All right, people, I hate to be the bearer of such grave news, but resolution season is almost upon us. If you're wondering how to make 2012 the year you finally shed those extra pounds, start choosing the apple over the fries, floss every day, etc., read on.
With some 26 million Americans living with diabetes (8.3 percent of the U.S. population), according to the American Diabetes Association, a lot of research is going into how to make blood glucose monitoring more effective and affordable.
Researchers at Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic are partnering up to develop a monitor that enables people to dab their tear ducts instead of prick their fingers--which could be a big deal for those who currently draw blood as many as a dozen times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels.
"The problem with current self-monitoring blood glucose technologies is not so much the sensor, it's the painful finger prick," Jeffrey LaBelle, a bioengineer and chief designer, said in a news release. "This new technology might encourage patients to check their blood sugars more often, which could lead to better control of their diabetes by a simple touch to the eye."
The team reported on the first stage of their research on the sensor in Diabetes Science and Technology in March 2010, and quickly sparked interest from Arizona-based nonprofit BioAccel, which works to speed up the process of bringing biomedical technologies to the marketplace.
Using funding from BioAccel, the team is now compiling data to apply for human clinical trials of the device, but major challenges remain, including accuracy, efficiency, speed of performing the test, reproducible results, and of course making sure the test sample does not evaporate before it can be read.… Read more
A new study has found that prolonged use of a cell phone increases brain activity but failed to determine whether such use can lead to health problems.
The study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, recruited 47 people in good health to document the effects of cell phone use on the brain. Conducted in 2009 by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, the study was created to see whether the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones affect the brain's glucose metabolism, considered a marker for brain activity.
Cell phones were placed next … Read more
I don't know a single person who, from dusk to dozing off, isn't exposed to some kind of electrical lighting, especially in these darkest of winter days. Unfortunately, study after study is coming out linking this nighttime lighting to various ailments, almost always due to the effect light has on melatonin suppression.
The latest findings, via a study just accepted for publication in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, finds that exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime "strongly suppresses melatonin levels and may impact physiological processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermoregulation, … Read more
A new nanomedicine device designed to monitor signaling gas in exhaled breath could help people monitor their own known diseases, as well as instantly detect new ones, according to research out of Stony Brook University.
"This is a single breath analysis diagnostic tool for monitoring disease or metabolic functions that can be used to check cholesterol levels, diabetes, and even lung cancer," says lead researcher Perena Gouma, whose work appears in the October 2010 issue of Sensor Letters. "Lung cancer is a silent killer that can only be detected when it's progressed vastly--but in the breath, … Read more
Chemical engineers at MIT are designing carbon nanotubes that can be injected beneath the skin to reveal continuous blood glucose levels in real time. If it works, people with Type I diabetes may not have to prick their fingers multiple times a day to monitor their glucose levels.
Dubbed a "tattoo" that's designed to detect glucose, the nanotubes are wrapped in a polymer that is sensitive to glucose concentrations. A wearable device roughly the size of a wristwatch shines infrared light through the skin and onto the nanotubes, which fluoresce when in contact with glucose.
So it's really a tattoo in hiding. And at this point the sensor is estimated to have a shelf (or is it skin?) life of roughly six months.
But the team, which plans to start testing on animals soon, says that if the readings are accurate enough to pass the Clarke Error Grid analysis for glucose sensor accuracy, the system could revolutionize continuous glucose monitoring.
"The most problematic consequences of diabetes result from relatively short excursions of a person's blood sugar outside of the normal physiological range, following meals, for example," said Michael Strano, a professor at MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering. "If we can detect and prevent these excursions, we can go a long way toward reducing the devastating impact of this disease."… Read more
Our breath can say a lot about us--and not just what we had for lunch.
Engineers at the University of Florida are reporting that they have designed a tiny and affordable sensor that can do what has up until now been considered impossible: detect glucose (as well as pH and alkalinity) levels in breath condensate.
Fan Ren, professor of chemical engineering and a researcher for this project, says that the team's most recent research, published in the January issue of IEEE Sensors Journal, upsets long-held assumptions that glucose levels in breath are too small for accurate readings; the sensor, … Read more
Blood glucose monitoring has improved greatly in recent years, with devices getting smaller, cheaper, and faster--a good thing, since almost 8 percent of Americans are diabetic, according to some estimates, and are encouraged to monitor their blood glucose levels anywhere from one to a dozen times a day.
So it should come as no surprise that the next-gen device, introduced by Italian product developer Giulio Sbarigia, is even smaller and faster, and bears some resemblance to the iPhone.
Sony's biotech battery has a sweet tooth. It sups on glucose for energy (much like some of us) converting the sugar within beverages such as fruit juice and even Pocari Sweat into electricity.
A four-cell array is reportedly capable of generating up to 50mW of power, enough for small devices at the moment. For a glimpse into the future of alternative power cells, check out the video of the battery seen powering a desk fan and speakers attached to a Walkman, after being juiced up on a sugar solution.
The Bio Battery imitates real life by using enzymes to … Read more
Unlike the chips that are inevitably destined for our brains, however, this implanted device seems to have an indisputably worthy goal. VeriChip's invention is designed to help diabetics--and presumably others with high blood sugar--check their glucose levels without the need to break the skin through traditional testing methods. The implanted chip, which The Wireless Report says can be injected, transmits the glucose levels to scanners without the need for batteries. That sounds even easier to operate … Read more