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Health and Wellbeing

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Father-son Nobel Prize Quinella

By - October 5, 2006 6 Pictures
October 6, 2006 One of the feel-good stories of the week was Stanford University’s Roger Kornberg winning the 2006 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, completing a rare father-son Nobel Prize quinella. Forty-seven years ago, the then twelve-year-old Kornberg (top right) was in Stockholm to see his father (centre right), Arthur Kornberg, receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1959) for his studies of how genetic information is transferred from one DNA-molecule to another. Given that only 763 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals in history, the chance of two members of the same family winning is not as small as you might think. Indeed, there have been four people who have won the prize twice, four married couples, one mother and daughter, one father and daughter, six father and son combinations and one pair of brothers who have one the prize. The most prolific Nobel Laureate family is without doubt the Curies – husband-wife team Marie and Pierre Curie won the Physics prize in 1903, Marie won again for Chemistry in 1911, then their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie and her husband Frederic Joliot won for Chemistry in 1935. Stanford shared a second Nobel Prize this week when Andrew Fire shared this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Craig Mello. Read More
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Designer Bag makes illness discreet

By - October 4, 2006 7 Pictures
October 5, 2006 From time to time, everyone gets to regurgitate, vomit, throw up … whatever you wish to call it, it’s inevitable! Unfortunately, some people such as pregnant women, cancer patients and travellers encounter the problem frequently, and now there's a pretty way to handle it - the Red E Bag. The canvas Red E Bag folds to the size of a small clutch -- or large wallet. When sickness arises, just unsnap and you're ready. A removable black plastic liner opens wide with the bag and holds up to half a gallon of liquid. A zippered pocket on the outside is large enough to carry tissues and mints. Read More
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The Wake-up Light

By - October 3, 2006 3 Pictures
October 4, 2006 It seems the human body is so attuned to the rhythms of the sun that simulating its dawn is actually highly beneficial. Royal Philips Electronics has utilised the simulation in developing a new, medically proven wake-up lamp, which emits light that gradually increases to the intensity you have selected, simulating the rising sun in your bedroom thus gently preparing your body to wake up. The light falls on your eyes and sends your brain a message to reduce the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Over 30 minutes, the natural light gradually increases to reach the optimal intensity to wake you up at the set time, in a pleasant manner that leaves you feeling energized and ready to wake up. The light intensity can also be adjusted to your own personal preference. The Wake-up Light will be available exclusively in France in October 2006 with a rest-of-Europe roll-out in 2007. Read More
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Mobile X-ray unit capture the knee in motion

By - October 2, 2006 1 Picture
October 3, 2006 Walking is a dynamic process, so it might come as a shock to realise that up to now the function of artificial knee joints has been analysed using static images of extended and bent knees. However, these were scarcely able to explain why certain patients’ prostheses were painful again and again. This is a big problem, because about one million artificial knees are implanted each year, 40,000 of them in Switzerland. The situation led researchers at the Institute for Biomechanics to analyse the problem in more detail and a mobile X-ray unit was developed that allows the knee to be x-rayed during normal walking. The purpose of the equipment is to help understand how an implanted artificial knee joint behaves during the everyday movement of walking. Read More
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Nanocarriers that can kill tumors with drugs and DNA

By - October 1, 2006 2 Pictures
October 2, 2006 Singapore scientists have developed nanoparticles that can carry both small molecular anticancer drugs and nucleic acids simultaneously for improved cancer therapy. The uniqueness of the new technology from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) lies in the design of a special biodegradable carrier (cationic core-shell nanoparticle), which can enclose drug molecules and allow therapeutic nucleic acids to bind onto it. It can efficiently introduce DNA into a cell to be incorporated into its genetic make-up, i.e. induce high gene expression level, especially in both human and mouse breast cancer cell lines, and mouse breast cancer model. The co-delivery of small molecular drugs with nucleic acids can improve gene transfection efficiency, reduce side-effects of these drugs, and achieve the synergistic effect of drug and gene therapy for the more effective treatment of cancer. Read More
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Cell Phones to monitor the air and alert users to harmful chemicals and gases

