Information systems technology is rarely the first topic that comes to mind when horse racing is mentioned, but he horse racing industry is becoming increasingly advanced as far as the technology used in the sport. Introduced in 2006 at Woodbine Downs in Ontario, Canada, a new system has given the race timing and tracking system a makeover (Dulay, 2013). The Trakus system consists of a small chip placed in the saddlecloths that communicates with antennas placed around the track wirelessly during a live race (Trakus System Technology, 2008). This 2.8 ounce chip, similar in dimensions to a credit card, gathers data about each horse’s position and speed (Hughes, 2012). Trakus is also connected to an online network that is always available for racing fans (About the Trakus System , 2013).
Trakus is allowing the racing and betting industry to reach out to a new and broader audience. Bob McCarthy is president of Trakus, and feels that the company is allowing both seasoned race fans and newcomers to become more involved, and access information more readily. “Trakus can do a pretty good job filling in, in addition to the interpretation of the race, stuff that takes the race down to a quantitative level. I think we can really work with the industry to reach new fans and automate the kind of things that more experienced players use as an everyday tool.” (Hughes, 2012). Trakus makes a live race easy to follow, displaying a graphical representation (called chiclets) on a screen, allowing viewers to have a more accurate idea of what is happening down on the track (Dulay, 2013). Because the network connected to Trakus is up-to-date down to the half-furlong, fans have online access to everything from the exact distance a horse ran to the peak and average speeds of the horse. An additional bonus is that this information is available free of charge through certain racing websites such as Del Mar (About the Trakus System , 2013).
Trakus is also an extremely useful tool to owners and trainers. Because of its ability to track the exact distance one horse ran compared to another, owners and trainers are now able to judge a time based on the exact distance a horse ran, and not just the length of the track. For example, when a horse by the name of Union Rags was beaten by no more than a head by Hansen, Trakus determined that Union rags ran an incredible 78 feet further than his opponent, therefore running a better race. Information like this allows trainers and owners to work off this data, and instruct jockeys how to ride the most efficient race (Hughes, 2012).
Although already a highly advanced system, Trakus allows developers to create further advances by using easy-to-integrate software, and will allow conjunction with many different forms of media that can utilize Trakus data (Trakus System Technology, 2008). It seems as if there is nowhere to go but up for the Trakus company. Many racetracks are jumping on the idea of a product that is so efficient and has very few drawbacks–to name a few, Churchill Downs, Del Mar and Santa Anita have all installed the Trakus system. However, some tracks have yet to climb aboard, and it seems as if cost is a major factor. According to Pat Cummings, business manager for Trakus, in time, granted there is available resources, Trakus can be everywhere (Hughes, 2012).
Trakus System Technology. (2008). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Trakus.com: http://www.trakus.com/technology.asp
About the Trakus System . (2013). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club: http://www.dmtc.com/racinginfo/trakus.php
Dulay, C. P. (2013). Trakus Brings Racing Into the 21st Century. Retrieved February 20 2013, 2013, from horseracing.about.com: http://horseracing.about.com/od/latestnews/a/aatrakus.htm
Hughes, A. W. (2012, September 29). Tracking Technology Rvealing Arcane Truths About Horse Races. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Kentucky.com: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/09/29/2354736/tracking-technology-revealing.html
A large part of the food production and food science industry is technology. A more specific type of technology commonly used is nanotechnology. According to nano.gov, nanotechnology “ is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.” This technology is used in almost any scientific field of study from chemistry to engineering.
These new and improving technologies are helping the food industry from how the food is grown, to how the food is packaged. Examples on how nanotechnology is already helping are nanomaterials killing bacteria and nanocomposites helping with carbonated beverages. Food bins that are embedded with silver nanoparticles kill bacteria. This is a major way to contain and stop the spread of bacteria and disease in the food world causing less illness. Also, nanocomposites in plastic bottle beverages stop the escape of carbon dioxide. This means that manufacturers can keep using the cheapest bottling material, plastic, while making the shelf life last longer because more carbonation is staying in the drinks. Technology like this is already in place and making a big impact in the food science and production world. New nanotechnologies are being looked at that only come into effect when in the insects stomach. This would mean safer pesticides and also fewer amounts of pesticides needed. This nanotechnology can be and in some parts is a big part of the food science and food production world.
Nanotechnology is also being developed to help the agricultural part of food production. Nanosenors are being developed that can be sprayed onto crops with water to tell what nutrients the crops need or have too much of. This is a big deal because it would mean more plentiful crops and almost no waste. Also, nanotechnology is being looked at to help with pesticides.
Since all technologies are forever improving, nanotechnology is too. There are parts to nanotechnology that grow every day and new developments always being made. There is always a way scientists will get these technologies to keep shrinking and shrinking. Nanotechnology is already being used currently a lot, like the examples I previously mentioned. Overall, nanotechnology is a great thing for the food world to use. It does anything from fight bacteria to keeping bottled beverages fresh. It is also cheap technology, which every company is always looking to find.
Within the field of Biology, there are many different uses for information technology. Its influence to Biology has been so crucial that any technology that has to do with Biology is classified as Bioinformatics. The purpose of Bioinformatics, according to the NCBI , is to “enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology can be discerned” (NCBI, 2004). Bioinformatics has become pivotal in pushing Biological science forward. Scientists are always making new discoveries in Biology and it is with Bioinformatics at the Helm.
One specific field of Bioinformatics that has truly revolutionized the way we see our own DNA is the use of information technology for genomic mapping, which is “the process of locating and identifying genes to create a genetic map” (Biology Online , 2008). Genomic mapping was previously done manually which tends to be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Now, with the introduction of Bioinformatics, DNA sequence data is readily available to the scientific community through various databases. This provides researchers with a quicker, more practical and cost effective way to conduct experiments.
