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Health and Wellbeing

New Shear Thickening Fluid (STF) enables flexible, comfortable armor

August 13, 2006 Since warfare began, developing armor has been a balance between the need for protection and the need for comfort, flexibility and light weight. A new nanotechnology known as Shear Thickening Fluid (STF) created by scientists at ARL and UDTC looks set to provide the next generation of armor. STF has the ability to make ballistic fabrics highly resistant to penetration when impacted by a spike, knife or bullet without compromising their weight, comfort or flexibility. The potential applications of STF include a wide range of products such as body armor, vehicle armor, helmets, gloves and bomb blankets to protect soldiers and law enforcement officials plus myriad industrial safety applications all thr way through to protective clothing for motorcyclists. When the first products become available later this year, soldiers can expect to be much safer as the liquid body armor can be used in sleeves and pants, which are not usually protected by ballistic vests because they must stay flexible.  Read More

The Alcowatch wristwatch alcohol tester

August 9, 2006 Alcohol and road-use don’t mix, and tens of thousands of human beings a year are maimed or killed due to alcohol-impaired drivers. So if you’re regularly going to drink and drive, which many of us do, then the very least you can do as a responsible human being is to ensure your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit. We’ve already written up the fascinating stand-alone Sobercheck breathalyser and we recently wrote about the LG Breathalyzer mobile phone. Well now there’s a wristwatch with a built-in breathalyser set to hit the market later this month. So die-hard booze hounds now can have their very own breathalyser on the end of their arm to ensure the only person they kill is themselves.  Read More

Canadian breakthrough promises the ability to regrow teeth

August 8, 2006 A team of researchers from the Canadian University of Alberta researchers has created technology to regrow teeth - the first time scientists have been able to reform human dental tissue. Using low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), scientists have created a miniaturized system-on-a-chip that offers a non-invasive and novel way to stimulate jaw growth and dental tissue healing. The researchers are currently working on turning their prototype into a market-ready model and expect the device to be ready for the public within next two years.  Read More

Artwork that adapts to suit your mood

August 6, 2006 Computer scientists from Bath and Boston have developed electronic artwork that changes to match the mood of the person who is looking at it. Using images collected through a web cam, special software recognises eight key facial features that characterise the emotional state of the person viewing the artwork, then adapts the colours and brush strokes of the digital artwork to suit the changing mood of the viewer. For example, when the viewer is angry the colours are dark and appear to have been applied to the canvas with more violent brush strokes. If their expression changes to happy, the artwork adapts so that the colours are vibrant and more subtly applied. The project forms part of on-going research looking to develop a range of advanced artwork tools for use in the computer graphics industry.  Read More

Using three dimensional (3D) computer technology to treat aneurysms

July 31, 2006 Research by Curtin University of Technology’s Discipline of Medical Imaging is set to help surgeons better treat aortic aneurysms in abdominal arteries by using cutting edge three dimensional (3D) computer technology. The project aims to help vascular surgeons improve their treatment skills by increasing their understanding of the 3D relationship between blood vessels, aneurysms and common treatments such as surgery and stent grafts.  Read More

The bikini that tells you when it’s time to turn over

July 29, 2006 The modern two-piece swimsuit or bikini was invented circa 1945 in Paris, and was subsequently named after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific where the French were testing nuclear weapons. It took another decade or more for the swimsuit to move into regular usage though, with most recognising sex siren Brigitte Bardot’s appearance in the movie “And God created Woman” as the catalyst which saw it accepted into modern culture. Apart from getting significantly smaller, the bikini hasn’t evolved much in its 60 year reign of popularity, selling more than 30 million units a year in the United States and presumably hundreds of millions across the planet. Now a new simple function offered by Solestrum is pointing the way for the future of useful wearable technology – despite some untrue claims elsewhere in the media, the US$140 bikini offers the wearer real time UV readings on a belt-mounted read-out. The belt is the entire unit, and is made from a smart fabric that detects UV and transmits to the display. Next month, Solestrom will release a new version of the suit, which emits a beep at the UV level programmed by the user.  Read More

Heatworx Gloves – heat protection AND dexterity

July 29, 2006 Having to work with very hot objects during our daily toil is thankfully not something most of us need to endure but it’s commonplace for many plumbers, metal fabricators, welders, steel workers and other industrial workers. Traditional heat gloves are known for protecting hands from high heat and flammable materials, but they're also known for what they can't do, which is to provide touch and feel that enables the user to perform detailed hands-on tasks. Last year performance work glove manufacturer Ironclad showed around a concept glove which promised to change all that and it has now introduced its new Heatworx gloves which combine protection from high heat with exceptional dexterity and performance. The gloves incorporate a proprietary HotShield synthetic palm and Dupont Kevlar fabrics. HotShield has the look, feel and durability of leather, yet is heat and shrink resistant; water and oil repellent; and cut, puncture and abrasion resistant.  Read More

Electricity to heal wounds

July 28, 2006 Researchers in Aberdeen have made an exciting breakthrough in showing that electricity has a major impact on the healing of wounds. The research team – one of just a handful of groups in the world studying direct current electrical fields in the body and their control over cell behaviours - believe their findings have the potential to open up pioneering methods for treating wounds and other injuries. The University of Aberdeen team detail how electricity works in a wound in a paper which appeared in yesterday's copy of Nature. The team have discovered a couple of proteins and genes within cells which play a key role in steering the cells to heal wounds in response to the naturally occurring electrical signals found at wounds.  Read More

The Mechanical Advantage Tourniquet (MAT)

July 18, 2006 Recent geo-political and natural disaster events have shown that one of the primary threats to victim’s survival is blood loss. In particular, the global war on terror has demonstrated specific vulnerabilities in critical blood loss due to damaged limbs. In late 2003, American Special Operations Forces requested the urgent supply of a tourniquet with some special requirements including; operation by one-hand, application and occlusion in less than a minute, applicable to trapped limbs, no external power, quick release and reset, weighing less than 230 grams, and having a 10 year shelf-life. Within seven weeks, Cybertech Medical Product Development delivered the first prototype of the Mechanical Advantage Tourniquet (MAT) to the DoD that solved all of their desired requirements, and to-date is the only device to do so. It’s unique modulated constriction makes the MAT safe to use in preventing tissue damage and loss of limb.  Read More

Avon China recruits 114,000 licensed direct sales promoters in four months

July 17, 2006 We just love a successful business model and when that distinctly American direct sales institution Avon was awarded its direct-selling license by the Direct Selling Administration of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the conditions were just right for a spot of spontaneous combustion. China is embracing some aspects of Western culture most readily, among them the concepts of applied glamour, fashion and beauty contests. In less than four months (to June 30), Avon Products China has recruited and certified more than 114,000 licensed Sales Promoters, and another 31,000 are in various stages of the certification process. Avon's Sales Promoters are the company's direct-selling reps, who provide customers with the one-on-one personal service that Avon is recognized for globally. "The high numbers of licensed Sales Promoters in such a short time reflects the great appeal of the Avon earnings opportunity in the Chinese market," said SK Kao, General Manager, Avon China.  Read More

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