Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Health and Wellbeing

The handheld detector will tell its users what type of radionuclide is creating the radiat...

Ever since the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, there has understandably been an upsurge in the sale of consumer radiation-detecting devices. Most of these gadgets are variations on the Geiger counter, in that they alert the user to the presence and level of radiation, but not the type of radiation – which is very important to know. Researchers at Oregon State University are hoping to address that situation by developing a handheld device that will additionally tell its users what type of radionuclide is creating the radiation, and whether it poses a risk.  Read More

The foam is currently injected via this applicator

When a soldier is wounded on an extremity such as an arm or leg, applying a bandage and/or tourniquet to stop the bleeding is typically a fairly straight-ahead process. However, in cases where an injury is received right at the junction between an extremity and the torso – places such as the neck, shoulder or groin – things get a lot trickier. Gauze pads treated with clotting agents are often packed into the wound, although they're not always sufficient for staunching the flow. A group of students from Johns Hopkins University are working on a better alternative, in the form of a hardening foam that's injected into the wound.  Read More

Modified proteins could allow for low-fat cakes and cheeses which don't have that 'low-cal...

Dieters take note! It may soon be possible to buy low-fat cakes and cheeses that have the same taste and texture as their waistline-increasing counterparts. Research conducted at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh has resulted in a method of using proteins to "fill in" for fats.  Read More

The Restoring Active Memory project is aimed at helping brain-injured veterans and civilia...

Earlier this year, we heard about how DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was setting up its new Biological Technologies Office. The goal of that division is to "merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security." This week, the agency released details of one of the office's key projects, called Restoring Active Memory. It's aimed at using implantable "neuroprosthetics" to help army veterans and other people recover from memory deficits caused by brain injury or disease.  Read More

The Relieve concept won a national competition

Smartphones have paved the way for an increasing number of health-monitoring innovations, covering a range of applications such as fitness, cardiac function and diabetes, to name but a few. Now, a team of students has tapped the power of mobile phones to help those who want to quit smoking. Relieve is the name of the app/e-cigarette combo concept developed by students at the University of Lincoln in the UK. The idea is to help addicts gradually wean themselves off nicotine and recruit their friends for moral support.  Read More

BMW has provided 3D-printed thumb supports for some of its factory workers in a pilot proj...

3D printing has proved very useful in the health and medical sectors. The technology has been used to produce custom insoles, a mouthpiece for sleep apnea sufferers and even a replacement skull. Now, BMW has produced custom thumb orthoses for its factory workers to combat strained joints.  Read More

SandPiper is designed as a cheaper alternative to the spirometer, a device that allows tho...

The smartphone has given rise to countless new ways to monitor our health. Whether its testing one's eyesight, monitoring our mood swings or getting a feel for our fitness, there are a growing number of devices and apps to help keep tabs on our wellbeing. SandPiper is the latest in a line of smartphone-centric health solutions and is designed as a cheaper alternative to conventional lung monitoring devices.  Read More

Float is a simple product designed to aid total relaxation of body and mind

In an increasingly busy and relentless world where information is flowing all around us, it's more important than ever to switch off once in a while. There are many ways to relax, but floating in water is one of the best ways of completely and utterly drifting away. Which is where Float – designed to make floating in water a more pleasurable experience – could prove useful.  Read More

A mock-up of the universal calorie counting device

Although there are already devices that can tell you approximately how many calories are in your food, they typically require you to manually input data regarding the type and amount of food that you're eating ... and as we all know, people generally don't like having to "do" things. A senior scientist at GE, however, is developing a gadget that could instantly display the caloric content of any food placed within it, at the touch of a button.  Read More

A new study has found that changes in ambient temperature can influence the concentration ...

The discovery that lowering your body temperature leads to an increase in a certain type of "good" fat might have some ditching the diet books and shedding a layer of clothing instead. A study conducted at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington has demonstrated that changes in ambient temperature affects brown fat levels in humans, pointing to potential treatment options for the weight-wary and sufferers of diabetes.  Read More

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