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Asthma

Medical

Airway muscle-on-a-chip to aid in search for new asthma treatments

Unfortunately for asthma sufferers and those looking to develop new treatments to help them, animal models traditionally used to test potential new drugs don't always mimic human responses. Joining lungs and guts, scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute have now developed a human airway muscle-on-a-chip that could help in the search for new treatments for asthma. The device accurately mimics the way smooth muscle contracts in the human airway, both under normal circumstances and when exposed to asthma triggers. Read More

Automotive

Ford SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicles provide allergy forecasts on demand

Seasonal allergies strike 20 percent of Americans every year. Some people suffer so badly that they check the pollen count with the devotion that others pay to the stock market. For some asthma sufferers, an allergy attack can even lead to a life-threatening asthma episode. As part of its program to help motorist manage their health, Ford has announced that cars equipped with its SYNC AppLink system will be able to alert drivers about pollen and other health-related conditions.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Protexo aims to help asthmatics breathe easier while sleeping

Asthmatics have it hard enough when they’re awake, having to periodically use their inhalers, or remove themselves from situations that could trigger an attack. For some of them, however, their symptoms get even worse when they go to bed, preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep. Airsonett, a Swedish medical tech company, is attempting make life easier for those people. It has created a device called the Protexo, which it claims should be of great assistance to night-time asthma sufferers.Read More

Medical

Space age technologies used in sci-fi sick bay

While Star Trek-style multifunctional medical "tricorders" are still in the realm of sci-fi, scientists at the University of Leicester and Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) in the UK may be making the first tentative steps toward making them a reality. The researchers are developing a holistic high-tech diagnostic unit designed to quickly detect the "sight, smell and feel" of disease in real time without the need for invasive and time-consuming procedures. Much of the technology being used was originally developed for space research, atmospheric chemistry and emergency medicine. Read More

Medical

Gastric bacterium protects against asthma and proves hygiene hypothesis

It’s widely recognized that asthma rates have increased significantly since the 1960’s and continue to rise. With increases in asthma and other allergic diseases centered on industrialized nations, a recent hypothesis suggested that the disappearance of specific microorganisms that populate the human body due to modern hygiene practices might be to blame. Now researchers claim they have confirmed this hypothesis by proving that a certain gastric bacterium provides reliable protection against allergy-induced asthma.Read More

Around The Home

Air cleaning carpet to provide relief for asthma sufferers

For asthma and allergy sufferers the choice of carpeting or hard flooring can be a confusing one. Although medical professionals often advise people with severe allergies to remove wall-to-wall carpeting, carpet manufacturers defend their product, saying that carpet fibers actually trap allergy-provoking substances like dust and pollen and prevent them from circulating in the air where they can be inhaled. A new carpet from International carpet and artificial grass manufacturer, DESSO, could mean an end to such conundrums as it is designed to capture and retain more of the potentially harmful allergy-producing particles in its fibers and significantly reduce the amount of such particles floating in the air.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Hookworms may protect against asthma and other allergies

There has been a worldwide increase in the prevalence of asthma and other allergies over the last century. With the biggest jump in cases coming from the developed world, it's been theorized that the rise in such diseases could be the unintended result of the success of modern hygiene in preventing childhood infections. A new study conducted in Vietnam has added credence to the view that parasitic gut worms, such as hookworm, could help in the prevention and treatment of asthma and other allergies.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Breathe easy (or not) with the Dust Alert sensor

Out of sight might mean out of mind, but it doesn’t necessarily mean out of danger, particularly in the case of small airborne particles. Such particles can severely affect your health, with effects ranging from asthma and bronchitis to lung cancer. If you’re worried about the possible presence of airborne particles in your home researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed a sensor called ‘Dust Alert’ that could confirm your suspicions or better yet, set your mind at ease.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

An intelligent metered dose inhaler (MDI)

March 5, 2007 Here’s an interesting new inhaler that provides metered dose inhaler (MDI) users with breath-activated delivery and dose-counting capabilities. From Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, the MD Turbo offers significant advantages for the users of many of the 40 million MDIs prescribed each year in the United States alone. Studies show that many patients using traditional press-and-breathe pMDIs (pressurized metered dose inhalers) to control asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), regardless of age or MDI experience, cannot successfully coordinate the press-and-breathe action necessary for drug delivery to the lungs. More than 70% of MDI users do not know the number of doses remaining in their inhalers at a given time. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Cell Phones to monitor the air and alert users to harmful chemicals and gases

October 2, 2006 One wonders what super powers our mobile phones might have a decade from now given the plethora of sensing technologies, miniaturisation and functionality being planned by various companies. Cell-phone-sensor technologies specialist Gentag’s latest patent (7,109,859) for a "Method and Apparatus for Wide Area Surveillance of a Terrorist or Personal Threat" certainly indicates that it won’t be long before our cell phones will be monitoring the air we breathe and alerting us if there’s something we should know regarding allergens, contaminants or harmful bacteria. Gentag also holds patents for the use of RFID readers incorporated into cell phones, which will provide consumers with innovations like smart skin patches to detect health conditions and smart food labels to help consumers to determine the freshness of produce and meat. Gentag also a cell phone with a UV sensor built-in (pictured).Read More

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