By - October 1, 2006 7 Pictures
October 2, 2006 One wonders what super powers our mobile phones might have a decade from now given the plethora of sensing technologies, miniaturisation and functionality being planned by various companies. Cell-phone-sensor technologies specialist Gentag’s latest patent (7,109,859) for a "Method and Apparatus for Wide Area Surveillance of a Terrorist or Personal Threat" certainly indicates that it won’t be long before our cell phones will be monitoring the air we breathe and alerting us if there’s something we should know regarding allergens, contaminants or harmful bacteria. Gentag also holds patents for the use of RFID readers incorporated into cell phones, which will provide consumers with innovations like smart skin patches to detect health conditions and smart food labels to help consumers to determine the freshness of produce and meat. Gentag also a cell phone with a UV sensor built-in (pictured). Read More
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Intel shows Mobile Medical Platform

By - September 27, 2006 3 Pictures
September 28, 2006 Intel has unveiled a mobile point-of-care platform designed specifically to address the needs of nurses and physicians working on the front line of patient care. The mobile clinical assistant platform is the outcome of hospital workflow studies, nurse and physician interviews, and ethnographic research among nurses at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. It focuses on the healthcare community’s needs to enhance patient safety, reduce medication-dispensing errors and ease staff workloads. Products based on the mobile clinical assistant platform could offer a variety of features and technologies including: an exterior casing that can be wiped clean with disinfectant; radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for rapid user and patient identification; and barcode scanning to help reduce medication-dispensing errors. Read More
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Intelligent Packaging for Time Sensitive Products

By - September 22, 2006 3 Pictures
September 23, 2006 The boom in intelligent packaging looks set to blossom over the coming years, with recent announcements such as the Programmable Liquid Container, printed electronics, fruit labels that can indicate the ripeness of their contents, Power Plastics to provide electrical power and manufacturing breakthroughs such as Siemens disposable video display and Cypak’s disposable paperboard computer. Now another capability has been incorporated into packaging – a time-keeping mechanism for time-sensitive products to facilitate precise product performance. Designed primarily for use in cosmetic packaging, the timeing system is designed for hair dyes, facial masks, facial hair bleaching, hair removal creams and face peels. The design enables existing packaging to be easily retrofitted with the timers, which are preprogrammed not just to ensure correct usage, but also to beep at you when you open the cosmetics cabinet a month or two down the track when it’s time for the next treatment. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Skin for people with a high EQ – fashion of the future

By - September 20, 2006 14 Pictures
September 21, 2006 As the Digital Age progresses, technology will be available to create masterpieces of all types, and high fashion will find itself with magical new abilities. A garment no longer need be made of earthly materials and can now become a highly complex interactive electronic device, or a biochemical machine responsive to subtle triggers like sensuality, affection and sensation. The SKIN fashion range of dynamic garments developed by the far-future research program at Philips Design came from ongoing research into emerging trends and societal shifts in the area of 'emotional sensing' and demonstrate several possibilities in the way electronics can be incorporated into fabrics and garments to express the emotions and personality of the wearer. The marvellously intricate wearable prototypes include 'Bubelle', a dress surrounded by a delicate 'bubble' illuminated by patterns that changed dependent on skin contact- and 'Frison', a body suit that reacts to being blown on by igniting a private constellation of tiny LEDs. The SKIN research project challenges the notion that our lives are automatically better because they are more digital. It looks at more 'analog' phenomena like emotional sensing and explores technologies that are 'sensitive' rather than 'intelligent'. An extraordinary image gallery with this story. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

First Bionic Arm fitted to a female patient

By - September 14, 2006 16 Pictures
September 15, 2006 The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), demonstrated its remarkable engineering and rehabilitation science know-how earlier this week by introducing Claudia Mitchell, the first woman to be successfully fitted with RIC’s Bionic Arm technology. The most advanced prosthesis of its kind, the RIC neuro-controlled Bionic Arm allows an amputee to move his or her prosthetic arm as if it is a real limb simply by thinking. The arm also empowers patients with more natural movement, greater range of motion and restores lost function. Using key learnings from the first successful Bionic Arm recipient, former power lineman and double amputee from Tennessee, Jesse Sullivan, RIC’s Bionic Arm initiative leader Dr. Kuiken and his team also have made significant advancements in the area of sensory feedback so that the patient can actually feel if they are touching hot or cold objects. We have excellent pictures and copies of Dr. Kuiken’s presentation to the media available in the image gallery. That's Claudia at top right in the main pic, the bionic arm bottom right, the nerve ending connections at top left and Dr. Kuiken and the first Bionic Man, Jesse Sullivan at bottom left. Read More

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