Researchers have developed an algorithm that can make high-resolution thermal cameras affordable for the masses. While visible-range cameras have become common, thermal cameras still cost a premium. Thermal cameras, which capture the scene temperature in the far-infrared region, find specialised use in fields such as the military, surveillance, firefighting, automation, and pedestrian tracking.

At present, low-resolution thermal cameras are available at affordable prices, but the image captured is very small and barely usable. A positive aspect is that these cameras usually come with a high-resolution visible-range camera, similar to smartphones. As such, guided super-resolution techniques can be used to create an illusion of a high-resolution thermal camera. The biggest challenge here is that the captured low-resolution thermal images are not aligned with the high-resolution visible images. There is a pixel-to-pixel misalignment.

Feature-based matching techniques fail for thermal-visible image pairs because of the difference in the spectral ranges. A group of IIT-Madras researchers, led by Dr Kaushik Mitra, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, have resolved this problem by developing two algorithms to correct the misalignment. The research has the potential to help increase the reach of thermal imaging technology to general consumers. It provides a direct solution for improving the quality of thermal camera outputs, making it more accessible and affordable, according to a press release.

Antibiotic adjuvants

Scientists at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, have come up with a method of revitalising the efficacy of antibiotics by using them in combination with antibiotic adjuvants — ingredients that help counter resistance to the antibiotics. This can help strengthen and bring back obsolete antibiotics for treating complicated infections — effectively countering the rising menace of anti-microbial resistance.

Geetika Dhanda and Prof Jayanta Haldar incorporated cyclic hydrophobic moieties (portion of a molecule) in a triamine-containing compound; the adjuvants thus developed “weakly perturbed the membrane of bacteria”, says a press release. This resulted in countering membrane-associated resistance elements like permeability barrier and expulsion of antibiotics by efflux pumps.

The combination of the adjuvant with antibiotics like fusidic acid, minocycline, and rifampicin inactivates multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae. The choice of non-active adjuvant would also put less pressure on the bacteria to develop resistance to it. Moreover, weak membrane perturbation would result in less toxicity.

Published on

July 24, 2022

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