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Allergies

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Sulfite-filtering Üllo aims to make wine-drinking less whine-inducing

Do you get itchy, cramped-up or wheezy from even a little bit of wine? It could be because you have a sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are sulfur-based compounds that are added in the wine-making process to prevent bacterial growth – they keep the wine from spoiling while it's in transit and storage. Given that they're not needed once the wine has been poured, however, chemist James Kornacki has developed a device for reducing them at that point in the game – it's called the Üllo.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Egg yolk extract could allow people with celiac disease to eat gluten

If you or someone you know has celiac disease, then you'll know how much it can limit one's diet. Because people with the autoimmune condition have a negative reaction to the gluten in grains such as wheat, rye or barley, that means they can't consume many baked goods, pastas, liquors, or any number of processed foods that use wheat as a binding agent. Soon, however, they may be able to eat whatever they want – if they take a new egg-based supplement first.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Researchers shed new light on skin-based immune system

The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Gut bacteria discovery could lead to probiotic therapy for food allergies

As someone who almost shuffled off this mortal coil after downing a satay, I'm always hopeful when potential breakthroughs for the treatment of food allergies arise. The latest cause for hope, which could one day let food allergy sufferers order in restaurants without worrying about potentially life-threatening ingredients hidden within, comes from scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine, who have found that a common gut bacteria protects against food allergies in mice.Read More

Good Thinking

TellSpec hand-held scanner identifies what's in your food

Figuring out whether the fries on your plate contain traces of trans-fat, or if those celery sticks are truly pesticide-free can be tricky, if not impossible. That's why Isabel Hoffmann along with mathematician Stephen Watson set out to create TellSpec, a hand-held device that you can simply point at a food item, to identify what's in it. Not only does the device warn you about chemicals, allergens and ingredients you'd rather avoid, it'll also help you figure out food sensitivities and track your vitamin intake. The goal, the company says, is to help people make clean food choices by letting them "check their food as easily as they check their mail."Read More

Science

X-ray device traps airborne pathogens and neutralizes them

Help may be on the way for people with compromised immune systems, severe allergies, or who otherwise have to be wary of airborne nasties. A team of scientists have created something known as a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator, or an SXC ESP for short. It filters all manner of bacteria, allergens, viruses, and ultrafine particles from the air – plus, it kills everything it catches. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

UCLA smartphone attachment detects food allergens

If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies, you know how terrifying they can be. Such allergies can be life threatening and, despite food labeling laws, it isn't always possible to be certain some potentially deadly ingredient isn't lurking in an item. In an effort to improve on the bulky and complex allergen detectors currently available, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a device called the iTube that turns a smartphone into an allergen sensor. Read More

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