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Posts tagged ‘Health’

Teens e-Cigs & Vaping Weed ?

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Research from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey of more than 20,000 middle school and high school students reported that More than 5,200 students reported have tried e-cigarettes,according to the journal JAMA Pediatrics. But the researchers were especially interested in what else kids were vaping with the device. About one out of every 11 students surveyed, or 9 percent, answered, “Yes, I have used an e-cigarette device with marijuana, THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] or hash oil, or THC wax.”

The use of marijuana in these products is of particular concern because cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory and may impair later academic achievement and education. Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking, because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs. But there is little research on e-cigarettes’ long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit.

 

Robots & Medical Doctor Training

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A robot, called HAL, has been made to look like a five-year-old male patient and offers unprecedented training options.

HAL not only looks like a boy, he behaves like one. He can track a finger with his eyes, answer questions, cry for his mother and experience anaphylactic shock. He can even breathe faster and/or urinate when scared. And he has also been built in a way that allows doctors and nurses in-training to perform a myriad of tests such as taking blood pressure, checking his pulse and monitoring breathing. Trainees can also use real medical equipment such as an EKG machine or a heart or blood pressure monitor—or tools such as a scalpel or breathing tubes—to perform realistic medical procedures.

Gaumard has a long history of producing medical training equipment. HAL is just one of several robots the company offers—others include a robot mother who gives birth and a baby who can experience a wide variety of newborn complications. With HAL, medical students are offered a new level of interaction with a robot patient before being exposed to real ones. Representatives with Gaumard told the press that they actually backed off making the robot look too human—leaving off freckles, for example, or real hair. They feared such a robot that could also bleed to death or experience cardiac arrest might be too emotionally traumatic for students just being introduced to emergency pediatric situations.

HAL can also be shocked with a real defibrillator or have his throat cut to allow for insertion of a tracheal tube. Trainees can also draw blood and insert urinary catheters or insert a chest tube to allow drainage of what looks like real blood. The makers of the robot have put in special parts at certain body sites to allow for replacement, such as patches of skin that are damaged by a scalpel or needle. And as students perform treatment, the robot can react, crying, for example, or saying “ouch” when pricked with a needle. He might also move, not only showing emotions, but mimicking the difficulty often found when treating a person in pain.

Trainers can also speak into a microphone and have their voice come out of the robot sounding like a five-year-old boy—and they can cause medical emergency conditions too, such as arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest, forcing students to react quickly.

 

 

 

Coffee Cancer & California’s Proposition 65

 

Despite Court Ruling, There's No Certain Science Linking Coffee to Cancer

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A California judge ruled on March 29 that coffee shops in the state must include a cancer warning label each cup of joe. Here’s more about the ruling and the possible coffee-cancer link. 

If a lawsuit in California is successful, Golden State stores that sell coffee will have to warn customers that drinking a cup of joe may be a cancer risk, according to news reports.

The cancer warning label on coffee, which may be required under California law, has sparked a bitter debate and is now drawing criticism from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Roasted coffee beans contain a known carcinogen, a chemical called acrylamide. But it’s unclear whether acrylamide levels in coffee are high enough to pose a health risk to humans. Acrylamide occurs in overly cooked or roasted starchy foods, including coffee beans, french fries, potato chips, breakfast cereals and toast. It’s also found in cigarette smoke. The carcinogenic chemical is concerning enough that last year, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency asked people to “Go for Gold” rather than a charred color when eating starchy foods that could be burned.

The jury is still in Question on whether the levels of acrylamide in coffee can increase cancer risk in humans. While an increased cancer risk is shown in some studies, others don’t find any at all, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). These disparate results may occur because it’s challenging to quantify how much acrylamide people consume.

This week, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that such a label would mislead consumers more than it would inform them.

“Such a warning could mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health, when it actually could provide health benefits,” Gottlieb said in a statement yesterday (Aug. 29).

