medical

Pfizer and Moderna focus on COVID-19 variant booster shots

Pfizer and Moderna focus on COVID-19 variant booster shots

Moderna and Pfizer are both testing COVID-19 booster shots intended to address coronavirus variants of concern, the companies announced in separate press releases this week. Such third shots aren't yet available and, at this point in time, aren't needed; however, the presence of certain SARS-CoV-2 variants have the companies preparing as the pandemic evolves.

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Researchers discover another new coronavirus variant in multiple countries

Researchers discover another new coronavirus variant in multiple countries

One of the challenges with fighting the flu, even though we have immunizations against it, is that there are so many strains. While the immunizations given out for the flu each year may target one specific strain, the prevalent strain each year could be completely different. Medical personnel fighting the coronavirus pandemic worldwide are facing a similar problem with COVID-19, with more than one strain of the virus. A new one has been discovered in 13 countries.

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A new microfluidic sensor measures lactate concentration during exercise

A new microfluidic sensor measures lactate concentration during exercise

Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have created a new wearable microfluidic sensor that can measure lactate concentration in sweat in real-time. Lactate is a compound present in sweat that's an important biomarker used to quantify exercise. Available wearable sensors are typically rigid devices that can cause skin irritation.

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Researchers were able to have a real-time dialogue with sleeping people

Researchers were able to have a real-time dialogue with sleeping people

Researchers have conducted an experiment that sounds like something out of the movie Inception. A group of researchers from Northwestern University has worked with independent laboratories in France, Germany, Netherlands, and the US on the study, which was able to have a real-time dialogue with people who were asleep and dreaming. Researchers say the dreamers were able to solve simple math problems and answer yes or no questions.

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Study finds too much coffee can increase risk of cardiovascular disease

Study finds too much coffee can increase risk of cardiovascular disease

Researchers from the Australian Center for Precision Health at the University of South Australia have published the world's first genetic study that found long-term, heavy coffee consumption can increase the amount of lipids in the blood and significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the study, long-term heavy coffee consumption is considered six or more cups per day. The study points out that the correlation is positive and dose-dependent, meaning the more coffee you drink, the greater the risk of CVD.

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New surgical technique could improve control of prosthetic limbs after amputation

New surgical technique could improve control of prosthetic limbs after amputation

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have invented a new type of amputation surgery that could leave amputees with better control of residual muscles. The team believes improved control of those residual muscles could allow them to receive sensory feedback from prosthetic devices. Enhanced control of the residual muscles could enable amputees to sense where their "phantom limb" is in space.

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Skin patch “digital tattoo” can continuously track blood pressure and more

Skin patch “digital tattoo” can continuously track blood pressure and more

Ask anyone who spent time in the hospital what one of the most annoying things they have to go through is, and many of them will tell you it's the traditional blood pressure cuff used to monitor their blood pressure continually. Needing continual blood pressure measurements means that an automated cuff inflates and deflates on a set schedule or the patient has to be woke up for measurements continuously throughout the night. Engineers from the University of California San Diego have developed a new soft, stretchy skin patch able to be worn on the neck.

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hear.com horizon hearing aids aim for a younger, active crowd

hear.com horizon hearing aids aim for a younger, active crowd

There has been a lot of fuss over Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, in part thanks to Apple's popular AirPods, but those are designed for users with more or less normal hearing capabilities. Fortunately, the same technologies that power these earbuds are also making their way to hearing aids in order to upgrade the devices that open up the world to those with hearing loss. hear.com, one of the largest retailers of such medical devices, has applied those technologies to its latest hearing aid, the horizon, specially designed for younger users that may have reservations about the idea of wearing a hearing aid that everyone can see.

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Wearable sensor can detect stress hormone cortisol in human sweat

Wearable sensor can detect stress hormone cortisol in human sweat

EPFL engineers working with a startup company called Xsensio have developed a new wearable sensing chip that can measure the concentration of a stress hormone called cortisol in human sweat. The wearable sensor allows for quasi-continuous monitoring and can help doctors understand and treat stress-related conditions such as burnout and obesity. The sensor could potentially be placed on the patient's skin in the form of a wearable patch and allow near-continuous monitoring of cortisol concentrations, which is the main stress biomarker in the wearer's sweat.

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iPhone 12 risks to pacemakers emphasized by doctors’ report

iPhone 12 risks to pacemakers emphasized by doctors’ report

Almost all electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields when in use but the iPhone 12 series is special in that it actually contains magnets inside. These are used to support Apple's new generation of MagSafe wireless charging but it may also have some effect on objects and devices that rely on magnetism to function correctly. Apple already issued a warning about the phones' electromagnetic interference but insisted that it doesn't carry more risk than any other iPhone before it, something that cardiologists discovered might not be the case.

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FDA authorizes a unique daytime gadget to treat snoring and sleep apnea

FDA authorizes a unique daytime gadget to treat snoring and sleep apnea

The FDA has announced marketing authorization for the eXciteOSA device, a unique gadget that is used during the day to help reduce snoring and sleep apnea at night. Ordinarily, both nighttime issues are treated using devices that the patient wears while asleep. eXciteOSA is different: it's a device you use during the day to stimulate the tongue muscle.

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This injectable gels contain slowly dissolve medicines

This injectable gels contain slowly dissolve medicines

Researchers from Stanford University have made breakthroughs that could lead to injectable gels to release medications over time. The researchers say that injecting patients with a gel that dissolves over several months could replace the need to administer daily or weekly shots. Before the breakthrough can happen, researchers have to create a Jell-O-like gel substance able to perform well inside the body.

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