health

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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This “genetic switch” could explain the big gonad decision

This “genetic switch” could explain the big gonad decision

A groundbreaking study could answer fundamental questions about gender and sex determination, and the process by which cells become either eggs or sperm. While males and females may come from the same basic beginnings, it was unclear until now how the reproductive precursor cells in vertebrates went on to become either the sperm in males or the eggs in females. Turns out, new research from Japan indicates, it's all down to a gene that's particularly active in female animals.

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Pivotal Tracker 1 (2nd Gen) fitness tracker review

Pivotal Tracker 1 (2nd Gen) fitness tracker review

We all know the big names in fitness and sleep trackers. Just about everywhere you look you can find someone wearing a Jawbone wristband or a FitBit tracker. Those trackers are on the pricier side of things, however, and not everyone is willing to spend that much on tech that might -- like their last gym membership -- end up going unused. Enter the budget tracker market where Xiaomi's Mi Band largely goes unchallenged. Late last year a company called Pivotal Living based out of Seattle, Washington introduced an even more budget-friendly option, at least for the short term: its Pivotal Tracker 1 wearable, which is free if you sign up for a year's membership at $12.

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Apple iOS 9 goes in-depth on reproductive health

Apple iOS 9 goes in-depth on reproductive health

Apple is taking reproductive health seriously in iOS 9, with a new set of comprehensive HealthKit measures that could be essential for those trying to conceive or those trying not to. With software tracking things like menstrual cycles and intended to predict fertility some of the most popular in the App Store, it’s perhaps no surprise that Apple Health should expand to embrace it. Rather than just a few basic metrics, however, HealthKit is aiming for a real insight.

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Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

We see wearables on the rise. But when we says "wearables", we mostly mean smartwatches and, more often and more ubiquitous, fitness bands. While the term "wearable" itself seems to cover a whole swathe of products, why is it that most, if not all, wearables in the market are those that we can only wear on our wrists? And why are almost all of them, even those that we don't wear on our wrists, seem to be focused, if not totally dedicated to fitness and health? Are wearables fated to be tethered to this particular use case?

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Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Worried you won't be able to remember every virus you've been infected with in the event you have to fill out a detailed medical history? Don't be. Scientists have come up with a new type of blood test that can determine every virus to have entered your body. Traces of antibodies generated by your body to fight infections can remain in your bloodstream for decades, so that's what the new test, dubbed VirScan, analyzes in order to come up with a list of previous attackers.

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