Archive: 2015

Flipper the Aquatic Lassie

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Written by: Tony Harris, December 2, 2015



According to studies released in 2003 by American and Scottish Biologist over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises were killed unintentionally in fishermen’s hauls in 2002. This is just a statistic and statistics are just numbers, unless of course they are about someone you knew. What if it was about Flipper!

So called ‘drift out nets’ used in the Baltic seas have long been banned in other waters due to the danger to marine life. So how can we catch fish economically and yet preserve marine life. Ultrasound provides a solution, in what is called a ‘pinger’.

There are different types of pinger but we are interested in the ADD or Acoustic Deterrent Device.  An ADD is a device with a low intensity that emits signal of about 10 KHz with higher harmonic frequencies. Pingers use ultrasound to keep the dolphins away from the fishing nets.

Before it introduced its own pinger program in 2000, Denmark estimated up to 6,000 porpoises were caught annually in its waters alone. The use of pingers continues to reduce the number of porpoises caught in nets up to 4 km, and compliance in pinger use has improved. Of course pingers introduce noise into the marine environment, and so are not without potential impacts themselves, but perhaps they are the lesser of two evils.

E&I supplies amplifiers to companies that manufacture pingers. The usefulness of ultrasound appears boundless. And we like to think that we can help keep Flipper out of the statistics.


For more info see here:


“Back to the Future”

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Written by : Tony Harris, November 30, 2015



How time flies… I find it very difficult to believe that it was 30 years ago that the movie “Back to the Future” was released. The movie sent Michael J Fox back 30 years to 1955. But eventually he got back to 1985 only to have a sequel mess with time again and send him on to 2015.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. He has been instrumental in advocating studies into finding a cure for the disease. Along with the Focused Ultrasound foundation, the Michael J Fox foundation funded research by the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia. The study showed how treatment with ultrasound could alleviate ET or essential tremor. The trials have shown excellent results as can be seen from the progress of one patient; Kimberly Spletter See:

When we consider the advances that are happening in medical research, it seems sometimes as if we have traveled to the future. Let us hope that we can find cures for these debilitating conditions without having to go much farther into the future…


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Written by: Tony Harris, November 29, 2015



The human body is truly an amazing piece of technology. Its functions cross the boundaries of so many fields of study; biology, physics, and chemistry, being the obvious ones. Like all complex organisms it has a hierarchy that protects and sacrifices. Hair, nails, epidermis, and teeth to a lesser extent, are discarded when their usefulness has run out.

I am not going to get into the argument of evolution verses intelligent design. I would venture the opinion that a design normally needs a prototype and if we count the Neanderthal as one, then we have to question why they didn’t lose the appendix in Homo sapiens Rev 2. But then one could argue that the evolution process should also have dispensed with it.

However, I digress, the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), is an incredibly highly selective barrier that separates the blood circulating in the body’s blood stream from the brain and allows only the passage of select fluids and chemicals. It serves to protect the brain from poisons ingested, injected or developed inside the body. It is an extremely effective and protective screen; it is a MacAfee for the brain.

The downside is that sometimes drugs that one needs to get to the brain are filtered out. Tumor treating drugs are stopped at the BBB. This hampers our ability to treat patients with brain tumors.

Earlier this month the BBB was broken for the first time, by researchers in the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. This is a very important achievement in the advancement of treatment for brain cancer and elucidates the breadth of treatments utilizing therapeutic ultrasound.


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Written by: Tony Harris, January 11, 2015



Happy New Year!

I can’t believe how time goes past so quickly. It seems only yesterday we were singing “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome 2014.

2015 should be a great year for E&I. We will be introducing our first Class D product and additionally totally new models of our 3000 series. The 325LA, 350L, 3100L and 3200L have all been redesigned. The new design uses LDMoS power transistors and reduces the form factor and increases bandwidth.

We are looking forward to the ISTU in the Netherlands, the international congress on ultrasonics in France and the IEEE in Taiwan later in October.

But before that we have Burns night to look forward to first.