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Health & Wellbeing

Zeo: the personal trainer that keeps you fit while you sleep

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, and drinking warm milk or counting sheep doesn't do the trick, you might want to try the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach. The product works on different levels. On one hand, it is designed to educate you about sleep as well as monitor your sleeping patterns, using a headband that records information to a digital reader. But the Zeo goes further – it also shows you how to analyze the data and understand its impacts on your lifestyle. Through a personalized "sleep fitness" program, it recommends ways you can catch that much-needed 40 winks. Read More

Solaqua draws on the sun to provide safe drinking water

While clean, safe water is in short supply in much of Africa, there's no shortage of sun. The Solaqua is a nifty portable device that uses the sun's rays to purify contaminated water. Through innovative use of readily available materials, it carries, disinfects and stores water, providing a safe, environmentally sustainable source of water for rural communities. Read More

Sight restored in less than a month using stem cell contact lenses

The humble contact lens has long been used to improve people’s vision, but now researchers have restored sight in patients suffering corneal damage using a technique where contact lenses are cultured with stem cells. Fast, cheap and non-invasive, the groundbreaking technique even has the potential for regrowing skin and other organs.Read More

Boomer: Multi-functional mobility aid makes stairs safer

With the post-war baby boomer population moving closer to retirement, devices that enable the elderly to remain mobile not only have a critical role to play in improving quality of life, they have a lucrative market to access. Student designer Daniel Molloy's Boomer mobility aid is well placed to do both. The shape-shifting Boomer can be a shopping cart, a comfy seat or a walking frame which can be used to maneuver safely up and down stairs.Read More

Invasive Alien Species threatening global biodiversity

While the implications of climate change for biodiversity have been widely recognised, the insidious effect of invasive alien species (IAS) on global biodiversity stays under the radar. Last Friday was the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) and the International Convention on Biological Diversity sees IAS as “one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and to the ecological and economic well-being of society and the planet”. “Increasing globalisation has led to greater movement of new species around the world, and native species killed or stressed by global change will all too often be replaced by these weeds and feral animals,” says CSIRO Biodiversity Research Director, Dr Mark Lonsdale. CSIRO PodcastRead More

Nanodiamonds promise next-Generation Cancer Treatments

Nanomaterials less than 100-thousand-millionths of a meter in size have the potential to radically change current drug delivery techniques with early trials showing the ability of nanomaterials to moderate the release of highly toxic chemotherapy drugs with reduced side effects and improved targeting. Using nanodiamonds, researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a new tool designed to precisely deliver tiny doses of drug-carrying to individual cells - the Nanofountain Probe.Read More

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

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