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Health and Wellbeing


— Health and Wellbeing

Recreational Drugs and their level of harm

March 24, 2007 Just how dangerous are recreational drugs and what’s the most effective way to classify drugs as the basis for law enforcement? With the technologies for creating new substances now well ahead of the law’s ability to even recognise them, it’s clearly time for a new way of doing things. Last year, the UK’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee tabled a report entitled Drug classification: making a hash of it? which concluded that the current UK classification of drugs into A, B and C classes should be replaced with a new system more closely reflecting the harm they cause. One of the most striking findings of the report was that based on the committee’s assessment of harm, tobacco and alcohol (in red on the chart) would be ranked as more harmful than cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. The report also stated that, on the basis of harm, "alcohol would be classed as B bordering on A, while cigarettes would probably be in the borderline between B and C". Now a leading researcher on substance misuse has expressed concern that the proposed classification regime is too limited in its approach to serve as a basis for changes in the law. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The Wilderness Medicine Book

March 24, 2007 This is one of those books that will come in handy, even if you never use it. If that sounds silly, you’ve never been 50 miles from the nearest road with a man down and no telecommunications or medical knowledge. Each year, more and more people venture outdoors, including wilderness and rugged environments, and many suffer from injuries or illnesses while in the mountains, deserts, forests, jungles, or oceans. The 5th edition of Wilderness Medicine, is the definitive clinical reference on its unique subject and explains how to manage everything from frostbite to infection by marine microbes and situations stemming from natural disasters to diverse everyday injuries, such as bites, stings, poisonous plant exposures and animal attacks. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The first Conception Kit for at-home use

March 23, 2007 Millions of people the world over struggle with fertility issues each yea and until recently have had few options beyond expensive drugs or very expensive, invasive medical procedures. The Conceivex Conception Kit is the first comprehensive reproductive healthcare system designed for couples and was this week granted 510K clearance by the U.S. FDA. The Conception Kit contains fertility prediction tools, semen collectors and the only FDA-cleared home-use cervical cap for conception, which are designed to be used together for up to three months in order to enhance the couple’s chance of becoming pregnant. The cornerstone of the US$300 kit is the Conception Cap, which brings the semen in direct contact with the cervix for four to six hours, increasing the opportunity for sperm to move into the uterine cavity and fertilize an egg at the most opportune time. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Bodywall finding application in all sports

March 21, 2007 The Bodywall is designed to assist athletes to stretch effectively, with its combination of high-adhesion gloves and shoes and high-tech wall surface offering spiderman-like capabilities. It is so effective at stretching the muscles an athlete uses in any particular sport that when we first wrote it up last September, we forecast it would become part of the training regime of all athletes. The reason it is applicable to all sports, and hence a generic sporting product is that it achieves its goals using the wall, gravity and the human body - the only common element in every sport. As the worldwide interest in the product has blossomed since our article, thye man who conceived Bodywall, Chris Toal, has seen it used in a fascinating variety of ways to achieve stretching and exercise in different sports. The company is now developing aids so that the Bodywall can be used even more specifically - see the images here and here and here. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

First Global Tsunami Alarm System

March 17, 2007 Holidaying on the water just hasn’t been the same since the Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004. Tsunamis are not new – they have been occurring regularly since time began. The probability of a tsunami is greatest in areas where the earth’s tectonic plates meet. Most fear created by the dreaded tidal wave however comes from the unknown – Tsunamis can travel at speeds up to 1000 km/h so if the early warning signs are missed, by the time you can see it, it’s too late. Now a new tsunami warning system brings hope that holidaymakers can relax on their beach holidays and residents of coastal areas need no longer live fearfully. You must be connected to a GSM mobile phone network, and signing up is as simple as entering your phone number on a web site, immediately enabling the alarm system on your phone. Nothing has to be installed or downloaded - a one-year subscription costs only EUR 30 and there is also a monthly subscription for holidaymakers at EUR 10. The system uses “Flash SMS” messaging which “pushes” the message onto the front screen of the phone even if it is being used. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New 3D Imaging technology promises early detection of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

March 15, 2007 The older people become, the greater risk they have of sharing the tragic fate of those who remain alive yet are increasingly unaware of the world around them. In industrialised countries, one to six percent of the population over the age of 65 and an even more alarming ten to twenty percent over the age of 80 suffer a progressive loss of their cognitive abilities. Alzheimers disease is the most common cause, affecting 50 to 60 percent of all cases, followed by circulatory disorders in small blood vessels, capillaries and venules (calcifications), which make up about 20 percent. These disorders cause ever larger parts of the brain to become necrotic due to an insufficient supply of blood. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Bilingual learning benefits second and third generation children

March 13, 2007 Bilingual learning can provide substantial benefits for second and third generation children whose families speak a language other than English, according to ESRC-funded research by Goldsmiths, University of London. Even when children have grown up with English as their stronger language, using both languages aids cognitive development and strengthens their identities as learners. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

BioLED Lab on a Chip

March 13, 2007 Acrongenomics and Molecular Vision have developed an extremely promising technology that will enable disposable, Point Of Care diagnostics for a large range of biomarkers. BioLED Lab on a Chip technology uses Molecular Vision’s patented, organic semiconductor technology in a high sensitivity, small size, medical diagnostic device. The device has been demonstrated to measure biomarkers with high sensitivity and at low cost, and the companies forsee such BioLED technology applications being used at home, in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Hospital Equipment Unaffected By Cell Phone Use, Study Finds

March 12, 2007 Although cellular telephone use has been prohibited in hospitals because of concerns of interference with medical devices, a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers shows that calls made on cellular phones have no negative impact on hospital medical devices, dispelling the long-held notion that they are unsafe to use in health care facilities. Three hundred tests were performed over a five-month period in 2006 using two cellular phones, which used different technologies from different carriers and 192 medical devices. Not a single problem was found. The study's authors say the findings should prompt hospitals to alter or abandon their bans on cell phone use. Read More
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