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Medicine

Material Made From Crustaceans Could Combat Battlefield Blood Loss 42

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-good-news-for-swashbucklers dept.
MTorrice writes: A foam composed of a polymer derived from crustacean shells may prevent more soldiers from falling victim to the most prolific killer on the battlefield: blood loss. Pressure is one of the best tools that medics have to fight bleeding, but they can't use it on severe wounds near organs. Here, compression could do more harm than good. First responders have no way to effectively dam blood flows from these non-compressible injuries, which account for the majority of hemorrhagic deaths. The new foam could help stop bleeding in these types of injuries. It relies on chitosan, a biopolymer that comes from processed crustacean shells. By modifying the chitosan, the developers gave the material the ability to anchor blood cells into gel-like networks, essentially forming blood clots. The researchers dispersed the modified chitosan in water to create a fluid they could spray directly onto noncompressible wounds.
Medicine

Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the cool-toys-with-no-off-switch dept.
rtoz writes: A group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision. They use mixture of insulin and a chemical known as Chlorin e6 (Ce6) to enable the user to view objects clearly in darkness up to 50 meters away. Ce6 is found in some deep-sea fish and often used to treat night blindness. The solution starts to work within an hour of being applied to the user's eyes, and lasts for several hours afterward. The test subject's eyesight returned to normal the next day. The organization Science for the Masses has released a paper detailing the experiment on their website.
Medicine

Is the Apple Watch a Useful Medical Device? (Video) 47

Posted by Roblimo
from the all-we-want-is-for-you-to-be-happy-happy-happy dept.
Let's kill the suspense right away by answering the title question, 'Probably not.' For one thing, according to interviewee Alfred Poor, the Apple Watch is in no way linked to the Apple Research Kit. Dr. Poor is editor of the Health Tech Insider website, so he follows this kind of thing more carefully than most people. And the Apple watch is not the only device mentioned in this video (or transcript, if you prefer reading to listening). If you want to ruminate about the possibility of direct mind control, for instance, you need to know about the Thync, whose vendor calls it 'A groundbreaking wearable device that enables you to shift your state of mind in minutes.' They say it 'induces on-demand shifts in energy, calm, or focus.' It even has a 'pleasure' setting. Crank that to 11 and you might happily spend your days prone, being fed by a drip and emptied by a catheter, moving only when an attendant turns you over to keep bedsores from developing -- not that you'll care if they do -- as you spend the rest of your life in an artificially-induced joyful stupor.
Medicine

Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds 491

Posted by timothy
from the can't-be-more-than-a-hundred-and-ninety-seven dept.
reifman writes The CDC reports that 69% of adult Americans are overweight or obese. Techies like us are at increased risk because of our sedentary lifestyles. Perhaps you even scoffed at Neilsen's recent finding that some Americans spend only 11 hours daily of screen time. Over the last nine months, I've lost 30 pounds and learned a lot about hacking weight loss and I did it without fad diets, step trackers, running or going paleo. No such discussion is complete without a link to the Hacker Diet.
Medicine

First Prototype of a Working Tricorder Unveiled At SXSW 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the scan-me dept.
the_newsbeagle writes The $10 million Tricorder X-prize is getting to the "put up or shut up" stage: The 10 finalists must turn in their working devices on June 1st for consumer testing. At SXSW last week, the finalist team Cloud DX showed off its prototype, which includes a wearable collar, a base station, a blood-testing stick, and a scanning wand. From the article: "The XPrize is partnering with the medical center at the University of California, San Diego on that consumer testing, since it requires recruiting more than 400 people with a variety of medical conditions. Grant Campany, director of the Tricorder XPrize, said he’s looking forward to getting those devices into real patients hands. 'This will be a practical demonstration of what the future of medicine will be like,' said Campany at that same SXSW talk, 'so we can scale it up after competition.'"
Medicine

Child Psychotherapist: Easy and Constant Access To the Internet Is Harming Kids 337

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-something-wrong-with-my-brain dept.
First time accepted submitter sharkbiter sends note that one of the UK's foremost psychotherapists has concerns that smartphones may be harmful to the mental health of children. "Julie Lynn Evans has been a child psychotherapist for 25 years, working in hospitals, schools and with families, and she says she has never been so busy. 'In the 1990s, I would have had one or two attempted suicides a year – mainly teenaged girls taking overdoses, the things that don't get reported. Now, I could have as many as four a month.'.... Issues such as cyber-bullying are, of course, nothing new, and schools now all strive to develop robust policies to tackle them, but Lynn Evans’ target is both more precise and more general. She is pointing a finger of accusation at the smartphones - “pocket rockets” as she calls them – which are now routinely in the hands of over 80 per cent of secondary school age children. Their arrival has been, she notes, a key change since 2010. 'It’s a simplistic view, but I think it is the ubiquity of broadband and smartphones that has changed the pace and the power and the drama of mental illness in young people.'”
Government

