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Health and Wellbeing


— Health and Wellbeing

The Molecular Condom - vaginal gel releases Anti-HIV drug when exposed to semen

December 13, 2006 Once likened to “taking a shower with a raincoat on”, the condom may be the safest method of protection during sex, but it significantly detracts from the experience. Last week we featured the spray-on condom designed to offer a better fit but we’re betting that new work being done by University of Utah scientists will get a lot of attention due to its likelihood of overcoming the many shortcomings of the condom. It is in fact a "molecular condom" for use by women. The liquid is vaginally inserted daily and prevents AIDS by turning into a gel-like coating and when exposed to semen, returning to liquid form and releasing an antiviral drug. The ultimate hope for this technology is to protect women and their unborn or nursing children from the AIDS virus, but the molecular condom is five years away from tests in humans and roughly 10 years until it might be in widespread use. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Sexperience – the world's strongest sex pill?

December 11, 2006 What does a rhinoceros horn, a Tiger’s penis, a bar of chocolate, Turtle Eggs, the elements Arginine and Zinc, oysters, and the drug Bremelanotide all have in common. They are all aphrodisiacs, as are a host of other naturally available nutrients such as Ginkgo Biloba, Kava Kava, Asian Ginseng (Panax), Yohimbine (the alkaloid derived from yohimbe bark) and Avena-Sativa/Oat extract. There are many aphrodisiacs found in nature. Some may have rare nutritional compounds that enhance sexuality in unknown ways, while others may fill nutritional gaps. For example, zinc is needed for libido, and a low zinc status is balanced by eating zinc-rich oysters returning zinc levels and sexual prowess to normal. Since time began, herbalists, hucksters, scientists and alchemists have sought the ultimate product, the sure fire aphrodisiac. Now a new non-prescription, all-natural sexual enhancement pill is taking to market claiming it is the world's strongest sex pill. It might make a novel Christmas present for a friend whose love life is flagging. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Computerised Mannequins for medical training

December 7, 2006 The University of Portsmouth has opened a UKP4.85million high-tech teaching facility with computerised mannequins to train the health-related scientist of tomorrow. The new facility - called the ExPERT Centre (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) - features state of the art mannequins in two fully-kitted out simulation suites (operating theatre and hospital ward). The life-like mannequins - or human patient simulators - have computerised sensors that react to any treatment students apply. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

US retailer to trial 3D foot footwear measurement system

December 7, 2006 Stride Rite, the leading US children's footwear retailer and manufacturer, has begun a trial to evaluate a 3D foot gauge, a system designed to produce highly accurate foot measurements. Foot gauges were installed in three Stride Rite stores in the Boston area earlier this month following the signing of an evaluation contract with UK company QinetiQ. Stride Rite has been making shoes in the US for over 85 years and operates a nationwide chain of nearly 450 stores. Last year we previewed Intellifit, an ingenious measurment system for clothing that could revolutionise the global clothing market. The 3D foot gauge could have similar long-term effects on the footwear market. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New anti-microbial 'paint' kills flu, bacteria

December 5, 2006 A new "antimicrobial paint" developed at MIT can kill influenza viruses that land on surfaces coated with it, potentially offering a new weapon in the battle against a disease that kills hundreds of thousands a of people every year. Clearly, the new substance, could be applied to doorknobs or other surfaces where germs tend to accumulate, significantly aiding the fight against the spread of the flu. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The Spray-On Condom

December 4, 2006 Researchers at the German Institute for Condom Consultancy plan to launch a spray-on condom – the Institute is currently conducting tests on a spray can into which the man inserts his penis which is then sprayed with latex from nozzles on all sides. The plan is to make the product ready for use in about five seconds and offer a more effective contraceptive that fits better than standard one-size fits all condoms and hence does not slip. Pre-market trials are underway to demonstrate the new latex condom is evenly spread when sprayed and to optimise the vulcanization process. The company is seeking Condom Testers with a penis length from 9 to 12 cm and 15 to 20 cm. Men between 13 to 14 cm are apparently welcome too, so we presume there must be some other qualification ‘cos that includes just about everyone. We could think of worse jobs, and if any Gizmag readers get the gig, please don’t forget to send us your business card. Video (in German) here. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

ESA teams up with Alain Ducasse for out-of-this-world cuisine

December 4, 2006 World renowned chef Alain Ducasse runs three gourmet restaurants: Plaza Athénée Restaurant in Paris, Alain Ducasse Restaurant at the Essex House in New York and the famous Louis XV restaurant in Monaco. But this week the French master chef took his meals to an extraordinary new location when his meals were served to the astronauts living on board the International Space Station. Ducasse teamed up with ESA and the French National Centre for Space Studies, CNES, to create special gourmet food that could be used for celebratory meals in space, such as New Year, birthdays and the arrival of a new crew. Thirteen different recipes were available to the resident Expedition 14 crew, with dishes including typical Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, tomatoes, aubergine, quails, red tuna and swordfish. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Genetic medicine – just over the horizon?

November 21, 2006 The day you are born, your birth certificate carries a detailed genetic profile showing your predisposition to allergies and certain diseases, your health risks and information useful to minimise your chances of falling sick. With all this information so early on, you and your health professional can take steps to minimise the effects of disease, before age-related illnesses begin to develop 60 years on. In the meantime, if you do fall sick, doctors can better diagnose and tailor treatment and drugs to your exact genetic profile, with a greater chance of success. The coming era of genetic medicine promises a revolution in health care, yet major obstacles remain, not least the complexity of extrapolating clinical practice from organic molecules. The INFOBIOMED team hopes to link biological and medical informatics in a bid to make genetic medicine a reality. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The Urilift – the now you see it, now you don’t urinal

November 21, 2006 When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go – particularly when you’ve had a bellyful of alcohol. Given that using alcohol to great excess is a modern rite of passage and deeply rooted tradition of most societies, and that more of it gets consumed in nightlife districts, such precincts are often an ugly sight the next morning, with urine, vomit and the occasional sleeping body often found in public places. Most modern cities have developed a night time economy which is positive for a city. On the other hand, one of the top three concerns resulting from a lively night time economy is related to street urination. More public toilets might meet the needs of the nightlife but they’re an eyesore for the residents, so the latest in high tech toilets might be the ideal solution. In an effort to handle its night time public urination problem, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is considering installing urinals that disappear below street level during the day according to John Chow. The urinals are not new, having been introduced in Europe in 2000, but they are novel, disappearing during the day and popping out of the ground in the evening to meet the needs of the nocturnal. There are two variants of the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t toilet, with and without privacy and a third which looks the same as the disappearing toilet but doesn’t disappear. Fortuitously, the Urilift is designed so that the punters can’t ride up and down in them or lock their friends inside for a laugh or anything other than just normal toilet business. Good idea though, as the design can also be used for regular temporary situations such as catering to the once-a-week needs of a crowded local market. Distributors can be found in all key Northern European markets but there’s an opportunity in almost all other areas - enquiries here. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

'Nanorust' cleans arsenic from drinking water and promises 'no-energy' solution for global problem

November 12, 2006 The discovery of unexpected magnetic interactions between ultrasmall specks of rust is leading scientists at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) to develop a revolutionary, low-cost technology for cleaning arsenic from drinking water. The technology holds promise for millions of people in India, Bangladesh and other developing countries where thousands of cases of arsenic poisoning each year are linked to poisoned wells. Read More
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