Homology, which are similarities resulting from common ancestry (Reece , et al., 2011), is used to group organisms together through phylogenic data, or the evolutionary history of a species or group of species (Reece , et al., 2011). This process was, up until recent advances, solely based on morphology, or data based on species relationship through structural, reproductive and physiological changes. Now with Bioinformatics, Biologists can use molecular data to create these phylogenetic trees. This provides the field of Phylogeny with a more defined picture of how species are connected.
Bioinformatics has truly transformed how we view our Biological world. With technologies like genome mapping data and a molecular basis for homology, Biology has been redefined. Biology is always changing, the proof is in the various forms Biotechnology emerging and advancing. It is an exciting time to study Biology and, as a Zoologist, I hope to see and help usher in a new age of understanding in the Science of Life.
Biology Online . (2008, November 3). Genome Mapping Definition . Retrieved from Biology Online : http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Genome_mapping
NCBI. (2004, March 29). Just the Facts: A Basic Introduction to the Science Underlying NCBI Resources. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/primer/bioinformatics.html
(2011). Campbell Biology. In Reece , Urry, Cain, Wasserman , Minorsky, & Jackson, Campbell Biology (9th ed., pp. 462, 536). San Francisco: Pearson Bejamin Cummings.
Agriculture has been affected greatly by IT. Being a livestock science and management major I have hands on experience and see how this has happened over the couple years. IT affects everything from the tractors and planters to the animals. Many tractors now come or have GPS devices installed in them. These devices allow the farmers to enter the plots of land dimension and other data about the field and the tractor will follow the directions. The dairy industry has made great advancements with IT, from robot milkers to rotating milking parlors. The robot milkers have light sensors that find the teats and attack to them. They send out messages via email and text messages to the farmers to inform them of any problems and how much each cow is producing. The milk parlors have come a long way from tie stall stanchions. They now can rotate at a pace to the cows get in one side and be milked out by the time they get to the other side. This is much more efficient as it is a constant movement of cows. This technology continues to improve rapidly. The future is looking at improving genomics with microchips injected into the animals or attached to their ear tag identifications. The research is still going on but I recently attended the North American Alltech Lecture tour where they discussed this new chip. Alltech is an animal nutrition, health and research company known globally. The key point they stressed is that the human population is rapidly growing daily and the farmers need to come up with ways to feed everyone. By coming up with new technology to improve crop growth, animal growth, and machines we will be able to do such things. Alltech is making major breakthroughs daily and continues to use IT to accomplish them. As you can see IT has a lot to do with the rapid changes of the agricultural world.
In the equine industry, there are many types of information technology used every day. This technology helps feed, maintain, manage, and care for horses. There is also technology that helps to educate people on how to do the latter themselves. One such technology is called eXtension. Developed in 2004, eXtension is an online resource that has changed how professionals and experts can gather and deliver information and equine education to a national audience. “It is an educational partnership of more than 70 universities and was created to provide objective, science-based information to the public, answer clientele questions anywhere and anytime, and guide user decisions. HorseQuest was the first community of practice launched from eXtension and offers free, interactive, peer-reviewed online sources on a variety of equine topics”(Greene). There are many groups of people who use HorseQuest. This technology reaches and is used by the “general public, county extension agents/educators, young people, college students, veterinarians, university professors, farm workers, farriers, and other equine professionals”(Greene). This technology makes it possible for the information contained in the site to reach all of these people across the nation. Some of the objectives of this technology were to “engage the expertise of equine specialists at a national level, provide a one-stop, reliable, equine resource for a national audience, and to track the usage and impact of HorseQuest through user metrics and evaluation over time”(Greene).
I personally have not used this technology, however, if I was ever to need it, I believe it to be a reliable source of information. This technology will be able to help people all over the nation from one source. Professionals and experts in the equine industry provide information for this online community as well as offering interactive webcasts. EXtension also has a channel on YouTube to provide instructional equine videos to users all over the country. This technology has quite possibly transformed the equine industry by making information provided by these experts and the professionals themselves available to people across the nation.
Greene, E.A., A.S. Griffin, J. Whittle, C.A. Williams, A.B. Howard, and K.P. Anderson. “Development and Usage of EXtension’s HorseQuest: An Online Resource.” Journal of Animal Science (n.d.): n. pag. 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.
February 24, 2013
The technology that I chose for what we use in my job field is PetWare. This is a type of software that is very useful and has many qualities and disadvantages. Just like any other software it will always need it’s updates. I believe that this software can be put under two different categories one being communicating software and the other Internet Applications. I say communicating because it has pictures and videos and lots of different screens that help us have all of our clients/ Patients records and concerns all in one place PetWare. I also say Internet Applications because it does have to be connected to the Internet in order to transfer one document from say Florida to our hospital in Pennsylvania.
I use this software everyday I go into work it manages our paperless hospital. There is only receipts and end of day transactions that are on paper. It is being used as our main data holder and lifeline if you will. It is set up in every computer where there are touch screens and can be totally workable in an exam room. While reading some articles for this assignment I liked the one quote from Dr. Kerri Marshall in Paperless Practice at Bandfield, The Pet Hospital: “It contributes to our doctors’ and team members’ quality of life,” This quote couldn’t be anymore then dead on. It totally helps the doctors keep a safe organized records and also tell us when a patient is do for there next preventative care and we can also look at people who are really over due if we go to reports. I feel that this program is great and can really be useful to other hospitals.
I feel that for this product in the future, its going to have the trends of being paperless and being up to date on the fastest and news forms of data. Also updating their Educational value and facts. I feel like this program will be around for a while and will still receive great reviews and feedback no matter how many more versions they make of it.