health

“L” is for Life Sciences: smart contacts graduate from X Labs

“L” is for Life Sciences: smart contacts graduate from X Labs

Here's another one to add to the Alphabet noodle soup. We've only really heard about Google's plans to put some smarts into contact lenses last year. But according to Google co-founder and now Alphabet president Sergey Brin, they have been hard at work at it for three years under the Google X umbrella. Now, however, with the shuffling of brands and people, the smart contact lens is ready to graduate from experimental status into a new Life Sciences company of its own under the Alphabet mothership.

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Report: ‘vaping’ is 95% healthier than cigarette smoking

Report: ‘vaping’ is 95% healthier than cigarette smoking

Vaping, the term used to describe smoking electronic cigarettes, is 95 percent safer than smoking regular cigarettes, according to Public Health England. Electronic cigarettes, sometimes also calls ‘ecigs’ and e-cigarettes, are electronic portable vaporizers that vaporize a liquid solution of nicotine, flavoring, and glycerin to produce a facsimile of smoke. A lot of controversy has surrounded electronic cigarettes, but the new report is largely favorable.

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Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can have a severe impact on people later in their life, and one of the biggest problems is detecting them early enough for effective treatments to begin. One way that doctors check for early signs is through patient's drawing irregularities, i.e. distortions in shapes and how long it takes to finish a drawing. Unfortunately, these irregularities, like signs of brain diseases, can be easily overlooked due to a doctor's opinion. But MIT researchers think a digital pen with tracking software could help improve detection.

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Research suggests music might one day help with epilepsy treatments

Research suggests music might one day help with epilepsy treatments

A group of researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have made a new discovery about those with epilepsy and how the brain processes music. The team, led by neurologist Christine Charyton, based their research on the fact that 80% of epileptic seizures begin in the temporal lobes, the same region of the brain as the auditory cortex, the part that processes sound and music. The discovery is that the brainwaves of those with the disorder tend to synchronize with music.

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Garmin Forerunner 25 puts GPS in slimmer running watch

Garmin Forerunner 25 puts GPS in slimmer running watch

Garmin has a new GPS running watch for those who prefer their fitness wearable to look like an actual wristwatch, the Forerunner 25. Bearing a striking resemblance to Casio watches of old, the Forerunner squeezes GPS, distance and pace measurement, calorific burn count, and support for heart rate monitoring - if you're wearing the right accessory. Paired with a smartphone, meanwhile, it'll flag up notifications like calls, messages, and calendar alerts.

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Altra IQ running shoes track metrics, work with iFit app

Altra IQ running shoes track metrics, work with iFit app

Altra Running has unveiled it new Altra IQ running shoe equipped with iFit tech to gather running data. There’s a multi-sensor system embedded in the shoe that is said to be “razor-thin”. The related connectivity pipes the data from the shoes to a smartphone or smartwatch running the iFit app. As with similar apps, the data is aggregated and presented as an analysis that tracks details over time. The app includes real-time coaching when the wearer is out for a run, and offers up an interpretation of what the data means (that you’re landing too hard on one foot, as an example).

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This futuristic exoskeleton convinced me to take aging seriously

This futuristic exoskeleton convinced me to take aging seriously

One day you will die, but, before then - and assuming all goes to plan - you’ll be trapped in an old body. Failing eyesight, hearing plagued with tinnitus, and limbs progressively seizing until just getting up from your chair is a challenge too great: death may be considered the biggest taboo, but aging is arguably a more uncomfortable one. With all that to look forward to, it’s no surprise that nobody wants to talk about getting old. Could a futuristic exoskeleton kick-start that conversation?

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Prick-free way to monitor glucose might be the future

Prick-free way to monitor glucose might be the future

Diabetes is nothing to take lightly but many of its life-threatening dangers can be avoided by vigilance. Sadly, despite our hi-tech age, monitoring blood sugar levels still feels almost medieval, drawing a drop of blood to feed into portable glucometers. Luckily, science and technology might be on the verge of coming up with less invasive means to measure glucose levels. At the University of Leeds in the UK, a small device utilizes lasers to do all the measuring, and it's low-powered enough not to do any damage to your skin, much less prick it.

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Synthetic blood to be tested with human volunteers soon

Synthetic blood to be tested with human volunteers soon

Blood shortages could soon be a thing of the past, with the UK’s NHS announcing that some time in the next two years human volunteers will be given blood that, rather than being drawn from human donors, will have been created within a laboratory. This doesn’t entirely remove the human element, though — the synthetic blood is made from the blood of donors or from umbilical stem cells. This serves as a clinical trial, and it is believed to be the first ever of its kind, perhaps ushering in a big shift in our medical future.

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Google develops health wearable for medical, research tracking

Google develops health wearable for medical, research tracking

The unmonitored period between doctor visits can make it difficult for medical professionals to adequately treat patients with chronic issues, and to fill that void are various medical gadgets designed to monitor some aspect of one's daily life or health metrics. Google has decided to enter that market with a new health wearable, one that will be targeted at doctors and those performing clinical trials rather than the average consumer. The wearable was developed by Google X.

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What you need to know about the FDA Trans Fat ban

What you need to know about the FDA Trans Fat ban

The FDA is clamping down on trans fat, telling food companies that they must cut one of the most unhealthy from what they sell within three years. The decision marks the culmination of a lengthy Food and Drug Administration investigation into partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are currently the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods. The conclusion is damning: PHOs are considered not "generally recognized as safe" for use in human food, the FDA decided, and so they have to go.

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