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Health and Wellbeing


— Health and Wellbeing

UCL scientist develops a measure of distraction

By - May 30, 2007
May 31, 2007 A scientific indicator of how easily distracted you are has been designed by a UCL (University College London) psychologist. It could be used as another assessment tool during the recruitment process and would have particular benefits in fields where employee distraction could lead to fatal errors. Some jobs, such as bus driver or pilot, put the employee in situations where the potential for distraction is very high and yet focused attention is crucial. This computer-based test, which measures subjects’ accuracy and reaction times when they are exposed to distractions, would effectively filter out any candidates who were easily distracted. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

World Population Becomes More Urban Than Rural

By - May 28, 2007
May 29, 2007 A major milestone occurred last week, when the earth’s population became more urban than rural – though only a symbolic date calculated from an estimation, Wednesday, May 23, 2007, represents a major demographic milestone and is sometimes referred to as the “Urban Millennium.” The last century has seen the rapid urbanization of the world’s population", as the global proportion of urban population rose from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. By 2050 over 6 billion people, two thirds of humanity, will be living in towns and cities. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Smart clothing that takes biochemical medical observations through the day

By - May 27, 2007
May 28, 2007 We've been speaking recently with a couple of innovative companies who are taking different angles on how wearable medical observation apparatus can be used in sport and medicine. Now, an EU-funded project is setting out to take the next step - creating comfortable clothing with the built-in ability to measure a range of physiological data using intelligent textiles instead of bulky apparatus. Comfortable and unobtrusive biochemical measurement equipment could play a significant role in preventative and recovery medicine, among other areas. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Genome sequence of the world's most lethal toxin

By - May 27, 2007
May 28, 2007 Botulism toxin is the deadliest poison on the planet. 2kg of it is enough to kill every person on the planet - although this doesn't stop the rich and tasteless from injecting it into their faces as Botox, where it stops nerves from working and has a slight smoothing effect on wrinkles. The toxin is produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria - and scientists at the UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have just completed some fascinating genome research on the development of this incredibly effective killer and its survival mechanisms. Where some bacteria use complex and even elegant methods to dance around our immune systems, C. Botulinum goes for the direct hit with a "microbial sledgehammer." More please, just around the jawline. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Vaccine hope for malaria

By - May 24, 2007
May 25, 2007 Malaria is a public health problem in more than 90 countries and it is by far the world's most important tropical parasitic disease. It kills more people than HIV or any other communicable disease except tuberculosis. It infects 400 million people every year and kills one person every 30 seconds, with the vast majority under five years old. Now, just over 100 years since Britain's Sir Ronald Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize for finally proving that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, researchers at the University of Nottingham believe they have made a significant breakthrough in the search for an effective vaccine. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Swedish researchers develop digital color x-rays

By - May 22, 2007
May 23, 2007 The advantages of color x-rays may not be immediately obvious but the developments in this field led by researchers at Mid Sweden University promise some exciting new possibilities for medical diagnoses much smaller x-rays doses for patients, much higher resolution and the ability to detect tumors at a much earlier stage. Digital color x-rays are based on the same advanced technology that is used when nuclear physicists look for new elementary particles. The greatest scientific challenge in constructing a color x-ray camera is to be able to shrink the large-scale detection equipment used by nuclear physicists to the microscopic format. The readout electronics for each pixel in the camera’s picture sensor must be squeezed into an area of 55 x 55 µm, and what’s more be x-ray safe. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Developing a viable cure for office worker obesity

By - May 21, 2007 2 Pictures
May 22, 2007 Sitting still at a desk all day - like you're probably doing right now - is making the average office worker fatter and less healthy than we've ever been before. Gym workouts and regular exercise are not the key to breaking out of this cycle - a new study suggests that it's the sitting down that's killing us, and that a simple change to spending 2-3 hours a day gently walking at around 1mph while we work could help obese office workers lose up to 30kg a year. Dr. James Levine devised the walk-at-work treadmill to test the effectiveness of getting office workers off their butts - with fantastic results. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Electronic glove ensures CPR is being done correctly

By - May 20, 2007
May 21, 2007 Only 6 months after learning life-saving CPR techniques, around 60 percent of first aiders - including doctors and nurses - forget how to do it correctly. As a result, survival rates from cardiac arrests remain low. The Canadian CPR Glove acts as a quick on-the-job refresher course, making sure the first aider administers the correct frequency and depth of chest compression. It's a simple and cheap device that has real potential to save lives if included in a first aid kit. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Tiny, portable biosensor to be a big gun in the fight against food contamination

By - May 17, 2007 4 Pictures
May 18, 2007 As more and more chemical assistance becomes available to farmers, it becomes more and more important to be able to accurately measure if these chemicals make it through into our food and drink. And while pesticides and herbicides can have an immediate or accumulative harmful effect on our bodies, the accidental ingestion of small amounts of antibiotics through animal meat can contribute to the strengthening of bacterial resistance to antibiotics - a potentially more serious side-effect. Testing for contaminants has typically been slow, expensive and limited by laboratory location - but this tiny, portable and cheap biosensor developed in Spain makes it much quicker and easier to test a range of agricultural products on the spot. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

micro-MIM - micro metal powder injection molding

By - May 8, 2007
May 9, 2007 Modern advanced production techniques are fast moving into the realms of the fantastic. We've regularly marveled at some of the modern advanced production techniques such a 3D printing and now there's a new one - micro metal powder injection molding (micro-MIM). Until now, the production of tiny metal parts using techniques such as etching or milling has been a very complex and time-consuming process, and not suitable for many types of metal. It has been possible for a long time to produce very small parts from stainless steel, but with micro-MIM, it is now possible to combine and shape different types of material such as this (pictured) biocompatible titanium stirrup, a replacement for the small bone in the human ear. Read More
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