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Health & Wellbeing

New fluorescence correlation spectroscopy technique offers real-time view of human chemical messenger system

September 2, 2008 One wonders sometimes just how far our understanding of life itself will extend within the next few decades. Earlier this week, U.K. researchers announced the development of a technology that enables the real-time viewing of microscopic activity within the body’s chemical messenger system. The researchers first created novel drug molecules which have “fluorescent labels” attached, then using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, the molecules can be followed under a highly sensitive microscope as they bind to receptors, glowing all the while under a laser beam … all in real time at the single molecule level. Truly remarkable! Read More

Easy-to-produce plastic microneedles offer pain-free injections

August 19, 2008 Singapore’s A*STAR continues to put the country on the technology map, this time with the news that the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has perfected an innovative range of microneedles that can be mass produced more readily and at a much lower cost than current microneedle technologies. The microneedles can be made from plastics as well as conventional materials such as silicon and metal and offer unique structures for better drug delivery. Microneedles are a fraction of the size of hypodermic needles and hence can penetrate the skin enough to deliver the medicine (or extract bodily fluids) but miss the nerve receptors so they induce no pain. Combined with the appropriate electronics, they can be worn as a skin patch, for regular doses of drugs to be delivered automatically to patients. Read More

The US$100 iPosture pendant improves posture

August 19, 2008 Since man decided that standing upright was a better idea than walking on all four limbs, our evolving environment and posture has created back problems for a significant percentage of the population. “Sit up straight” was certainly one of the catchcry’s of the educational system, and mum can’t always be with us to remind us of the benefits of an upright posture, so neurologist Moacir Schnapp, M.D., has created the iPosture posture improvement device. Worn as a pendant, clipped to clothing or adhered directly to the skin, the US$100 iPosture improves a user’s posture by vibrating intermittently when the user slouches and continuing to vibrate until posture is corrected.Read More

The stress sensor vest

July 23, 2008 The term “stress” was first used in a biological sense in the 1930s and as the world has increased in complexity and pace, is fast reaching epidemic proportions in most societies. Ironically, when biomedical scientists set out to develop new ways of studying stress, they needed an inconspicuous measuring tool so they could monitor the stress levels of their subjects during the course of their day-to-day environment. The idea of a “stress sensor vest” originated, and while they’re still studying stress, the vest has emerged as a viable and marketable product in its own right.Read More

Earplugs that fit in your wallet for an aural emergency

Sound systems in clubs, pubs and music venues are regularly pushed to obscene levels, requiring conversations to be held at a shouting volume, and often leaving attendees with a ringing sound in their ears indicative of permanent hearing damage. Designer Shing Lo has an ingenious solution that means you will never leave home without ear protection.Read More

Sowine preserves wine for up to ten days

Sowine is a home wine bar that enables you to preserve your opened bottle of wine at the perfect temperature for up to ten days. It also allows you to bring your bottles of wine to the correct temperature before serving. The air-tight refrigerated storage unit has two separate compartments that are temperature-controlled to suit the type of wine you are storing. You can store a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine at the same time as the units are completely separate. As the storage unit is air-tight, the bottles are also protected from oxidation, therefore helping to prolong the life of your wine.Read More

See all the small print with Clarity’s i-vu digital magnifier

When your eyesight starts to fail, it can be extremely frustrating. Now, there is something other than bifocals or reading glasses to help rectify this problem. Clarity's i-vu is a portable, hand-held digital magnifier for people suffering from failing eyesight. The i-vu has 5 - 20x magnification and a 2 inch LCD screen but is very compact and weighs just 4 ozs so it fits easily into the pocket of a shirt or pair of trousers, which makes it portable enough to take to the library, drug store or your favorite restaurant. Read More

The Perch School desk

The final design of the Perch system contains a uniquely shaped work surface and a patented seat that flexes to suit the user. It is designed to increase productivity, health and well being, with consideration also given to storage, cleaning, stackability, aesthetics, safety and cost. Read More

Hand-held device offers new hope to migraine sufferers

June 27, 2008 Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center have trailed a portable electronic device designed to stop migraine pain before it starts. The experimental transcranial magnetic stimulator (TMS) unit works by sending a painless, one millisecond magnetic pulse through the neurons in the brain, interrupting the initial "aura phase" of the migraine experienced by many sufferers before it leads to throbbing pain, headaches and nausea. Read More

Swimmers Snorkel product evaluation

We wrote extensively about the Swimmers Snorkel back in September 2006, marveling how just a few millimeters of change had produced an entirely new product, quite distinct from the diver’s snorkel and one with almost untold benefits for the pool swimmer. After 18 months of using the snorkel almost daily, Mike Hanlon has found more benefits and few drawbacks – indeed, as a regular traveler, the snorkel goes with him on every trip, becoming, in effect, his portable gymnasium.Read More

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