A slew of fancy pedometers has hit the market in recent years, capturing a range of data to help people know how many steps they've taken, how far they've gone, how many calories they've burned, and even one's sleep quality.today on Indiegogo to wrap up product development and manufacturing of its highly anticipated Sensoria Fitness system, replete with smart socks, electronic anklet, and virtual coach mobile app.
As recently as the 1950s, one in three people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes died within 25 years of diagnosis. People in the '50s had to monitor their glucose levels via urine testing and inject themselves with animal-derived insulin.
How far we've come. Today, researchers are working to develop an artificial pancreas for people with Type 1 diabetes that works with a smartphone or tablet to both monitors blood glucose levels and disperses insulin 24/7.
The goal, they say, is to reduce complications and improve the life expectancy of the millions of people with the metabolic disease -- because even though only 7 percent of them now die within 25 years of diagnosis, this rate is still far above general population mortality.… Read more
It's long been observed that many kids with autism have a hard time communicating and socializing with others. Now a new study using MRI scans provides some clues as to why.
Thanks to a weaker connection between the brain's language and reward centers, the human voice may provide little to no pleasure at all to kids with autism.
As they report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers were able to spot "underconnectivity" using functional MRI, which tracks blood flow to look for brain activity.
Researchers scanned the brains of 20 … Read more
Sometimes a concept is simple but the tech behind it is not. This is the case with a new approach to identifying new viruses, which could ultimately lead to screening patients for viruses that haven't even been identified. (Think of the one currently rearing its deadly head in the Middle East.)
Researchers at Saint Louis University are using the next-gen sequencing approach transcriptome subtraction, and it really does employ basic arithmetic -- with very fancy tools. They take a human blood sample. Then they subtract the entire human genetic sequence from the genetic material in the sample. Then they … Read more
I don't generally consider gaming to be a relaxing activity. If I'm taking out zombies in Resident Evil, I'm on the edge of my seat. But it doesn't have to be that way. The PIP biosensor on Kickstarter wants gaming to be the road to relaxation.
There are two parts to this system. The first is the bionsensor that you hold between your thumb and forefinger. It communicates via Bluetooth to your Android or iOS device. A suite of game apps is available that works with the bionsensor.
Relax & Race, for example, lets you control … Read more
How does our top layer of skin -- the thin stratum corneum -- manage to keep water inside our bodies and microbes out, all while maintaining strength and elasticity, at just a fraction of the thickness of a sheet of paper?
In the first tests of its kind, scientists at the University of Bath are using a tiny "microneedle" with atomic force microscopy to probe the surface of the top layer of human skin and solve some of these mysteries.
Until now, researchers were able to use this form of microscopy only to analyze the surface of corneocytes, the cells that form the outer layer of the epidermis. Now, by adding a nanoneedle to the end of the probe, they can delve below the surface and shine a light on the cell structure within.… Read more
Ladies and gentlemen, may I now present your deep thought of the day: People who play video games are better at playing video games than people who don't play video games.
OK, new findings out of Duke may be a bit more complex than that, but there's not much of a spoiler alert to this one. Hours spent at a gaming console seem to translate directly to a test, taken at a computer, of how the brain tracks visual stimuli, according to a new study at the Duke School of Medicine.… Read more
When scientists at the University of Washington recently drilled into the skulls of seven people with severe epilepsy and placed thin sheets of electrodes directly onto their brains, they were surprised by the brain activity they observed.
While physicians were studying neuro activity to investigate seizure signals, a separate team of bioengineers was simultaneously on the lookout for exactly how the brains of the seven volunteers behaved as they learned to move a cursor using their thoughts alone. It turns out that, in as few as 10 minutes, activity went from being centered on the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with learning new skills, to areas seen during more automatic functions, such as waving one's hand or kicking a ball.
In other words, in just a matter of minutes these brains behaved as if they had already mastered these Jedi mind tricks.… Read more
Nowadays breathalyzers are being used to detect far more than just how much alcohol one has imbibed. Researchers in Sweden are working on one that can spot marijuana and cocaine. Scientists in Germany are exploring one that can sniff out heart failure. And researchers in the U.S. are hard at work on one that can detect diseases such as diabetes.
And now, a group of chemists at the University of Pittsburgh is unveiling new sensor technology that could lead to a breathalyzer for not just the detection of diabetes, but the ongoing monitoring of it as well.… Read more
Do you need an app to help you think straight? How about a dorky bit of wearable tech that promises to improve your life?
Melon is an electroencephalography (EEG) headband that supposedly helps you focus your thoughts. If you usually need caffeine for that, it could be worth a look.
The subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign that has more than doubled its $100,000 goal, this wireless headband and app "was built to be worn while engaging in a variety of activities -- from working, to studying, playing sports, dancing, practicing an instrument, programming, painting, or doing yoga." … Read more