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Karen Sprey

— Medical

Cold plasma therapy could provide an alternative to antibiotics

By - December 21, 2010 1 Picture
Cold plasma has received a further boost as a potential alternative to antibiotics in the fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria. A study published by a Russian-German research team found that just ten minutes of treatment with a low temperature (35-40°C/95-104°F) plasma torch killed drug-resistant bacteria in wound infections in rats and also increased the rate at which wounds healed. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New lighting technology fights hospital superbugs

By - November 16, 2010 2 Pictures
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is one of the most prevalent and difficult to eradicate superbugs in hospitals, having become resistant to multiple antibiotics. A less well known bacterium Clostridium difficile (C diff), is also antibiotic resistant and on the increase. Infection prevention procedures used to address one superbug will not work for others, and traditional decontamination methods can be harmful to staff and patients. This new lighting system that kills bacterial pathogens but is harmless to humans may help beat this potentially deadly threat in our hospitals. The technology decontaminates the air and exposed surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Overnight lenses correct farsightedness

By - September 13, 2010 2 Pictures
If you suffer from hyperopia, more commonly known as farsightedness or longsightedness, you may be interested to know that the world's first contact lens to correct the condition has been developed. The correction, however, is temporary – a custom-made lens is worn overnight to reshape the cornea, and when the patient wakes up and removes the lens they have perfect vision for the day. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Using radio waves to identify counterfeit drugs

By - September 7, 2010 1 Picture
Technology used to detect bombs and explosives could have a beneficial side-effect – identifying counterfeit and substandard drugs, which pose a major threat to public health, particularly in developing countries. Around one percent of drugs in developed countries, and 10 to 30 percent of drugs in developing countries are counterfeit, and the percentage of substandard drugs is thought to be even higher. Swedish and British researchers are developing a cheap, reliable system that uses radio waves to analyze the chemical structure of drugs to identify fakes. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New prosthesis eases phantom limb pain

By - August 9, 2010 3 Pictures
Phantom limb pain, where a person feels pain in an absent limb or a portion of a limb, is a very real phenomenon, most commonly experienced after amputation of an arm or leg. Chronic phantom pain is believed to affect around 10-45% of amputees. It is highly therapy resistant and can last for years, or even a lifetime, despite high dosages of painkillers that put patients at risk of addiction. However, hope may be on the horizon thanks to a modified hand prosthesis which enables feedback between the artificial hand and the brain. Read More
— Medical

Nanotechnology and stem cells rejuvenate arteries

By - July 26, 2010 1 Picture
A combination of nanotechnology and adult stem cells has been shown to destroy arterial plaque (atherosclerosis) in the heart of pigs. Pigs that received stem cells also showed signs of new blood vessel growth and restoration of artery function according to the study reported at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2010 Scientific Sessions – Technological and Conceptual Advances in Cardiovascular Disease. Read More
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