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Health and Wellbeing

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) - a breakthrough in brain science

February 13, 2006 Everyone knows about brain scanning, but most of us have never heard of a new technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Non invasive and painless, it can temporarily inactivate an area of the human brain to let brain scientists study the effect. Twenty years ago we began the scientific dream of peering into the human brain while it is working. Brain scanning devices such as fMRI and PET scans can pinpoint precisely which brain regions are active as people respond to stimuli (including brands and advertisements) or as they go about making decisions (including brand choices). It is fascinating to see just what areas of the brain light up in response to a stimulus or a particular decision task but still we have to ask, what exactly can we conclude from this? Because an area of the brain lights up doesn’t mean that it is causal in that behaviour or decision. After all, ice cream sales correlate with drownings but they don’t cause them. You cannot conclude causality from correlation because there is no way of knowing if some other, unaccounted-for variable (like weather) may be involved. To sort out causality you need to be able to do experimentation.  Read More

Drug-Free Solution from for insomnia sufferers

February 12, 2006 Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from chronic insomnia. Many of these people do not seek help for their sleep problems, while others rely on medications to help them sleep. Unfortunately, most of these approaches are not long-term solutions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a State-of-the-Science statement concluding that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective long-term treatments for chronic insomnia. In the past, insomnia sufferers have not had the option of behavioral therapy in the comfort of their homes. A new product called SleepKey is designed to bridge this gap by delivering CBT as a self-help modality.  Read More

The programmable vibrator for long-distance lovers

February 9, 2006 Je Joue is the world's first programmable vibrator - a non-penetrative vibrator controlled by digital files called Grooves, which instruct its soft massage pad to move in an infinitely variable number of patterns, creating a foreplay-like experience. Accordingly, long-distance lovers can now email their partners a sensual Valentine's Day treat - their own personal 'pleasure programme'. During the development process of JeJoue, the product was tested by 150 women – 90% said they would buy one, 75% said it was better than any other toy, and 24% said it was better than their partner.  Read More

Potential HIV-AIDS cure - drug found to kill multiple HIV strains

February 9, 2006 Vanderbilt University, Brigham Young University and Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals have announced that one of a family of compounds, called Ceragenins (or CSAs) shows potent virucidal activity in in vitro laboratory tests against multiple strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. CSAs were invented by Dr. Paul D. Savage of Brigham Young University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and exclusively licensed to Ceragenix. In data previously presented by Dr. Savage and other researchers, CSAs have been shown to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity. Dr. Derya Unutmaz, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tested several CSAs in his laboratory for their ability to kill HIV directly and whilst cautious, acknowledged that CSAs could be the breakthrough technology to combat HIV/AIDS researchers the world has been waiting for.  Read More

New Invention “Powers” TVs with exercise.

January 31, 2006 We’re not sure if this is a good idea, or akin to signing up for a tour of duty with a society of flagellant monks. The EnterTrainer Cardio-TV-Trainer is a wireless device that converts any exercise machine and TV, video game or stereo into an interactive workout system. The EnterTrainer combines a wireless heart monitor and a universal remote control and maintains the correct volume for the device you wish to watch/play/listen to when your heart is working in the target zone you have set. Too low or too high and the volume is lowered until you get your heart pumping in the right zone again. At US99 it’s not all that expensive compared to most wrist-worn heart rate monitors but then again, they can be used to monitor your heart rate anywhere whereas this is location-specific. For some people, the Entertrainer will be very useful, but most will probably find it a little one-dimensional and we figure it’ll get used for a while and unhooked so you can use the game console, telly or stereo in its normal mode … and maybe never get hooked up again. The company is also set to release an “iTrainer” Cardio Training Headphones for use with iPods. In our mind, the idea behind compelling and usable exer-tainment devices is to enrol and reward the participant, not to punish. But if you have an overweight child who watches too much telly, it might be ideal. See what we mean … oh no, not another wicked thought.  Read More

Little Miss Muffett was right!

