Coffee is having its moment in 2017: This year researchers have discovered that it repairs damage to the liver, its one of the best beverages to drink before working out, and even helps prevent your arteries from clogging. (Well, all of that is according to a few studies, anyway.) Now, apparently coffee, or coffee grounds rather, might also help nose and throat surgery. Engineers at Vanderbilt University have developed a cap that contains six cups of coffee grounds, which they hope will improve the so-called "GPS system" surgeons use to navigate the nose and throat during surgery, according to the university.
The coffee grounds are packed inside a silicone headpiece, similar to a swim camp, and connected to a vacuum pump that sucks the air out of the cap, smashing the grounds together, and encasing the patient’s head in a rigid layer of coffee. A scanner maps out position of the patient’s head, creating a 3-D view of the inside of the skull where the surgeon is operating.
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Though surgeons sometimes use these types of 3-D images, they don’t rely on them because they tend to be inaccurate, a dangerous gamble to take when operating on someone. The problem is that the skin on a person’s forehead moves, causing the reflective markers attached to their skin, which the computer uses to map their skull, to move position, slip off or break.