 

 

MIT REsearcher Are Working On A Chip/Pill To Detect Illness

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Researchers at MIT have been working on a chip that could one day be offered to patients with suspected gastrointestinal bleeds instead of an endoscopy. The researchers have created a prototype of the chip that can be swallowed like a pill, sampling a patient’s gastrointestinal environment for signs of bleeding as it travels through their digestive system.

The chip doesn’t just rely on electronic components to do its work, however: it has an army of bacterial sentinels too. The chip has four wells filled with genetically-engineered bacteria that are designed to react to haem, a protein found in red blood cells. If the bacteria in the chip encounter any haem, they express a genetic circuit that causes them to bioluminesce — that is, if they see blood, the bacteria light up.

The researchers predict that it could take between five and 10 years before the pill could be used commercially. One of the key challenges that will need to be addressed is the size of the pill, which is currently around 3cm by 1cm. While it can be swallowed at that size, for people with damaged gastrointestinal tracts, there’s a risk that its dimensions could cause complications, so future work will look to shrink the device to more manageable levels. In future, the pill could also potentially be fuelled by a voltaic cell that generates energy from the acid environment of the stomach — a pH that’s so low it’s not found anywhere else in the body.

Suicide Game “Momo” Beginning To Spread

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A disturbing suicide “game” spreading through WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube called “Momo’ has authorities concerned around the world.

The game “controller” sends violent images to the person over the messaging app, claiming to know personal things about the “player,” and threatens the player if they don’t follow “orders.”

Players are often asked to kill themselves or post images and videos showing themselves committing suicide.

Authorities say it is similar to another social media-based suicide “game” called “Blue Whale” that is linked to hundreds of teen deaths in Russia.

Robot That Can Blast Away Germs

Solaris Disinfection has had U.S. sales for its Lytbot robot that blasts away hospital germs using ultraviolet light says its Solaris Lytbot is the ideal weapon in the war against hospital-acquired infections such as C. difficile. The Lytbot cycles through a programmed pattern and fires pulsed UV light until it completes a 360-degree sweep of the room. The robot’s beams have a devastating effect on germ cells and bacteria spores through called “cellular disruption”.

On the other hand, Dr Kevin Katz of the North York General Hospital says most hospitals rely on products like bleach or activated hydrogen peroxide for infected surfaces.”I don’t think the evidence is there to use this technology to replace environmental cleaners in healthcare environments,” says Katz, who adds a recent Ontario health technology review of UV technology did not support the purchase of products like the Lytbot at this time.

What’s more, Katz is concerned cash-strapped hospitals would be tempted to use the robotic technology instead of old-fashioned human cleaners with mops and pails.

Adam Steinhoff, chief operating officer and co-founder of Solaris Disinfection, says he has had some success selling the Lytbot to U.S. hospitals, but Canadian health-care institutions have so far been hesitant and Lytbot isn’t meant to be a replacement for daily cleaning, but a supplemental method of disinfecting a room after traditional hand cleaning is done.

L’Oreal’ UV Sensor

 

UV Sense

The UV Sense is simple to use. Stick it on your nail, swipe it over your iPhone or Android phone, and it will wirelessly transfer UV exposure data to the companion app using near-field communication (NFC). It’s the NFC chip that also charges the device through the data transfer process.

Placing it on your thumbnail exposes the UV Sense to optimal sunlight, and the sensor is activated by UVA and UVB rays. Along with your UV report, you’ll also get some advice on on avoiding the sun, and recommendations on L’Oreal products to purchase.

The data the sensor collects is accurate, or at least that’s what L’Oreal claims.

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It’s important to note the UV Sense itself strictly measures UV exposure. The app is where you can find additional information such as allergens, pollution, and other factors in the environment that can effect your skin

Pilot program and launch

The UV Sense will launch in the U.S. this summer as a pilot program. The company will continue to do testing with dermatologists and consumers, which allows L’Oreal to get even more feedback to improve the experience even better.

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