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Health and Wellbeing

The Scripps Research Institute has developed a drug that duplicates the benefits of exerci...

A drug known as SR9009, which is currently under development at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), increases the level of metabolic activity in skeletal muscles of mice. Treated mice become lean, develop larger muscles and can run much longer distances simply by taking SR9009, which mimics the effects of aerobic exercise. If similar effects can be obtained in people, the reversal of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and perhaps Type-II diabetes might be the very welcome result.  Read More

Researchers have created a bioengineered heart that beat at 40 to 50 beats per minute (Ima...

Heart transplants have given new life to thousands, but are only an unfulfilled hope to thousands more due to a shortage of donor organs. With the goal of meeting this shortfall, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have bioengineered a mouse heart in the lab that beats on its own. The mouse heart had its cells replaced with human cells, offering the potential of growing custom replacement hearts that wouldn't be rejected by the recipient.  Read More

New trial vaccine against malaria shows promise (Image: CDC/Jim Gathany)

A vaccine against malaria currently being developed in the US offers new hope to fight the infectious disease that enters the body through a mosquito bite. According to the World Health Organization, malaria killed 660,000 people in 2010. The intravenous vaccine currently being developed by Sanaria and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has produced promising results in volunteers who received a high dose the vaccine.  Read More

Thanko's Handy Salt Meter, ready for salt-measuring action

Although many people are trying not to consume too much sodium, it can often be difficult to gauge just how much salt (aka sodium chloride) is in that restaurant entree or pre-packaged meal that you’re eating. There’s now a portable gadget that will tell you, though – it’s Thanko’s Handy Salt Meter.  Read More

One of the prototype ulcer-healing patches

Venous ulcers are nasty things, often found on the lower extremities of elderly or inactive people. They occur when high blood pressure causes the skin adjacent to the affected veins to break down, leaving open wounds that take months or even years to heal. Standard treatments include compression bandages, infection control and standard wound dressings, although these approaches don’t work in all cases. Now, however, scientists are getting good results using band-aid-like patches that emit ultrasound into the ulcers.  Read More

Researchers have found a simple way to preserve broccoli’s cancer-fighting properties afte...

Broccoli is one of those foods we’re told to eat as youngsters because it’s good for us. Unfortunately, researchers at the University of Illinois (U of I) found some of that goodness, namely the vegetable’s cancer-protective benefits, doesn’t survive the process its subjected to before reaching the freezers at supermarkets. Thankfully, the researchers followed up their initial research and found a simple way to preserve broccoli’s cancer-fighting properties.  Read More

The love hormone has a dark side (Photo: Shutterstock)

Often called the love hormone, oxytocin has shown the ability to enhance social bonding, decrease anxiety and encourage an overall feeling of satisfaction with life. A new study out of Northwestern University, however, finds that this ancient hormone has a dark side, and is capable of strengthening unpleasant memories, fear, and anxiety. This Jeckyll and Hyde behavior results from the fact that oxytocin has a general strengthening effect on social memories, without regard to their polarity.  Read More

The sensor uses an accelerometer to monitor mouth activity

Tooth fillings acting as radio receivers may be nothing more than a myth, but scientists at the National Taiwan University are developing an artificial tooth that would send rather than receive transmissions. They’re working on embedding a sensor in a tooth to keep an eye on oral goings on, along with a Bluetooth transmitter to transmit the data and tell your doctor what your mouth's been up to.  Read More

The Quick Trainer consists of an iOS device, Bluetooth transmitter and disposable sensor

A new toilet-training device developed by researchers at the University of Rochester combines a wearable sensor pad, Bluetooth technology, an iOS device and accompanying app to help toilet train intellectually disabled children. Rather than just providing entertainment like the iPotty, the Quick Trainer issues an alert the moment the child starts to pee, so adults can take them to the toilet and encourage them to use it. If all goes well, they are rewarded with treats to encourage them to head to the toilet the next time the need arises.  Read More

The Sony headset provides surgeons with a 3D image of the inside of the patient

Having introduced its HMZ-T1 personal 3D viewer aimed at the home entertainment market in 2011, and updating it in 2012 with the HMZ-T2, Sony has ventured into the operating theater for its latest head-mounted display. Unveiled last week in Tokyo, the "head-mount image processing unit" gives surgeons virtual X-ray vision by means of an endoscope feeding images to a pair of head-mounted monitors. This setup allows surgeons to view high definition 3D images from inside the patient while carrying out laparoscopic surgery.  Read More

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