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Health and Wellbeing

If you think your better half buys a lot of crap, then you might want to consider OpenBiome before starting on the criticism. The American non-profit is paying donors dollars for their doo-doo in an effort to gather more materials for fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs), a relatively new, but 90 percent effective, treatment for the debilitating Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Read More
Last year, scientists from the University of Chicago found that a probiotic therapy using a common gut bacteria prevented sensitization to peanut allergens – in mice. Now researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that a similar probiotic treatment, this time involving Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has a similar effect, but this time in children. Read More
If you're a smoker who's trying to quit, you may recall hearing about vaccines designed to cause the body's immune system to treat nicotine like a foreign invader, producing antibodies that trap and remove it before it's able to reach receptors in the brain. It's a fascinating idea, but according to scientists at California's Scripps Research Institute, a recent high-profile attempt had a major flaw. They claim to have overcome that problem, and are now developing a vaccine of their own that they believe should be more effective. Read More
EnteroMedics' Maestro System has become the first obesity device to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in ten years. The device, which the company compares to a pacemaker, is designed to block signals in the nervous system to reduce feelings of hunger. Read More
Finger-prick blood tests are currently an unpleasant necessity for diabetics. Perhaps before too long, however, the blood glucose information gathered in those tests could be attained using something much more fun and painless than a lancet – a temporary tattoo. Read More
In order to regain their sense of hearing, many deaf people currently opt for cochlear implants. Such devices are expensive, however, plus they must be surgically installed and they don't work on all forms of hearing loss. That's why a group of researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) are developing an alternative – an electric retainer that transmits spoken words to the user by buzzing their tongue. Read More
Sometimes we need to get away from our busy workplaces, even if just for a small amount of time. A new pod has been designed to provide exactly that sort of refuge. The Orrb is a single-person space in which workers can take short relaxation or learning sessions. Read More
For anyone who uses a car, collisions are an ever-present danger – that's why vehicles are equipped with safety features such as airbags. For senior citizens, however, simply falling down can also result in life-changing injuries. With that in mind, Pennsylvania-based company ActiveProtective is developing a wearable airbag that deploys in the event of a fall, to protect seniors' hip bones. Read More
Want the exercise, but can't conjure up the energy to go to the gym? Have a seat ... and "turn downtime into exercise time." The TAO Chair, which we took a look at at CES last week, is designed to provide a dynamic workout for your primary target zones from the comfort of your living room. Read More
Due to its huge potential in applications ranging from cheaper vaccinations to energy-storing car panels, there's plenty of excitement surrounding the emergence of nanotechnology. But a team of scientists are urging caution, with a study conducted at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology suggesting that exposure to silicon-based nanoparticles may play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Read More
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