to make rapport with them and split down barriers,” Rafferty says.

Past making relationships, he’s also discovered that playing alongside (or versus!) the youngsters allows them forget they’re in the medical center. It gives them a prospect to interact in engage in, same as their friends.

“They’re sitting down, they are playing Mario Kart,” Rafferty suggests, “and they are not contemplating about how they’ve been trapped in the exact same area for the past month. As an alternative they’re thinking, ‘I need to have to get this crimson shell so I can beat this male who thinks he’s warm things.’”

Being able to offer you that reprieve through gaming, which equally Rafferty and the young ones love, is specifically gratifying.

Just Yet another Day in the Lifetime

The title “gaming engineering specialist” can be a bit of a misnomer, as Rafferty’s working day can involve everything from bedside gaming periods to console troubleshooting to consultations with other departments and even donors.

As Rafferty puts it: “I have on a ton of hats.”

Rafferty has 3 key jobs at Lurie. The initial is to retain the hospital’s amusement technology. This contains the consoles in the playroom region on the hospital’s 20 cellular game carts, and any tech loaned out to patients’ person rooms. He troubleshoots controllers, installs updates, and confirms the appropriateness of the apps downloaded on to the hospital’s iPads. He also orders new gear as wanted.

These are jobs that boost patients’ high-quality of everyday living. They are also duties that may well get shifted to the back burner without the need of a dedicated professional.

“Our child everyday living staff is concentrated on interacting with patients’ households, undertaking process supports, and supplying training,” Rafferty says. If a sport isn’t doing work, “they do not have time to say, ‘Alright, is Minion Hurry up to date?’”

Dealing with the load of tech maintenance is just one particular of the rewards of a gaming technological know-how professional. There is also Rafferty’s 2nd process to

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The latest technology in art restoration? Bacteria

Written by Ben Wedeman, CNNJacqui Palumbo, CNNRome, Italy

Rome may be the eternal city, but its ancient artifacts are under unrelenting assault by the ravages of time, pollution, acid rain and the sweat and breath of millions of tourists. The Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum, for one, has the grime of 18 centuries caked onto its surface.

Now, conservator Alessandro Lugari and his colleagues are trying to salvage the city’s treasures using a new technology — one that employs one of the oldest forms of life: bacteria.

The Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome is being fortified with billions of bacteria that have been fed enzymes in order to calcify.

The Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome is being fortified with billions of bacteria that have been fed enzymes in order to calcify. Credit: John Harper/Moment RF/Getty Images

“This marble was almost disintegrating; it was turning to powder,” he says. “So we needed to intervene with consolidation.”

Standing beneath the arch, Lugari points to a marble block weighing several metric tons. “Inside, there are billions of bacteria,” he adds.

The block in question served as a test for the rest of the monument. Its exterior was covered with enzymes, drawing the bacteria — which naturally reside within the marble — to the surface. The resulting calcification strengthened the stone, with the enzymes applied multiple times a day over the course of two weeks.

Bacteria "have already been selected by nature to develop potential abilities which we can test and study and apply," said microbiologist Chiara Alisi.

Bacteria “have already been selected by nature to develop potential abilities which we can test and study and apply,” said microbiologist Chiara Alisi. Credit: CNN

“(The bacteria) doesn’t pass through the marble but rather through the cracks, and it solidifies,” Lugari explains. “It becomes covered with calcium carbonate, which is the same substance as marble and therefore binds, on a microscopic level, the various parts of the marble, creating more marble.

“We tried this, it worked, so the next step will be to try it on the entire monument,” he adds.

Restoring at the molecular level

Silvia Borghini, conservator at the National Roman Museum, said that bacteria have an unfair reputation because they are associated with infection, but their functions are much more complex. “Only a very small number of bacteria are pathogens,” she says. “More than 95 percent of bacteria are not harmful to humans… we live in the midst of bacteria and live thanks to bacteria.”

Increasingly, restoration work is being carried out on a molecular level. But in Italy, the challenge is huge because the country has archaeological sites on a monumental scale.

Michelangelo's 16th-century tombs for the Medici family have recently been cleaned with bacteria.

Michelangelo’s 16th-century tombs for the Medici family have recently been cleaned with bacteria. Credit: Alamy

Beginning in November 2019, bacterial microbes were used in Florence to clean the Medici Chapel, a mausoleum designed by Michelangelo in the 16th-century.

“They found that they had to remove both organic and inorganic materials,” says Chiara Alisi, a microbiologist with the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. “But in this case using chemical substances would have been too aggressive, so (the restorers) asked for our help.”

Alisi and her team search for potentially useful strains of bacteria in

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