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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

#1,561 – Week In Review

A quick look at everything that tickled my fancy this past week:

Soft Tactile Logic

We assume that having a high level of intelligence is predicated by having a central nervous system but that may not necessarily be the case.

As Science Daily reports, “Inspired by octopuses, researchers have developed a structure that senses, computes and responds without any centralized processing — creating a device that is not quite a robot and not quite a computer, but has characteristics of both. The new technology holds promise for use in a variety of applications, from soft robotics to prosthetic devices.

Image result for octopus

DNA Storage

As we continue to create terabytes of information on a daily basis we’re going to need to come up with new methods of being able to store and retrieve that information.  To that end Israeli researchers have reached an incredible breakthrough involving DNA.

According to the Jerusalem Post, “the group demonstrated storage of information in a density of more than 10 petabytes, or ten million gigabytes, in a single gram, while significantly improving the writing process. This, theoretically, allows for storing all the information stored on YouTube in a single teaspoon.

Image result for dna storage israel

Universal Blood

It soon may be possible to convert Type A blood into the universally accepted Type O thanks to a newly discovered microbe that resides in our gut.

According to Futurism:

“In a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology, researchers from the University of British Columbia detail their discovery of microbes in the human gut that produce two enzymes that efficiently strip type A blood of its antigens, transforming it into type O.

The team plans to conduct further studies to ensure the process removes all the blood antigens. If it does, all that converted type A blood would nearly double the amount of universal donor blood available — and we’d have the human gut to thank.”

Image result for donating blood

New Organ

Speaking of the human body it turns out that we have an additional organ lurking underneath our skin that we were unaware of.  An organ that may be responsible for why we feel pain.

National Geographic explains, “Dubbed the nociceptive glio-neural complex, this structure is not quite like the typical picture of a complex organ like the heart or the spleen. Instead, it’s a simple organ made up of a network of cells called glial cells, which are already known to surround and support the body’s nerve cells. In this case, the glial cells form a mesh-like structure between the skin’s outer and inner layers, with filament-like protrusions that extend into the skin’s outer layer.”

Image result for nociceptive glio-neural complex,

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,557 – Baldness Curing Hat

Millions of people who suffer from male pattern baldness hide their thinning hair and receding hairlines underneath a baseball cap.  For now that’s just a self defense mechanism.  Something done to hide their embarrassment.  But in the near future wearing a baseball cap will do more than just hide one’s hair.  It’ll actually serve to regenerate it.

According to Futurism, “A newly-invented baseball cap may be able to reverse balding by mildly shocking your scalp for hours on end.  The hat is really just a fashionable covering for a thin patch that generates electricity when it bends and twists, New Scientist reports. The patch may someday be able to reverse baldness without the pain, expense and inconvenience associated with hair restoration surgery or stem cell treatments.”

This is truly a remarkable invention as it is able to provide a cure for something that millions of people suffer from all while doing so in fashionably acceptably manner.  After all, nobody would want to walk around with electrodes hanging out of their head, calling attention to their ailment.  But wearing a baseball hat?  That’s something that is already a socially acceptable practice.  Something that a lot of people do anyway as a matter of course.  I for one would be more than willing to wear a hat that would regrow my hair.  Even if it means having to trade in my beloved Yankees hat.

Image result for baldness cure hat

Is a baldness curing hat the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,556 – ClearUP

I’m hesitant to call them migraines but I do get bad headaches.  On a daily basis no less.  The likely culprit: sinus pressure. An often overlooked ailment that is responsible for ruining people’s lives with infections, colds, and allergies along with the aforementioned debilitating headaches.  Thankfully, there’s help on the way.  And best of all it’s a solution that contains zero side effects and doesn’t involve swallowing any pills.

According to CNET, “If you suffer from allergies, or often get colds, you know how miserable it can feel when your sinuses are inflamed and full of mucus. While medication, steaming your face and blowing your nose often might seem like the best solution to clear them out, they don’t always relieve the problem. ClearUP, a new product from Tivic that debuted at CES 2019, offers an alternative and it goes on sale today for $149 on Tivic’s website.

According to Tivic, the device uses a ‘proprietary microcurrent waveform that stimulates sinus nerve fibers under the skin.’ Stimulating those nerves can reduce swelling, which can help open your airways and relieve pain.  ClearUp is FDA approved and Tivic promises that it produces zero side effects.”

That’s right.  In the future, clearing up your sinuses may be as simple as rubbing a device over your face.  If it truly does work as well as advertised this could be a real game changer for the millions of people around the world who have suffered from sinus related ailments.

Image result for clearup

Is ClearUP the Greatest Idea Ever?

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The wonder material graphene is capable of some pretty amazing feats. It’s 200 times stronger than steel despite being a thousand times thinner than a piece of a paper.  In fact, a single sheet of it is strong enough to support the weight of an elephant concentrated onto the tip of a pencil.

In the near future it may replace silicon in computers, be used to create flexible displays and more efficient solar cells.  It’s a building block like no other, the very lifeblood of the futuristic society we will soon find ourselves in.

As time goes on more and more uses are being discovered for it just as more and more of its amazing properties are being unlocked. The Graphair water filter that can make ocean water drinkable is one such use.  But as it turns out there are plenty of other uses for graphene.  Uses that we can’t even begin to imagine.