January 31, 2006 … and we all thought it was just a silly Fairy Tale but Little Miss Muffett’s “curds and whey” might have been just the thing for her to eat if she was about to take on a spider. Researchers at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate (AFRL/HE) have partnered with GNC Corporation to determine if a specialized form of whey protein — a pure, natural, high-quality protein derived from cow’s milk during the process of making cheese — can help warfighters stay strong and alert during fatigue-inducing missions. Whey protein is popular in the physical fitness world as a supplement to boost muscle growth. It contains essential amino acids that the human body needs on a daily basis. Whey protein also contains high concentrations of numerous amino acids, which tests show enhance the process of muscle protein synthesis and muscle building. In its purest form, as whey protein isolates, it contains little to no fat, lactose or cholesterol.  Read More

Innovative Hand-Held Insulin Device Effectively Controls Diabetes and Provides Reliable an...

January 28, 2006 Pfizer’s Exubera (insulin human [rDNA origin]) Inhalation Powder has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Exubera was found in clinical trials to be as effective as short-acting insulin injections, and to significantly improve blood sugar control when added to diabetes pills. Exubera, which is expected to be available for patients by mid-year, is the first inhaled form of insulin and the first insulin option in the United States that does not need to be administered by injection. Pfizer is naturally hailing the new drug form as a breakthrough.  Read More

FIRCLE: software for managing the family

January 25, 2006 Any business school will tell you that “failing to plan” equates to “planning to fail.” We wholeheartedly accept this in business and our understanding of the science of business has come further in the last three decades than it did in the previous three millennia thanks to the computer’s myriad gifts being multiplied by the global network; the ability to collaborate, access and share information and to measure, analyse and improve systems. So why don’t we use computers to measure and improve our family lives? We’ve previously written about personal life-coaching software named Life Balance and EasyChild’s behaviour modification software system designed to monitor, assess and encourage children to succeed in life. Now there’s a new system which incorporates some of both of these products and much more for computerising and managing the family – it’s called Fircle and it’s an internet-based system containing a shared family calendar, children’s allowance and chore management, family rules (set your own and set penalties for transgressions), a family address book, personal journals, family voting on topics of your choice, ToDo lists and so much more. So much in fact, that it scared us …  Read More

Boomers fuel growth of technology-based home healthcare solutions

January 21, 2006 The baby boomers are heading for senior citizenship and the most populous generation in history is about to give life to yet new markets. The news this week that giant Dutch technology company Philips has purchased 'personal emergency response' company Lifeline is an indication of the growing importance of technology-based home healthcare solutions as the boomers seek to prolong their independence. Lifeline has over 30 years' experience of monitoring seniors living independently at home and has a broad presence in the North American market with a turnover of US$150 million growing at 15%. In addition to the strong growth offered by the underlying market, the new business will draw on Philips' strengths in technology and innovation to create new products and services in an area it has been studying and developing for many years. These new offerings will have a clear consumer focus that differentiates them from 'traditional' healthcare services paid for by insurers. Longer term, Lifeline will serve as a platform for a broader array of home healthcare solutions, such as Motiva, Philips pioneering interactive healthcare system.  Read More

New product reduces discoloration of dark under-eye circles

January 20, 2006 The desire to look and feel your best is universal, but with the baby boomer generation now entering senior citizen status, it is flexing its purchasing power on products that promise to reduce wrinkles, plump the lips, and "turn back the hands of time," and the professional skin care market is forecast to remain one of the fastest-growing sectors of the cosmetics and toiletries industry for some time. Interestingly, even with all of the anti-aging beauty products on the market, there has been one problem area that has persisted until now - dark under-eye circles. Now there’s a product that claims to fade these dark circles by using a series of natural enzymes that break down the blood around the tender under-eye area. Over time, Hydroxatone Revive aids in preventing blood leakage as it helps to strengthen the weakened capillaries while simultaneously reducing wrinkles, resulting in noticeably younger looking eyes.  Read More

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