WHO Report Links Weed Killer Ingredient To Cancer Risk 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-to-blame dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that a common weed killer may cause cancer according to the World Health Organization. "The world's most widely used weed killer can 'probably' cause cancer, the World Health Organization said on Friday. The WHO's cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, was 'classified as probably carcinogenic to humans.' It also said there was 'limited evidence' that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma." Unsurprisingly, Monsanto, Roundup's manufacturer disagrees saying there is no evidence to support the findings and calls on WHO to hold a meeting to explain their conclusions.
Australia

New Alzheimer's Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function For Mice 109

Posted by timothy
from the better-than-deja-vu dept.
New submitter wrp103 writes Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology [abstract] that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques — structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients. A slice: Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to move in. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so once they get past the blood-brain barrier, they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps before the blood-brain barrier is restored within a few hours. The team reports fully restoring the memories of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks - a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.
Medicine

Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates 143

Posted by timothy
from the buildings-hate-us dept.
Nature reports that an unexpected factor may be behind a growing epidemic of nearsightedness: time spent indoors. From the article: Because the eye grows throughout childhood, myopia generally develops in school-age children and adolescents. About one-fifth of university-aged people in East Asia now have this extreme form of myopia, and half of them are expected to develop irreversible vision loss. This threat has prompted a rise in research to try to understand the causes of the disorder — and scientists are beginning to find answers. They are challenging old ideas that myopia is the domain of the bookish child and are instead coalescing around a new notion: that spending too long indoors is placing children at risk. “We're really trying to give this message now that children need to spend more time outside,” says Kathryn Rose, head of orthoptics at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Communications

Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the turn-left-in-+/-3-minutes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Current standards of network timekeeping are inadequate to some of the critical systems that are being envisaged for the Internet of Things, according to a report (PDF) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The report says, "A new economy built on the massive growth of endpoints on the internet will require precise and verifiable timing in ways that current systems do not support. Applications, computers, and communications systems have been developed with modules and layers that optimize data processing but degrade accurate timing." NIST's Chad Boutin likens current network accuracy to an attempt to synchronize watches via the postal system, and suggests that remote medicine and self-driving cars will need far higher standards in order not to put lives at risk. He says, "modern computer programs only have probabilities on execution times, rather than the strong certainties that safety-critical systems require."
Facebook

Fake Suicide Attempt Tests Facebook Prevention Tool, Lands Man In Asylum 317

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-guess-it-worked dept.
First time accepted submitter abhishekmdb writes Shane Tusch faked his suicide in an attempt to test the authenticity of Facebook suicide prevention tool and got detained for 72 hours. Facebook has rolled out a set of tools to keep a check on its users who are having suicidal tendencies and prevent these users from suicidal attempts. In case some user is having suicidal thoughts and mentions that in the Facebook posts and if a friend of that user reports it to Facebook then a third party will immediately review the post and Facebook would lock the suicidal user's account and the user will be made to read Facebook's suicide prevention materials.
Medicine

Gates: Large Epidemics Need a More Agile Response 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-to-hire-The-Flash dept.
jones_supa writes: Writing in the NY Times about the recent Ebola crisis, Bill Gates says this disease has made the world realize we are not properly prepared to deal with a global epidemic. Even if we signed up lots of experts right away, few organizations are capable of moving thousands of people, some of them infected, to different locations on the globe, with a week's notice. Data is another crucial problem. During the Ebola epidemic, the database that tracks cases has not always been accurate. This is partly because the situation is chaotic, but also because much of the case reporting has been done first on paper.

There's also our failure to invest in effective medical tools like tests, drugs and vaccines. On average, it has taken an estimated one to three days for test results to come back — an eternity when you need to quarantine people. Drugs that might help stop Ebola were not tested in patients until after the epidemic had peaked, partly because the world has no clear process for expediting drug approvals. Compare all of this to the preparation that nations put into defense, which has high-quality mobile units ready to be deployed quickly.
Security

Personal Healthcare Info of Over 11M Premera Customers Compromised 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-day,-another-breach dept.
An anonymous reader writes: U.S. healthcare provider Premera Blue Cross has suffered a data breach that resulted in a potential compromise of personal, financial and health-related information of as many as 11 million applicants and members. The breach was detected on January 29, 2015, and the investigation mounted by the company and by forensic investigators from Mandiant has revealed that the initial attack happened on May 5, 2014. The FBI has also been notified, and is involved in the investigation."
Biotech

Sloppy Biosafety Procedures Found At Federal Disease Center 21

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
schwit1 writes: An investigation of a federal center for studying dangerous diseases in primates has found serious biosafety procedure violations. "Concerns arose at the center in Covington, Louisiana, after two rhesus macaques became ill in late November with melioidosis, a disease caused by the tropical bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Agriculture investigators traced the strain infecting the primates to a vaccine research lab working with mice. Last month, as the investigation continued, CDC suspended the primate center's 10 or so research projects involving B. pseudomallei and other select agents (a list of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and toxins that are tightly regulated). Meanwhile, a report in USA Today suggested the bacterium might have contaminated the center's soil or water. In addition, workers "frequently entered the select agent lab without appropriate protective clothing," the release says. No center staff has shown signs of illness. On 12 March, however, Tulane announced that blood tests have found that one worker has low levels of antibodies to the bacterium, suggesting possible exposure at the center, according to ABC News."
Medicine

