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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

It’s finally happened.  I’ve finally found the Greatest.  Idea.  Ever.  A wearable device actually worth wearing.  One designed to create an impenetrable force field around you.  That’s right.  We now have a wearable capable of ensuring that you’ll never get another mosquito bite for the rest of our life.

Mosquito bites are one of nature’s worse creations.  They itch, annoy us, prevent us from getting a good night’s rest, and may even prevent us from staying outside for as long as we’d like to or going to locations that we would have wanted to go to.  Not to mention the way they carry and transmit diseases.

They’re such a nuisance that people like Bill Gates have gone to great lengths to try and genetically engineer solutions as they aim to reduce Malaria’s impact on the developing world.  But what if there was a better way to deal with our mosquito problem?  What if, instead of playing God, we could just make it so that the mosquitos can’t even get close to us?  That’s where Bandito comes in.

Digital Trends explains how this incredible wearable works, “The first line of defense that the Bandito offers is the use of sonic waves set at a frequency that repels a variety of different types of bugs. The sound is imperceptible to the human ear, and won’t bother pets either, but will quickly drive mosquitoes away. The device  also uses non-toxic scent strips to release an odor that will smell good to humans but will repel bugs. Those scents include citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass.  Each of these methods is highly effective on its own, but when combined with one another, they should greatly reduce the number of insect bites that you’ll receive while outside.”

They add that, “An individual Bandito is built for consistent use throughout a single season. It comes with an internal battery that can function for about 500 hours, while each scent strip lasts about two weeks before it must be replaced. The device ships with 12 strips, which is enough to cover three months of consistent use outdoors.  Those numbers are based on using the Bandito for up to 5.5 hours each day.”

I don’t think I can overstate just how amazing this invention is.  Just imagine how great it would be if you could sleep with the window open on a warm summer night and not have to worry about waking up covered in bug bites.  Just think about how great it would be if you could go hiking off the beaten path near a pond or lake and not have to worry about wearing long clothing.  Armed with a single Bandito I could freely sit on my balcony and read a book or write a blog post for hours on end.  Currently, I’m afraid to even open the door to my balcony on account of all the bugs I may encounter out there.

All in all, I wonder if this technology could expand to other life forms?  Could I scrap my plans to develop mobile body armor and instead just wear a Bandito on a hike to keep all the snakes, scorpions, and spiders at bay?  Furthermore, could its size and range be expanded so that the sensors could blanket entire regions, keeping entire communities free from the risk of a mosquito born disease outbreak?

Only time will tell.  But for now if you want to learn more about what Bandito can do or if you want to support the creation of the greatest wearable of all-time be sure to check out their Indiegogo page.

Is Bandito the Greatest Idea Ever?

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The Quantified Self Movement is in full swing as more and more people don wearables that track their footsteps and other vital signs.  That’s all well and good as they motivate us to get up and move around.  But what if we were to take the idea of a wearable one step further?  What if we all had wearables inside of us to track our progress from within?!?! Thanks to a new “FitBit for the stomach” that future may soon be possible.

According to The Week, “These so-called ‘conformable decoders’ are packaged inside a pill and swallowed by a patient…The pill dissolves, and an embedded device latches to the stomach lining. It can then start transmitting messages, revealing how your stomach behaves when you’re stressed, eating, or sleeping.

The device powers itself on heartbeats and other organ movements using a form of electrical energy Pierre Curie first discovered in the 1800s. And since it conforms to the stomach wall, the decoder can likely stay in the body indefinitely…Eventually, it could be used to diagnose gastrointestinal issues.”

If this conformable decoders prove to be comfortable and helpful could we soon find ourselves carrying around several of them throughout our bodies, to track how all of our various systems are working?  Could we have one that monitors our brains or one that monitors our immune system?!?

I’m not entirely sure.  But one thing is clear though.  When it comes to wearables we may be getting more than we bargained for.  Even if no one will notice that we have them.

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Is a FitBit for the stomach the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,340 – Lumen

We all say that we want to work out more, eat better, and live healthier lifestyles.  Or at least that’s what we all should be saying.  Very few of us actually take the initiative to get in tune with our bodies, figure out a plan of action, and follow through on it.  Thankfully, there’s a new device hitting the market, called Lumen, that could help us do just that.

As New Atlas puts it, “There are a growing number of fitness trackers hitting the market that claim to offer detailed insights into your heath using a variety of biomarkers. Perhaps the most striking of these devices to date is Lumen, a tiny breathalyzer-styled gizmo that is claimed to measure a person’s metabolism from just a single breath.

Lumen’s technology is based on the very real metabolic measurement called respiratory quotient (RQ). For decades scientists and dieticians have used RQ to determine how a body is metabolizing macronutrients and which energy pathways are being individually favored, from carbohydrates to fat.”

In theory if you knew what fuel sources your body was pulling from you could optimize your diet to ensure that your body stays in balance at all times.  That’s where Lumen would come in.

“Instead of delivering your RQ value as a dry decimal, Lumen translates that data into a spectrum that spans fat to carbs and then suggests meal plans that can optimize your day according to your specific metabolic profile. Via a paired app, the system can subsequently track your sleep and activity to constantly modulate its recommendations.”

Is this knowledge enough to revolutionize health and fitness as we know it?  We shall see.  But I for one am intrigued.  Especially if improving my diet means I won’t have to go to the gym anymore.

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Is Lumen the Greatest Idea Ever?

