Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison say they have been able to both diagnose and treat the condition while the baby is still in the womb.
Thanks to a curious accidental discovery from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital researcher George Daley, we may be closer than we previously thought.
While conducting cancer research, Daley clipped holes in ears of mice that were genetically engineered with the Lin28a gene so he could quickly tell them apart from the control group. But the holes kept healing. So he clipped their toes, but they grew back. He then waxed their backs, but their fur grew back more quickly than usual. It appeared that Lin28a -- a gene that scientists think regulates the self-renewal of stem cells -- gave the mice special regeneration abilities. … Read more
So is anyone surprised to see a lawsuit disputing claims that caffeine-infused undies can help zap fat?
Two women are suing lingerie maker Maidenform for "consumer fraud, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment," according to Courthouse News. … Read more
Zits. It's easy to forget how devastating their sudden emergence -- always at the most inopportune moments -- can be. But surely everyone remembers at least one time when a zit was, at least for a day, the single most mortifying thing that ever happened.
The device projects light of different wavelengths onto the skin to take transdermal images of the acne, sends that data to a connected smartphone, and the SmartZ app for iPhone uses … Read more
There's an old Swedish saying that cyclists often like to paraphrase: There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Now, a new smart shirt seems to suggest that, indeed, clothing has the potential to not only affect how we weather the weather, but how we maintain our health, too.
The FitnessSHIRT, which was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, may be available sometime in the next year. It uses conductive textile electrodes integrated into its material to capture cardio activity -- including breathing, pulse, and changes in heart rate. The … Read more
An app that tracks the presence of superbugs and their sensitivities to drugs by ZIP code is making the rounds among doctors in the US. The app, which has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since it was released in early October, shot to the top of the Apple App Store's free medical app list in its first week alone and now boasts an average user rating of 4+ stars.
Epocrates Bugs + Drugs, a free app for iOS devices, uses aggregated electronic health record (EHR) data and geotagging to help users see both superbug prevalence and sensitivity to drugs by location. The developers, Athenahealth and Epocrates, add more than 6,000 lab isolate data points (from urine, blood, and skin samples) every day to keep the results fresh.… Read more
We're not quite at the level of complex navigation using only neuronal activity, but electroencephalography (EEG) headsets have enabled people to do some pretty cool things, including piloting a quadcopter, and painting, just by thinking.
Alejo Bernal, a recent graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, has brought a similar project to the ground. He created a toy car that can be piloted forward by thinking while the user wears a commercially available NeuroSky EEG headset.
The project isn't just about performing cool maneuvers, but about improving concentration skills, specifically for those with attention deficit disorders. As the wearer starts to focus on moving the car, light levels in the toy vehicle visualize neuronal activity, seen through its semi-transparent acrylic body. … Read more
Blood glucose monitors are growing up, and it's about time. With some 26 million diabetics in the U.S. alone, (that's almost 1 in 10 Americans), and hundreds of millions globally, according to the American Diabetes Association, glucose monitoring has become one of the largest patient-generated data sets in the world -- and yet much of that data is being uploaded manually onto desktops or written by hand into little log books.
There's a high incidence of mental illness reported among soldiers compared with the general population -- in fact, one in nine medical discharges is due to mental illness, according to US Army statistics. This is not surprising. If you ask people to see and do horrific things, it will likely impact them in pretty significant ways.
DARPA is seeking to understand more about how the brain works in hopes of developing effective therapies for troops and veterans. It has announced a new $70 million project called the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (Subnets).
Subnets is inspired by Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS, a surgical treatment that involves implanting a brain pacemaker in the patient's skull to interfere with brain activity and help with symptoms of diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's. DARPA's device will be similar, but rather than targeting one specific symptom, it will be able to monitor and analyze data in real time and issue a specific intervention according to brain activity. … Read more
The ankle is something of an anatomical puzzle.
"Imagine you have a collection of pebbles, and you wrap a whole bunch of elastic bands around them," Neville Hogan, a mechanical engineering professor at MIT, said in a school news report. "That's pretty much a description of what the ankle is. It's nowhere near a simple joint from a kinematics standpoint."
So Hogan teamed up with colleagues at MIT's Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation to test Anklebot, a robot that uses electrodes to record the torque and angular displacement at the joint and calculate stiffness in various directions.
To do this, the bot is mounted to a knee brace that is in turn connected to a custom shoe, and Anklebot… Read more