Urine and technology have turned out be great bathroom buddies. Michigan drafted chatty urinal cakes to fight drunk driving. A bar in Brazil rocked out with a urinal guitar. Now Singapore is getting in on the action with the Pee Analyser at dance club hot spot Zouk.
A variety of imaging advancements in recent years is making it possible to study the brain in real time -- techniques such as positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. These methods are giving us insights into the way the brain behaves, but they're not without shortcomings, ranging from their invasive nature to less-than-stellar image resolution.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are investigating a completely novel approach to studying the brain in real time: smart dust.
That's right. Dust.… Read more
Heide Pfüetzner calls her 2007 diagnosis with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, a "personal catastrophe." Six years later, she's celebrating a personal triumph as an exhibit of her paintings, all created by her mind controlling a computer, makes its debut.
The exhibit, titled "Brain on Fire," opened Friday on Easdale, a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Visitors to the Easdale Island Hall there will see vibrantly colored digital paintings created by the paralyzed artist using a computer program that lets her control digital brushes, shapes, and colors by concentrating on specific points on the screen.
"For the first time, this project gives me the opportunity to show the world that the ALS has not been the end of my life," Pfüetzner says on the Startnext crowdfunding page where she exceeded her $6,500 goal for mounting an exhibit in Easdale. Pfüetzner's daughter lives on the island; the longtime painter visited often before her illness and considers it one of her favorite destinations. … Read more
Much as we parents like to think we know our babies best, subtle clues lurk in their cries that are, for the most part, imperceptible to the human ear, and they can reveal important information about a child's health.
So researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island hope their new computer-based cry analyzer will help researchers, clinicians, and caregivers identify possible neurological or developmental issues at a very young age.
"There are lots of conditions that might manifest in differences in cry acoustics," developer Stephen Sheinkopf, assistant professor of psychiatry and human … Read more
Sadly, one doesn't have to look far to find a story of an adult who accidentally left a child in a hot car. Young inventor Andrew Pelham has heard such tragic tales, and he decided to do something about it.
Pelham, 11, invented a simple device meant to remind tired or overwhelmed parents that a baby's onboard. The "E-Z Baby Saver" just nabbed a $500 runner-up award in the science and engineering division of the University of Akron's 2013 Rubber Band Contest, which tasked inventors in grades 5 through 8 with creating something made mostly from rubber bands.
Pelham's invention follows the old model of putting a rubber band reminder around the wrist.
One end of the device attaches to the back of the driver's seat by looping a rubber band around a head rest or handle. When parents click a child in, they flip the E-Z Baby Saver to the front seat, get behind the wheel, stretch the device across the driver's seat door, and hook it on the handle. … Read more
Next up for the square-shaped bar codes called QR codes: your baby's diapers?
Pixie Scientific has created a "Smart Diaper" that tests a baby's urine. Parents can then scan the QR code on the diaper and receive information about their child's health.
The device claims to track changes in a baby's urine, potentially showing signs of a urinary tract infection, prolonged dehydration, or risk for kidney problems. When a baby pees, test strips surrounding the QR code will pick up the waste and start the testing process.
Parents are asked to scan the QR code located on the back of the Smart Diaper once a day with their smartphones. The app's algorithms will instantly analyze the contents, according to the makers. Scanning the diaper daily can provide a picture of any changes that may signal health problems, claims Pixie Scientific, which is currently raising funds for the product on Indiegogo.… Read more
Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack, and more than 600,000 die from heart disease -- that's one in every four deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A small crop of mobile electrocardiogram (ECG or more commonly EKG) devices is springing up to meet the needs of those who suffer from heart disease and want to more easily monitor their heart health. The latest, EPI Mobile Health Solutions' "EPI Mini" out of Singapore, has just received FDA clearance in the U.S. after being on the market in parts of Asia for a few years.… Read more
Bladder cancer kills more than 15,000 Americans each year, and is expected to cause about 73,000 new cancer cases in 2013.
Researchers report they have developed a "scent device" called the Odoreader that they hope may prove to be a reliable way to sniff out cancer in patients' urine before it becomes a serious problem.… Read more
After more than 20 years in the making and FDA approval in February, the Argus II bionic eye is finally here. Well, almost. Developer Second Sight says it has selected clinical centers in 12 U.S. markets where it will begin rolling out the groundbreaking technology later this year.
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, which was approved in February to treat adults 25 and older with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa, doesn't actually restore vision to these patients, but can allow them to detect light and dark, and thus identify the movement or location of objects.… Read more
Many superheroes come equipped with special seeing abilities, like X-ray vision or night vision. Superman even sports telescopic vision, the ability to see over long distances. Researchers are working on a contact lens that bestows telescopic vision, though it won't let you spy on faraway planets.
The lens experiment came about through DARPA-funded research into vision enhancement devices for soldiers. What the researchers developed could become a solution for people suffering from age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness for older adults. The goal is to improve vision with an unobtrusive device.… Read more