Diagnosing malaria can be a bit of a pain, especially when trying to test in remote parts of the world where such tests are most needed. For one, it requires a standard blood smear test with the right chemical reagents and a high-quality microscope. It also should be done by a lab technician with proper training, and each test takes 15 minutes and costs roughly $1. Oh -- and the tests spoil in hot climates if not properly stored.
When someone in a movie tries to give a robot or a computer human intuition, things rarely go according to plan. The machines glitch out and become bloodthirsty killers that risk human lives to adhere to a narrow set of principles, or even worse, they turn into Robin Williams from "Bicentennial Man."
Plus, human emotions are hard to understand. Sometimes we can't even figure out what makes us happy. A group of researchers in the UK claim they have a device that may be able to do just that -- make us happy -- in our very own homes.
Forget rehab, medication, and counseling. What if light could one day help cure us of our addictions?
Reporting in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers at the University of Buffalo and Wake Forest University shed light on a different way to go about deep brain stimulation that may have profound and lasting effects -- at least when it comes to binge drinking in lab rats.
Instead of using electricity to blast neurons indiscriminately, the researchers turned to an emerging technique known as optogenetics, using light to target and stimulate specific neurons (in this case dopamine).
And it worked. Very convincingly.… Read more
The creator of a smart and sleek thermometer has far more on his mind than whether your body temperature is above 98.6 degrees F. He wants to revolutionize the thermometer by enabling it to read the "health weather" of a community.
To accomplish that goal, though, you and everyone you know will have to use the device dubbed the Kinsa Smart Thermometer.
After a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013, Kinsa last week earned FDA approval for its smart thermometer. It looks much like the thermometers of yore, but because it plugs directly into -- and is powered … Read more
Influenza, Ebola, and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) can be nasty little buggers, infecting their hosts with rash abandon and, especially when they attack young babies, even killing them. And the danger reaches beyond the very young. Pneumonia, for instance, is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and RSV is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
As imaging techniques advance, researchers are being able to study these viruses in greater and greater detail. Now, according to a team of scientists at Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, and Emory, one new technique for studying RSV … Read more
Have the winter blues got you down? Is a promotion at work making you swell with pride? Does watching kids take "selfies" (and then use the word) elicit contempt?
Chances are, these emotions are making you feel physical sensations in the same parts of your body that others feel them in their bodies, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.… Read more
When hearing that scientists in Canada and the UK have sorted out how to spray molecules of vodka to send a generic message a few meters through open space, one should be forgiven for concluding that said scientists were helping themselves to a bit of the ol' liquor cabinet in the process.
Not necessarily so. The first text to be literally (as opposed to the countless that have been figuratively) fueled by alcohol could prove to be a major step forward in the world of molecular communication, with a range of applications in environments where electromagnetic waves don't work … Read more
Let's face it: If you've thrown back a few, relying on your own inner sobriety ticker to determine whether you're sober enough to drive isn't exactly advisable.
Enter Alcohoot, a cute little breathalyzer -- available as of this week for $119 -- that plugs directly into the audio port of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Given the potential messiness involved, extra mouthpieces and replacement power cords are available for $7.99 and $9.99, respectively. And I'll go out on a little owl's Alcolimb and suggest also insuring your smartphone if you plan to be drinking and blowing in its liquid-intolerant vicinity.… Read more
New tech being developed at Cornell University aims to bring cholesterol testing to smartphones to make the numbers both more specific and easier to track.
Home cholesterol test kits have been around since the early 1990s, catering to those with high cholesterol levels -- which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease -- who need to check their numbers more than once every few years.
But the majority of home tests take total cholesterol readings only, without separating out the "good," high-density lipoprotein (HDL, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries) from … Read more