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Health & Wellbeing

Miniscule motor swims through the bloodstream

Researchers from Monash University in Australia are working on microbot motors designed to swim through the human bloodstream. Dubbed the "Proteus" after the miniature submarine that traveled through the body in the 1966 sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage, the tiny piezoelectric motor is just 250 micrometers or a quarter of a millimetre wide - that's around 2.5 times the width of a human hair. Read More

Implantable sensor simplifies blood pressure readings

High blood pressure is a major health risk and as the world’s population ages, that risk continues to climb. It can be a trial of patience for doctors and for sufferers, whose blood pressure often has to be consistently monitored over a long time until it can be regulated. A new sensor being developed by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft researchers together with the “Hyper-IMS” (Intravascular Monitoring System for Hypertension Patients) company aims to make this monitoring easier. To monitor blood pressure patients have traditionally had to wear a small case containing a blood pressure meter close to their body. An inflatable sleeve on their arm records their blood pressure values, for which it is regularly pumped up and deflated. This can prove to be a bit of a hassle, particularly at night but now the whole process is now due to become significantly simpler thanks to a tiny implant that can achieve the same result.Read More

Scientists find marijuana reduces memory impairment

As difficult as some of our readers might find it to believe, researchers have found that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells. The research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. If you can’t wait for the drug to be developed, and don’t fancy coping with getting stoned every morning, Science Magazine has an interesting article about an alternative – dramatically reducing your calorific intake is also beneficial for memory.Read More

How to double your chance of giving up smoking

January 26, 2009 About one third of the male adult global population smokes, two thirds in Asia where tobacco advertising is largely still legal. Among teens aged 13 to 15, about one in five smokes worldwide. Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. Smoking related-diseases currently kill one in 10 adults globally, and on current trends, one in six of ALL people two decades from now. New UK research has found that smokers are twice as likely to kick the habit if they use a support group rather than trying to give up alone. Read More

HeartMath's EmWave Personal Stress Reliever

Here at Gizmag we try to keep our stress levels down, but sometimes a stiff drink and a quick match at Guitar Hero doesn't quite cut it, so we naturally fell in love with HeartMath's emWave Personal Stress Reliever. The emWave PSR is a handheld device that monitors your heart rate and provides feedback that allows you to train yourself to maintain a regular heart rate and breathing rhythm - resulting in reduced stress. We originally covered the emWave PSR when it was first released in 2006 - but at CES 2009, Gizmag's Kate Seamer got a chance to try it out and have a chat with Catherine Calarco from HeartMath. Read More

Retired physicist's lofty aim: one billion pairs of adjustable spectacles for the world's poor

The ability to see clearly is something we take for granted in the western world - somewhere between 45-50% of the US/European population wear some form of corrective eyeglasses. Vision problems are no less common in developing countries, but custom eyewear is just too expensive for the vast majority of sufferers. The World Health Organization estimates that "1 billion people worldwide need, but do not have access to, vision correction." Retired physics Professor Joshua Silver has put a plan in motion to redress this balance with the invention of a very cheap set of spectacles that are quickly and easily adjustable to correct long- and short-sightedness. With 30,000 pairs already distributed, Silver's target is no less than to produce and distribute one billion pairs of these silicone-oil wonders throughout the developing world, helping older people get back to work and radically changing lives in the process.Read More

Purelight UV sterilizer targets household germs

ENPUTECH has announced plans to unveil its new UV sterilizer at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in January. Purelight is an environmentally-friendly device designed to sterilize germs and other bacteria in mattresses, blankets, carpets, toothbrushes, toilets and kitchen utensils.Read More

The left-handed pen promises easier left-to-right writing for left-handers

December 16, 2008 A simple but new development of the humble pen might make life easier for almost one in six people on the planet – those who are left-handers. From birth, molly dookers are handicapped compared to right-handers because the world is configured for right-handed people. The perceived awkwardness of a leftie is just because they’re forced to use tools configured for a right hand preference. The pen is one of humankind’s most important tools, and regarded by many as even mightier than the sword, so this is an important development for a lot of people. The reshaped pen with S bend neck and ergonomic grip makes it easy for left-handers to immediately write comfortably without smudging.Read More

CT dose reduction technology uses military technology

December 1, 2008 The CereTom portable CT scanner is remarkable, but the latest improvement to the remarkable machine comes entirely through software – it’s a Noise/Dose Reduction solution for medical imaging. NeuroLogica’s CT post reconstruction filter is similar to military synthetic aperture radar systems which filter out “noise” while preserving signal quality to thus better “see” objects. These algorithms are computationally intensive but thanks to Moore’s Law and the advent of ever faster, inexpensive computers, we’ll inevitably see many new smarts being added to existing machines. The ingenious solution reduces image noise while preserving spatial resolution and noise texture. The advantage offered by the technology is in significantly reducing accumulated exposure of critical and pediatric patients to radiation without sacrificing image quality.Read More

Condometric - the condom that measures the size of your penis

November 26, 2008 Madrid-based Curiosite has come up with a product that will surely be one of the novelty hits of 2009. The Condometric is a condom with a measuring ruler printed on the side that will accurately determine the size of the wearer’s penis. Currently in manufacturing, the condom will be available in four flavours (lime, cherry, banana and prophylactic rubber), both metric and imperial measurements (centimetres and inches), and in packs of 3, 6 and 12 (the party pack?).Read More

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