 

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Luckily I’ve never been car sick.  Not unless you count that one time my friend’s dad did 80 mph around the ramps in a parking garage at Yankee Stadium.  I can’t imagine it being a pleasant experience though.  Not only would it be annoying to deal with, but it would also make you not want to drive anywhere, resulting in social isolation and boredom.  Thankfully, the people who do suffer from car sickness now have a weapon at their disposal in the fight against this problematic condition: a pair of glasses that counteract the effects of their out-of-whack equilibrium.

According to Oddity Central:

“French car maker Citroën recently unveiled a pair of glassless, liquid-filled eye-glasses that can reportedly treat the symptoms of motion sickness.

Called Seetroën, the ingenious eyeglasses use Boarding Ring technology, which was created by a French start-up of the same name, to treat motion sickness in just a few minutes. According to the official press release, after being worn for 10 to 12 minutes, “the glasses enable the mind to resynchronise with the movement perceived by the inner ear while the eyes were focused on an immobile object such as a smartphone or a book,”…[best of all] the wearer can [then] just take them off and enjoy the rest of the journey.”

In other words, these glasses won’t prevent motion sickness but they will cure it after the fact.  Welcome news for everyone who has ever been afraid to travel in a car.  Unfortunately, there’s still no cure for bad driving.

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Is Seetroën the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Play outside in the snow for too long and catch a cold.  Go from air-conditioned apartment to outside heat to air-conditioned car to outside heat to air-conditioned apartment and catch a cold.  Travel often and catch a cold.  Hang around those human cesspools known as kids and catch a cold.

No matter who you are or what you’re doing you’re likely going to get a cold and be down and out for several days with no recourse.  All you can do is treat the symptoms.  There’s no cure for the cause of your suffering.  Until now that is.  That’s right.  Scientists may have finally figured out a way to invent a cure for the common cold!

As Futurism explains, “When a cold virus enters the body, it commandeers a human protein cell called N-myristoyltransferase (NMT). The virus uses this protein to construct a capsid, a shell that protects the virus so it can replicate.  The ICL team developed a molecule, IMP-1088, that completely blocked several strains of rhinovirus, the primary cause of the common cold, from reaching the NMT protein.”

Since the virus can’t reach the protein it can’t use it to make its shell and thus it can’t survive long enough to replicate.  Now, this isn’t the first time this approach has been attempted.  It is, however, the first time that the treatment didn’t have any negative side effects.  Paving the way for animal and then human trials.  So, hopefully it won’t be too long before a viable drug is on the market.

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Is a cure for the common cold the Greatest Idea Ever?

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This next idea is a real doozy.  Mind-blowing would be an apt description.  Especially since it involves literally blowing up your mind.  Or at least editing it.  That’s right.  Scientists at the University of California Berkley are actually working on a hologram projecting device that would enable them to manipulate thousands of the brain’s neurons at once allowing for the mind to be hacked and memories replaced or added at will.

So how does this scary, yet amazing, brain-editing technology work?!

As The Next Web describes:

“The researchers successfully activated and deactivated specific groups of neurons in the brains of mice by projecting holograms directly onto them through a ‘window’ in the animals’ heads. This method allows the team to manipulate precise neuron groups, hundreds of times per second, in an imitation of the brain’s natural response to stimulus.  This research indicates the potential exists for complete ‘editing’ of the brain. The scientists hope to decode the brain’s ‘language’ and learn to replicate it – a breakthrough which could give us god-like control over our thoughts, memories, senses, and feelings.”

This technology would obviously be a huge boon for those suffering from PTSD or anyone else in need of replacing painful memories with more positive ones.  Such as someone suffering from chronic pain.  The technology could potentially also be used to help amputees control their prosthetic limbs in a more natural way.  However, there are obvious commercial implications as well.  As people may one day look to trick their brains into responding to artificial stimuli Total Recall style.

So what do you think?  Would you want to “edit” your brain in the future?  To get rid of traumatic memories?  Or to trick your mind into thinking you’ve done things that you’ve never done before?  Or would you prefer a more natural life experience, for better or for worse?

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Is a brain editing device the Greatest Idea Ever?

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It’s enough of a struggle trying to find true love without having one hand tied behind your back. And yet that’s the reality facing millions of men around the world who have to contend with the onslaught of male pattern baldness.  Sure plenty of men who are either bald or going bald still find love.  Some women don’t care about looks.  And some men even embrace their new looks, going full Michael Jordan.  But for others, dealing with losing one’s hair is just yet another setback in the on-going pursuit of happiness.  Luckily, men in the future won’t have to worry about baldness at all.  Thanks to yet another accidental discovery.

According to Time, “Researchers may have discovered a new cure for baldness using a drug initially intended to treat osteoporosis.  Scientists from the University of Manchester say the drug,WAY-316606, stimulated hair growth in the lab by targeting a protein that halts hair growth and contributes to baldness, BBC reports.

They were originally testing Cyclosporine A, an immunosuppressive drug that has been used since the 1980s to stop rejections in organ transplants and mitigate symptoms of autoimmune diseases.  While it was found to suppress hair loss, Cyclosporine A had side-effects that made it unsuitable. So the team went on looking for a drug with similar attributes; they found it in WAY-316606.”

Hopefully, the promising research will continue and a commercial product will hit the market.  And hopefully, sooner rather than later.  At least for my sake.

Image result for george costanza baldness

Is a cure for baldness the Greatest Idea Ever?

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