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Tag Archives: medicine

ABC Syringes: No More Reused Syringes!

ABC Syringe

Every year, scores of people get infected with various diseases because they were injected using unsterile and reused syringes. It’s unfortunate but it happens more often than you think. Case in point: according to the World Health Organization, 5% of all new HIV cases, 32% of all Hepatitis B cases, and 40%of Hepatitis C cases are caused by unsafe injections.

Aiming to come up with safer, tamper-proof syringes is Dr. David Swann from the Huddersfield University in England. He designed the ABC Syringe, which comes in a nitrogen-filled pack, that has a special coating of ink in its barrel that turns bright red after 60 seconds of exposure to air. Apparently, the ink absorbs the carbon dioxide from the air, causing the ink to change in color.

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Thanks to MIT, Phone Cameras Can Now Be Used to Monitor People’s Heart Rates

MIT Measure Heartbeat

Have you noticed how your head moves back and forth a little when you’re sitting still? That motion is a result of your blood rushing up to your brain and throughout your body with every beat of your heart. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and it also happens to the basis of an algorithm that researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab came up with.

Basically, this slight back-and-forth movement is monitored on video. The person’s skin color changes are analyzed to determine his pulse and heart rate. It is also used to identify any erratic activity, which is especially useful when diagnosing heart issues.

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Larry the Robot Vomits So Researchers Can Study What Happens When Sick Humans Do

Everyone, meet Larry, the robot that vomits so researchers can study what happens when real humans do. It sounds like a funny and improbably story, but it’s true, and it has everything to do with noroviruses. In a nutshell, noroviruses are responsible for inducing fits of nausea, abdominal pain, and forceful (and sometimes projectile) vomiting.

Scientists from a British lab needed to come up with a way to study how other people got infected with the virus after standing in proximity to a vomiting norovirus sufferer. Their solution was Larry, which can spew projectile vomit up to ten feet. It sounds pretty gross, but hey, it’s all in the name of science!

VIA [ Dvice ]

Tentacle Prosthetic Wraps and Curls Where Hands Used to Twist and Grab

Tentacle-Prosthesis

Prostheses have come a long way, thanks to the work of dedicated researchers and doctors. We’ve seen limbs that look real and limbs that look like they came from the set of Terminator. And just when we think we’ve seen all there is to see, Kaylene Kau comes along with her Tentacle Prosthetic design.

It’s bizarre, it’s weird, and it’s definitely unconventional. It also happens to be pretty dexterous.

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Smart Undies Prevent Bedsores by Shocking Its Wearers’ Behinds

Smart Underwear

It’s kind of sad how sick people sometimes get sicker, just because they have to (or prefer to) stay in bed a lot. You know what I’m talking about: bedsores. While I don’t exactly know what it feels like to get one, I’ve heard that it’s painful, agitates the patient even more, and might even cause an infection.

Simply turning over once in a while might help prevent the onslaught of bedsores, but if you’re extremely sick and tired, chances are you won’t be moving around like you should. That’s where the smart underwear comes in. It’ll send tiny electric shocks periodically on the patients’ bottoms to make their bodies think that they’ve been moved around or re-positioned. Sounds like an interesting concept, doesn’t it? But the coolest thing is that it’s pretty effective, too, since results from a trial showed that none of the smart undie-wearing patients developed any sores.Continue Reading

Nocebo: The Anti Placebo

What’s better than taking a sugar pill to make yourself think you’re getting rid of whatever ails you? Well, taking Nocebo to make yourself sick, even when nothing’s wrong with you, of course!

Now for the first time, Nocebo is available for sale direct to the general public! Despite containing no active ingredients whatsoever, Nocebo can cause a wide range of undesirable effects, from nausea to diarrhea, that is because it’s potency lies entirely inside the human brain! Nocebo merely suggests that it is bad for you, your brain and body does the rest!

Yes you can buy it: it’s about $10.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Virtual Reality Contact Lenses Are Just Around The Corner

By David Ponce

Researchers from the University of Washington and Aalto University Finland have developed a prototype contact lens that contains a single LED pixel, a custom made integrated circuit and an antenna. They then tried the lens on live rabbits (under general anesthesia for comfort) with no adverse effects.

Awesome!

The display consists of an antenna, a 500 × 500 µm2 silicon power harvesting and radio integrated circuit, metal interconnects, insulation layers and a 750 × 750 µm2 transparent sapphire chip containing a custom-designed micro-light emitting diode with peak emission at 475 nm, all integrated onto a contact lens. The display can be powered wirelessly from ~1 m in free space and ~2 cm in vivo on a rabbit. The display was tested on live, anesthetized rabbits with no observed adverse effect. In order to extend display capabilities, design and fabrication of micro-Fresnel lenses on a contact lens are presented to move toward a multipixel display that can be worn in the form of a contact lens. Contact lenses with integrated micro-Fresnel lenses were also tested on live rabbits and showed no adverse effect.

So yeah, this is very rudimentary but… baby steps, baby steps! And while we don’t expect things to remain at the single-pixel level forever, later iterations will inevitably go up in pixel density very slowly. This means that when the first commercial generations reach the consumer level, it will likely only be for displaying things like text. But as the technology is further developed, we have no doubt that always-on alternate/augmented reality will become possible.

We’re several years away, but there you have it. Barring accidental death, if you’re under 60 today, there’s a good chance you will live to see this happen.

[ Link To Paper ] VIA [ MedGadget ]