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Health & Wellbeing

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

Cities with MLB baseball teams have a lower divorce rate!

The family unit is society's fundamental unit - 95 percentage of US citizens marry by age 55. A marriage breakdown is one of the most stressful life events possible, yet more than one in three will experience the trauma of divorce. Not surprisingly, the dynamics of relationships are increasingly the focus of ever more research. The University of Denver Center for Marital and Family Studies in particular is constantly shedding new light on the institution of marriage with recent research findings establishing that the quality of the relationship with parents-in-law is directly connected to marital satisfaction, and more recently, that 90 percent of couples experience a decrease in marital satisfaction once their first child is born. A new study from the centre looking at divorce rates before and after cities got Major League Baseball teams is fascinating in its implications. The study showed that cities with major league baseball teams had a 28 percent lower divorce rate than cities that wanted major league baseball teams. Can marital harmony really be this simple? Read More

Dilbert celebrates 20 years of cubicle lifestyle and workplace dysfunction

April 9, 2009 If you're a modern office worker, the chances are you'll know Dilbert, the most photocopied, pinned-up, downloaded, faxed and e-mailed comic strip in the world. Many Dilbert readers, particularly those employed at large corporations, are convinced that Dilbert creator Scott Adams works at their company since he conveys corporate inanities so well in the ever-funny, ever-savage satire of life in the modern workplace. Indeed, in some newspapers, the strip runs in the business section rather than the funnies, reflecting its accurate portrayal of the realities of work life for 21st century cyberserfs. Dilbert turns 20 this month, and a book/online resource has been created to celebrate. Dilbert, we love you!Read More

Tobacco as medicine - needless to say you don't smoke it

Smokers don’t get excited - science hasn’t found a way to genetically engineer tobacco for smoking to be good for you. What science has done however is to genetically engineer tobacco plants to produce medicines that could assist in the treatment of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.Read More

Gold nanospheres search out and ‘cook’ cancer cells

March 24, 2009 A minimally invasive therapy that could help fight cancer may be on its way with the development of the first hollow gold nanospheres that actively search for and burn tumors. Researchers believe the new technique could prove particularly effective against malignant Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer responsible for around 48,000 deaths worldwide each year... and numbers are growing.Read More

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