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Karen Sprey

— Health and Wellbeing

Implantable & wearable monitoring devices for the tech-savvy generation

Once the realm of science fiction, implantable devices able to take on the work of the heart - pacemakers - are now commonplace, but what might the future hold for equipment that monitors our vital signs? A Finnish researcher believes tomorrow's tech-savvy generation will be more than comfortable with implantable electrocardiogram (EKG) devices that constantly monitor and provide instant feedback on their health, and can also provide instant access to medical data in emergencies. Read More
— Environment

Virtually silent, fully enclosed, bladeless wind turbines on the way

A wind turbine that uses boundary layers instead of blades to generate power has been patented by Solar Aero, a New Hampshire based not-for-profit scientific research organization. Modeled on the 1913 Tesla steam turbine, the Fuller turbine is virtually silent and completely enclosed, which avoids many of the drawbacks of bladed turbines such as noise, radar interference, visual pollution and wildlife injuries. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Plant-based vaccine factory enables large-scale production in just weeks

H1N1, SARS and other pandemics, increasing antibiotic resistance to infectious diseases and even threats of biological warfare have reinforced the need for safe, effective and inexpensive mass vaccination programs. The answer may lie in nature, with plant-based vaccines. While traditional methods of vaccine production typically take months, the Fraunhofer Centers in the U.S., Boston University and iBio have developed a fully automated, scalable plant "factory" that can produce large quantities of vaccines within weeks. Read More
— Environment

Puma launches 'Clever Little Bag' packaging

Shoeboxes account for millions of tonnes of waste and sadly, looking at my shoe racks, I've probably made a substantial contribution to that. PUMA on the other hand is on a mission to reduce its carbon, energy, water and waste "paw print", and has decided to do away with the shoebox altogether. It has launched its Clever Little Bag, a single folded sheet of cardboard in a resuable, recyclable PET bag, designed to protect shoes from the time they leave the factory until the customer gets them home. Read More
— Medical

Enzyme that breaks down carbon nanotubes gives hope for medical applications

Nanotechnology is increasingly a part of our lives, and while it has enormous potential for the effective delivery of medication and fighting cancer, there are concerns about health effects such as toxicity and tissue damage. Now a team of scientists has shown that carbon nanotubes can be broken down by an enzyme found in white blood cells - contradicting the previous belief they are not broken down in the body or nature - and hope this new understanding may lead to a way to render carbon nanotubes harmless in medical applications. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

'Artificial pancreas' could remove multiple daily finger prick tests for children with type 1 diabetes

An artificial pancreas system being developed by scientists at Cambridge in the UK could help safely manage type 1 diabetes in children.The artificial pancreas combines a commercially available continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump, and uses a sophisticated algorithm which calculates the correct amount of insulin to deliver based on real-time glucose readings. Read More
— Around The Home

Hammacher Schlemmer introduces picture scanning digital photo frame

While at least 48% of the US still camera market is now estimated to be digital, most people will have boxes and albums full of 'old style' printed photos for many years to come. One way of preserving and storing these pre-digital memories is to scan them and convert them into digital images. Hammacher Schlemmer, the company that has been offering unique gifts since 1848, has introduced a digital photo frame with built-in scanner that lets you preserve and view photos 'as easily as feeding bills into a vending machine'. Read More
— Outdoors

ABS avalanche airbags now offer wireless remote activation

Avalanche airbags, designed to prevent burial in an avalanche by providing extra buoyancy, aren’t new but until now skiers have had to activate the bag themselves. If they don’t realise in time they have set of an avalanche it may be too late for the airbag to be of use, resulting in burial and often, death. ABS has introduced a world-first - a remote, networked electronic system which allows airbag inflation to be triggered by other members of a skiing party, allowing them to help each other in an emergency. The new wireless system can be retrofitted to old-style backpacks with double airbags. Read More