I was flipping through the channels the other night, and I saw an episode of that ridiculous but entertaining show "MANswers" on Spike TV--the show that supposedly covers such profound questions that only "real guys" care about including "what's the quickest way to get drunk?" and "is it possible to freeze a fart and smell it later?". Anyway, this particular episode had a segment that set out to answer the age-old question "what car makes chicks the horniest?"--a question that your average Joe on the street would like … Read more
British prosthesis maker RSLSteeper is readying a myoelectric bionic hand that will let users perform detailed movements such as picking up wooden tiles in the game Jenga or grasping objects with a "power grip" feature.
Little information is available, but RSLSteeper says the BeBionic hand will have the world's first "powered wrist with rotation as well as flexion/extension." Lifelike silicone skin covering the hand will be available in 19 shades.
Myoelectric prostheses can be controlled by detecting electrical nerve signals in the skin of the remaining portion of a limb.
The hand's speed, … Read more
GE Healthcare on Monday announced the commercial release of a new, smartphone-size imaging tool that lets physicians carry ultrasound technology in their pockets.
The group says its Vscan imaging device is now commercially available after receiving clearance by the FDA in the U.S. and getting the CE Mark from the European Union and the Medical Device License from Health Canada.
Specifically, Vscan is cleared as a prescription device for ultrasound imaging, measurement, and analysis in the clinical applications of abdominal, cardiac (adult and pediatric), urological, fetal/OB, pediatric, and thoracic/pleural motion and fluid detection.
New Jersey passed a bill last week legalizing medicinal marijuana, so we begin today's episode of The 404 Podcast with a quick discussion about the taxation, decriminalization, and dispersion of medicinal marijuana.
Entrepreneur John Lee hopes all the legal attention will give way to e-commerce in the form of B2B exchanges for "licensed providers of medicinal marijuana and their patients." Lee hopes that the system and his Web site, PlainView.com, will encourage distributors to keep their systems organized with pertinent information on records, invoices, sales reports, and tax paperwork.
We also spend good chunk of time dissecting all the drama surrounding Conan O'Brien and "The Tonight Show" being bumped back to 12:05 a.m. to accommodate Jay Leno's earlier time slot. Conan released a statement last night setting the record straight with an outright refusal to switch times, arguing that a 12:05 a.m. start time is ridiculous for "The Tonight Show."
Among other things, Conan emphasizes that nothing is more important to him than putting on the best nightly show possible, and we're in full support--as soldiers in Conan's army, The 404 is ready to stand tall and follow O'Brien to the ends of the Earth, although we're secretly hoping for a network switch to CBS.
Stick around for the full episode, and don't forget to send your self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to the N.Y. CNET office, addressed to The 404 - STICKERS), to get your hands on your free handful of 404 stickers and temporary tattoos!EPISODE 497 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
A new type of artificial larynx could mean better-sounding speech for those who've had their larynx removed due to laryngeal cancer or other ailments.
Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, have come up with a system that tracks mouth movements to determine what word is being formed and then uses a speech synthesizer to audibly produce the correct word.
"All of the currently available devices produce such bad sound--it either sounds robotic or has a gruff speaking voice," Megan Russell, a Ph.D. candidate at the university, told Technology Review. "We … Read more
An increasing number of people are meeting the loves of their lives, or at least of their months, on Facebook.
However, a consequence of this might be that an increasing number of people think they will encounter love's intrepid arrow by socially networking. It seems, indeed, that some might be making advances toward their psychologists. Or even their proctologists.
The U.K.'s Medical Defense Union, an organization whose goal is to "defend the professional reputations of our members when their clinical performance is called into question," is concerned that some of its members resort to politeness … Read more
Studies suggest that anywhere from 2 to 13 percent of patients in emergency rooms are HIV positive, according to Charlotte Gaydos, a clinical microbiologist at Johns Hopkins University. So the emergency room seemed like a logical place to test whether an untrained person is able to self-administer his or her own HIV test, and then accurately read the results (one line means negative, two lines mean positive).
In an urban hospital, researchers from Johns Hopkins offered people in the emergency room the option to test themselves for HIV while they waited. More than 90 percent of the people they asked … Read more
Somewhere between one-third and one-half of all Americans take their medication at the wrong time, or at the wrong dosage, or simply forget altogether, according to a New England Healthcare Institute study released earlier this month (PDF).
MedMinder Systems to the rescue. The wisely named Newton, Mass.-based start-up is one of several companies working to develop the ultimate smart pillbox. Approximately the size of a textbook, "Maya" (the wisdom behind the box's nickname remains elusive) holds 28 small plastic cups that can be designated separately for different pill types and detailed regimens.
When a pill is … Read more
That ubiquitous symbol of the medical profession, the stethoscope, is finally undergoing a 21st century tech makeover. The next time you drop by the doctor's, his acoustic listening implement may well sport Bluetooth connectivity and an LCD panel.
3M Health Care has announced the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope, which packs features most headphone users would be familiar with, such as noise cancellation and greater sound clarity.
With the souped-up hearing, the Littman then transmits lung, heart, and body sounds wirelessly to the bundled Zargis StethAssist program for further analysis, as well as to keep a record on file. Which is … Read more
Nanoparticles have ever-cooler applications. Here's another.
Researchers in India are developing a silver nanoparticle gel to treat burn wounds that could be more effective than conventional gels.
Burned skin is especially vulnerable to infection. Silver has been used as a purifying agent since ancient times, and burn creams have been around for some 30 years.
Silver sulfadiazine and silver nitrate gels are used in burn treatment as antimicrobial agents to accelerate healing, but some gels can cause skin discoloration and damage cells.