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Health & Wellbeing

The ergoErgo delivers a new twist on the old exercise ball

ergoErgo is a cleverly designed stool that promises all the benefits of a sitting on an exercise ball in a compact package that will not roll away from under you. Just like a health ball, Alan Heller's funky design helps to strengthen your inner core and align your spine whilst you get on with your work. Read More

Inherited outlook – can our feelings effect our children?

Now here's a frightening thought! Brain chemicals such as endorphins, and drugs, such as marijuana and heroin are known to have significant effects on sperm and eggs, altering the patterns of genes that are active in them. In an article published in the latest issue of the journal Bioscience Hypotheses, Dr Alberto Halabe Bucay of Research Center Halabe and Darwich, Mexico, suggested that the hormones and chemicals resulting from happiness, depression and other mental states can affect our eggs and sperm, resulting in lasting changes in our children at the time of their conception. Bucay suggests that a wide range of chemicals that our brain generates when we are in different moods could affect ‘germ cells’ (eggs and sperm), the cells that ultimately produce the next generation. Such natural chemicals could affect the way that specific genes are expressed in the germ cells, and hence how a child develops.Read More

Surgery may not be necessary for Achilles tendon rupture

May 15, 2009 The Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the heel, is the body's strongest tendon. The tendon may rupture on sudden tensing of the muscle, something that affects middle-aged men in particular, typically when playing badminton or tennis. The two ends of a ruptured Achilles tendon are often stitched together before the leg is put in plaster, in order to reduce the risk of the tendon rupturing again. However, a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, now suggests that surgery may be unnecessary. Patients who do not undergo surgery have just as good a chance of recovery.Read More

At last – a functional and elegant Hospital Gown

History has fortunately overlooked the designer of the humble and seemingly universal hospital gown. Just as well, really, because he/she was no doubt well meaning and probably not due the universal curses that they have been subject to. Regardless, after more than a century, it's one of those semi-dysfunctional inventions that has endured because the chronically underfunded health systems of the world have always had more urgent technologies on their agenda than replacing the hated and embarassing garb. If you're like most people, you've probably spent waaaay too much time with your nether regions protruding from one of those dreadful hospital gowns. Now the University of Cincinnati is employing its design research capabilities to design better gown options which will soon be on display and may even reach market.Read More

The world’s largest ambulance (and the world’s smallest X-ray unit)

"Scalpel please! " is a sentence that might in future not only be heard in a hospital operating theatre, but also in one of the three new, large-capacity Mercedes-Benz ambulances handed over to the Centre of Ambulance Services of the Government of Dubai. From now on, it is the hospital that comes to the patient in Dubai. The clinic buses were ordered so that rapid medical assistance can be rendered in the event of major emergencies with large numbers of injury victims. As is well-known, the survival chances of very seriously injured persons in large measure depend on rapid first treatment, and this is the purpose of the large-capacity ambulances.Read More

New EEG method predicts neurological recovery of cardiac arrest patients

The VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland is Northern Europe's biggest contract research organization and provides high-end technology solutions, often combining different technologies to create new innovations. One new breakthrough that's certain to be watched closely later this week will be that of VTT Research Scientist, Miikka Ermes (M.Sc., Eng.), who will publicly defend his doctoral thesis presenting methods for analysing human biosignals, including innovative methods for the verification of brain damage following cardiac arrest. Up until now, the use of electroencephalography (EEG) in the monitoring of cardiac patients has been limited due to interpretation difficulties.Read More

A $20 prosthetic knee to bring relief to disadvantaged amputees

An artificial knee costing just USD$20 promises to deliver much needed help to amputees who are disadvantaged or impoverished – particularly when the price of high-end titanium knee joints can range anywhere from USD$10,000 to USD$100,000. The artificial knee, dubbed the JaipurKnee, was developed by Joel Sadler, a lecturer in mechanical engineering and d'Arbeloff Fellow, and his team at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University.Read More

Bone-Conduction and Infrared FINIS AquaPulse Heart Rate Monitor for swimmers

We have already professed our love for the Finis Swimmers Snorkel, eulogized about the antidote to lap-grinding boredom known as the bone-conduction SwiMP3 underwater music player and now we're gonna do it all over again for the USD$140 AquaPulse heart rate monitor, a workout accessory for swimmers wishing to optimize their water-based exercise routine through heart rate training. Are we just raging fanboys? No, we do however rejoice in the logical and practical application of technology to enable new and better ways of doing things, and Finis will again deliver just that (in May).Read More

Le Whif - chocolate consumed by inhaling

Eating chocolate is one of those pleasure experiences many of us can’t live without, and for those serious choc addicts who think they've done it all, there could yet be a new frontier - chocolate that you inhale. Created by a professor at Harvard University with help from art and science college students, Le Whif began as a culinary art experiment which culminated into a marketed product that’s set for a world tour - it’s a chocolate inhaler shaped like a tube of lipstick that is breathed in for a mouth full of chocolate, with a tiny fraction of the calories. Scoffing is replaced by whiffing. Read More

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