World's 1st Penis Transplant Done In South Africa 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-equipment dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes The world's first successful penis transplant has been performed by surgeons in South Africa, Bloomberg News reported Friday. The 21-year-old recipient has made a full recovery and regained all functions in the transplanted organ. The nine-hour operation was done Dec. 11 by surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Cape Town's Tygerberg Hospital, the university said Friday in a statement. The unidentified patient had his penis amputated three years ago in a life-saving procedure after he developed complications from a traditional circumcision. "Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery," said Dr. Andre van der Merwe, head of the university's urology division, who led the surgical team.
Medicine

Berkeley Builds a Heart Simulator 23

Posted by samzenpus
from the beat-goes-on dept.
Zothecula writes The increasing number of biological structures being grown on chips in various laboratories around the world is rapidly replicating the entire gamut of major human organs. Now one of the most important of all – a viable functioning heart – has been added to that list by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley who have taken adult stem cells and grown a lattice of pulsing human heart tissue on a silicon device.
Medicine

Tony Stark Delivers Real 3D-Printed Bionic Arm To 7-Year Old Iron Man Fan 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-wanted-repulsors dept.
MojoKid writes "Here's your feel-good story for Thursday afternoon. Albert Manero, who has a degree in Aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, has made it a point to serve others. He helped found Limbitless Solutions, a volunteer foundation that uses 3D printer technology to build bionic arms for children that have either lost a limb, or were born with partially developed limbs. Seven-year-old Alex fits into the latter category and Manero, with the help of the Microsoft OneNote Collective Project, has been hard at work to develop a new 3D-printed bionic arm for him. And once the project was finished, Microsoft and Manero were able to find the most "qualified" person on the planet to deliver the arm to Alex: Tony Stark AKA Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. Awesomeness ensues, of course.
Medicine

Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide 498

Posted by Soulskill
from the getting-time-to-reconsider dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Experts and laymen have long assumed that people who died by suicide will ultimately do it even if temporarily deterred. Now Celia Watson Seupel reports at the NY Times that a growing body of evidence challenges this view, with many experts calling for a reconsideration of suicide-prevention strategies to stress "means restriction." Instead of treating individual risk, means restriction entails modifying the environment by removing the means by which people usually die by suicide. The world cannot be made suicide-proof, of course. But, these researchers argue, if the walkway over a bridge is fenced off, a struggling college freshman cannot throw herself over the side. If parents leave guns in a locked safe, a teenage son cannot shoot himself if he suddenly decides life is hopeless.

Reducing the availability of highly lethal and commonly used suicide methods has been associated with declines in suicide rates of as much as 30%–50% in other countries (PDF). According to Cathy Barber, people trying to die by suicide tend to choose not the most effective method, but the one most at hand. Some methods have a case fatality rate as low as 1 or 2 percent," says Barber. "With a gun, it's closer to 85 or 90 percent. So it makes a difference what you're reaching for in these low-planned or unplanned suicide attempts." Ken Baldwin, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985 and lived, told reporters that he knew as soon as he had jumped that he had made a terrible mistake. "From the instant I saw my hand leave the railing, I knew I wanted to live. I was terrified out of my skull." Baldwin was lucky to survive the 220 foot plunge into frigid waters. Ms. Barber tells another story: On a friend's very first day as an emergency room physician, a patient was wheeled in, a young man who had shot himself in a suicide attempt. "He was begging the doctors to save him," she says. But they could not.
Medicine

Dog Sniffs Out Cancer In Human Urine 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-you-thought-your-job-was-bad dept.
randomErr writes: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found out that a scent-trained dog can identify thyroid cancer in human urine samples 88.2 percent of the time. Frankie, a male German shepherd mix identified the presence of cancerous cells in 30 out of 34 samples. The shepherd was only slightly less accurate than a standard thyroid biopsy. This offers the possibility of a cheaper, less invasive approach to diagnosis of the illness said Donald Bodenner, M.D., PhD, the study's senior investigator.
Medicine

Make Those Brown Eyes Blue 208

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-always-reembrownen-them dept.
randomErr writes A new procedure has been developed that can turn any brown eye to blue. The procedure uses a laser that disturbs the melanin in the pigmented part of the eye. Over the course of a few weeks your body would eliminate the disturbed pigment revealing the blue layer below all people have. The procedure costs about $5,000 and only takes a few second to complete. You can't get it yet in the U.S. because it still going through clinical trials and some ophthalmologists fear that process could increase pressure in the eyes.