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— Medical

Smart mouth guard tells users if they're grinding their teeth

Bruxism – or "tooth-grinding" to most of us – is a very common problem. Often caused by stress, it can cause tooth damage, headaches, insomnia and jaw pain. Unfortunately, because it occurs when we're sleeping, many people don't even realize they're doing it. Often, a night spent under observation at a sleep clinic is the only way of "catching it in action." That could be about to change, however, thanks to the development of a bruxism-detecting mouth guard.

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— Space

New study highlights the importance of understanding sleep deprivation in astronauts

The recently-released results of a study carried out by researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and the University of Colorado have revealed the extent of the sleep deprivation suffered by astronauts over the course of a long-term mission in Earth-orbit. This study and others like it are the result of an increasing effort undertaken by agencies around the world to study the physiological and psychological impacts of a permanent human presence in space. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Blood test could indicate predisposition to suicide

While there are a wide range of scenarios that may cause a person to take their own life, the fact is that in a given situation, some people will do so whereas others won't. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now believe that this difference can largely be traced to a genetic mutation in the people who are more likely to commit suicide. What's more, this mutation can be detected via a blood test. Read More
— Science

Paint-on "sensing skin" is designed to detect damage in concrete structures

Although concrete structures such as bridges are now often built with strain sensors embedded within them, that certainly hasn't always been the case. In order to alert authorities to cracks developing within these older structures, one solution involves attaching sensors to them. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland are working on an alternative, however – an electrically-conductive paint-on "sensing skin." Read More
— Bicycles

"Mind-reading" MindRider bike helmet wants you to have a sweet ride

While many people will tell you that commuting by bicycle is less stressful than driving, the fact remains that it can still be ... well, stressful. While you could try to determine the least-taxing route by jotting down how tense you are in which places, doing so could get pretty complicated. The MindRider, however, is designed to make that process easier. It's a "mind-reading" bike helmet that lets you create so-called mind maps of your travels. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

ParentGuardian helps parents of ADHD kids keep their stress in check

It can be hard enough for parents to maintain a cool head when dealing with an angry child at the best of times, but things can get much more difficult when that child has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). That's why scientists at Microsoft Research and the University of California, San Diego have created ParentGuardian. It combines a wrist-worn sensor and an app, to monitor parents' stress levels and deliver real-time coping strategies. Read More
— Science

Color-changing film could revolutionize product development

Whether you're manufacturing cars, phones, sports equipment or pretty much anything else, a key part of the design process involves measuring the amount of mechanical stress experienced by different parts of the product. Thanks to research being conducted at the University of California, Riverside, doing so may soon be much easier. Scientists there have created a film that changes color when subjected to pressure, making it easy to see where objects coated with the film may need reinforcement. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The doctor is in: Virtual therapist to help treat stress disorders

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Sciences (ICT) are developing a virtual therapist that can identify signs of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bringing together machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision technologies, the SimSensei project is aimed at helping military personnel and their families, while reducing the stigma that is often associated with seeking help. Read More