Lucky for us one of those uses has already been discovered.  And it addresses a problem that is near and dear to all of our hearts: repelling mosquitoes. That’s right.  Graphene can now be used to create a line of clothing that would deter mosquitoes.

As Engadget puts it, “Graphene, the highly flexible supermaterial used to build solar cells (and perhaps one day foldable phones), is also a powerful mosquito repellent. A team of researchers at Brown University discovered that graphene-lined clothing not only is an effective physical barrier to mosquito bites, the carbon-based material also changes their behavior. The study, which was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that graphene blocked the chemical signals that draw mosquitoes to other living beings in the first place.”

This is a truly remarkable discovery furthering graphene’s place in the Idea Hall of Fame.  And begging the question: what else is it capable of?!

Image result for mosquito bite comic

Is mosquito repelling graphene clothing the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,554 – Zucklight

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has already invented something that has changed the world.  Now, he’s hoping to do it again by creating a device that would help people fall asleep.  Or at least fall back to sleep.

As Zuckerberg himself describes on Instagram:

“Being a mom is hard, and since we’ve had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night. She’ll wake up and check the time on her phone to see if the kids might wake up soon, but then knowing the time stresses her out and she can’t fall back asleep. So I worked on building her what I call the ‘sleep box’. It sits on her nightstand, and between the hours of 6-7 am it emits a very faint light — visible enough that if she sees it she’ll know it’s an okay time for one of us to get the kids, but faint enough that the light won’t wake her up if she’s still sleeping. And since it doesn’t show the time, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she knows to just go back to sleep without having to worry about what time it is. So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night.”

Similar to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept Zuckerberg gave the idea away for free in hopes that someone would build it for him.  Which is exactly what happened in the form of a product known as the Zucklight that has launched on Kickstarter.  And to be honest it actually sounds like a very desirable product, coming chock full of additional bells and whistles including:

  • Wireless Charging
  • Temperature, Humidity and CO2 Sensors
  • Sound Audio System
  • 2 Extra charging coils for wearables

Personally, I’m not sure if a sleep box would work for me.  Wouldn’t wondering what time it was stress you out just as much as knowing?  And can’t you tell what time it is from other clues in your surroundings such as whether or not it’s light outside? But at the same time I could see how a sleep box could be helpful, if for no other reason than it would make people pick up their phones less, which would lower the chances that they get sucked into checking their messages and emails when checking the time.  Meaning that Zuckerberg may have invented something that makes people use Facebook less.  Ironic? Yes. Worth losing sleep over? Not anymore.  

 

Is Zucklight the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Google Glass and other augmented reality displays haven’t fully caught on yet but perhaps that’s because the technology is too broadly applied, an approach that might not work since mainstream appeal would require tech that it also aesthetically pleasing.  A niche approach may work better as witnessed by the fact that Glass may have found a home in factories as an enterprise tool.  Further evidence that the niche approach may be best now comes to us from an unlikely source: the swimming pool.  In the form (pun intended) of AR infused swimming googles that provide Michael Phelps wannabes with all the information they need to improve their performance one stroke at a time.

According to Digital Trends, “Athletes wearing the goggles can view their performance metrics on an augmented reality display that is built into the lens. Swimmers can see their stroke rate, distance, pace, split time, and more on the integrated display. Because it is an AR overlay, the swimmer’s view of the pool and other people in the water are not obscured.  [In fact] swimmers can customize the goggles allowing them to choose which two metrics they want to see on the swim screen. Swimmers also can decide when each parameter appears — while swimming, after turns, or during rest. When they are done swimming, the swim details are sent to the Form mobile app where it can be analyzed and shared with coaches as well as the Form community.”

For swimming fans this is a real game-changer for instead of having to choose form over function they can now use Form to improve how they function.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Image result for form swimming goggles

Is Form the Greatest Idea Ever?

 

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Snoring is something that affects all of us.  Either because we know someone who snores or because we’re the guilty party ourselves.  There have been attempts in the past at curing snoring but nothing has completely eliminated the problem to date.  Until now that is.

That’s because there’s a new product in the market that seems to actually be capable of curing snoring.  Regardless of how you sleep or what kind of pillow you use.

Inverse sums it up:

“What exactly is Smart Nora? It’s a three-piece system that detects when you’re snoring and moves your pillow so you resume natural breathing. The three parts are

• An insert you put in your pillow—it works in any kind of pillow. It doesn’t matter where you lay your head on the pillow or whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach.

• A small device called the pebble, which is shaped like a computer mouse, that detects snoring.

• A portable case you place by your bed that inflates the pillow when the pebble detects snoring.”

It really is that simple.  Detect snoring, move pillow, rinse and repeat.  Now I’m not sure that I would want to use this device personally.  I’m the princess and the pea capable of detecting the slightest disturbance in my sleeping area.  My fear would be that I would feel the pillow insert or wake up when the pillow moves.  But if you’re not a super light sleeper and snoring really is ruining your life, then maybe Smart Nora is worth a shot for you.

Image result for smart nora

Is Smart Nora the Greatest Idea Ever?

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