Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Health and Wellbeing

The Memo Box system provides reminders for users to take their medication

While forgetting to take the trash out might irritate your better half, forgetting to take your medication could have far more serious consequences. Memo Box is a device designed to replace the familiar plastic seven-day pill boxes that works in conjunction with a smartphone app to ensure you and your loved ones take prescribed medication at the right time, and in the right dose.  Read More

A dried blood spot analysis that can detect B12 levels has been developed

Vitamin B12 is vital to keep a nervous system healthy. Since it is found mainly in meat and dairy, it is common for people to associate B12 deficiency with vegans, who are aware of this issue (in Germany there's even a B12-enriched toothpaste) and often take measures to supplement. In fact, it is the general population of developing countries who are more likely to lack B12, and it is primarily for them that a team of Canadian researchers has developed a simple, cheap B12 test kit.  Read More

Cocoa flavanols, naturally occurring compounds in cocoa, can reverse age-related memory de...

Do you forget where you left your keys or parked the car, or have difficulty remembering the names of people you’ve just met? The good news is that chocolate – or more specifically, naturally occurring compounds in cocoa called flavanols – can reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) study.  Read More

The insoles use vibrations to help their wearers detect tactile stimuli in the soles of th...

Falls are the leading cause of death by injury amongst seniors, and those falls are in turn typically caused by poor balance or an irregular gait. Taking things back yet another step, problems with balance and gait are often caused by diminished sensation in the feet. Now, however, a new study indicates that subtly-buzzing insoles may help seniors regain some of that lost sensation, and thus be less likely to fall down.  Read More

An existing overdose-treatment drug is now being tested in nasal spray form (Photo: Shutte...

Heroin overdoses are typically treated using injections of a medication that resuscitates the victim. That's fine if paramedics are doing it, but not everyone feels comfortable giving someone else a needle. That's why scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are developing a nasal spray that does the job.  Read More

Researchers have developed a new prosthetic system that allows amputees to feel familiar s...

A new prosthetic system allows amputees to feel familiar sensations and also, somewhat unexpectedly, reduces their phantom pain. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center developed the system to reactivate areas of the brain that produce the sense of touch, but recipients of prosthetic hands reported their phantom pain subsiding almost completely after being hooked up to the system.  Read More

Leach has spent more than a year studying the Hadza, who still eat a diet a man from sever...

American scientist Jeff Leach performed his own fecal transplant with stool borrowed from a hunter gatherer tribesman to better understand the changing nature of gut bacteria ecosystems. Mr Leach was working with the Human Food Project to study to Hadza tribe of Tanzania and the way their gut bacteria may differ from those of people in the West.  Read More

The mutant gene SKN-1 found in the worm Caenorhabditis elegant has been shown to negate we...

Sure, foods that are high in sugar are often the most tempting, but that sugar rush can come at a weighty cost. A new study conducted at the University of South Carolina has suggested that this may not need be the case. Researchers have identified a gene that can dictate how these foods are processed, potentially suppressing the weight problems that go hand-in-hand with unhealthy eating habits.  Read More

BlueControl can be strapped on to any part of the body

Sufferers of psoriasis, an incurable skin disease that breaks out in scaly red plaques and also causes the skin to peel, will shortly get a new ally in the management of the condition. Lighting giant Philips is about to launch BlueControl, an LED light unit that can help patients of mild and moderate cases with no side effects.  Read More

UF researcher Wade Yang is using pulsed light to inactivate proteins within peanuts that t...

We've seen various research efforts aiming to cure nut allergies in people, from tricking the immune system into ignoring certain proteins to building up a tolerance, or using common gut bacteria. But Wade Yang from the University of Florida is taking a different approach. Rather than altering the body's response to peanut allergens, he is altering the peanuts themselves.  Read More

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