In a move that could draw attention from the world’s top cardiac device makers, researchers in Korea have developed a self-powered artificial cardiac pacemaker that operates without battery power. A team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) designed a cardiac pacemaker implant that runs on a piezoelectric nanogenerator, rather than traditional batteries. Pacemaker batteries typically last seven years on average, and require frequent replacements by putting patients at risk for infections or severe bleeding during operations, Medical Xpress reports. The flexible nanogenerator from South Korean researchers directly stimulated a living rat’s heart using electric energy converted from small body movements, forgoing the need for battery replacement. “For clinical purposes, the current achievement will benefit the development of self-powered cardiac pacemakers as well as prevent heart attacks via the real-time diagnosis of heart arrhythmia,” lead researcher Professor Keon Jae Lee told Medical Xpress. “In addition, the flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator could also be utilized as an electrical source for various implantable medical devices.” The discovery comes in the midst of industry innovation, as devicemakers compete to develop the most cutting-edge pacemaker product. Earlier this month, the Minneapolis-based device giant implanted its tiny leadless cardiac pacemaker in its first patients as part of a global clinical trial, eyeing the regulatory finish line with promising single-arm study results. The Korean hot line failed to compile statistics on nationality, but it is reasonable to assume most would have been Korean. The Korean hot line did compile statistics on age, and found that 80% of the comfort women were between the ages of 14 and 18.
However, given that the hot line was opened in 1992, it seems likely that the statistics are skewed towards younger women. Aside from recruitment by Army agents in Japan and Korea, there was recruitment by the Kempeitai from Dutch women in internment camps, recruitment through village headmen in the Netherlands, and recruitment by individual Army units in the Philippines. Recruitment in the Philippines seems to have been particularly violent, often taking the form of a woman being kidnapped and raped, then taken to a military installation to be gang raped by members of the local unit. However, this pattern fell outside the normal comfort system. Although early recruitment was mostly carried out by private agents hired by the Army, direct recruitment by the Army became more common later in the war, and was often carried out under the cover of wartime labor mobilization. Since the kempeitai had long enforced licensed prostitution in Korea, it seems likely they were involved in direct recruitment of comfort women here as well. Mistreatment of Korean comfort women was one of the main problems. Many surviving comfort women testify of appalling treatment. Some were forced to have sex with as many as 50 men per day.
Images by Wikipedia and miomd-11.northwestern.edu