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Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Eat Nuts, Live Longer? Study Says Yes

To live longer and healthier, the best current advice is exercise, maintain healthy weight and eat dark leafy greens. But we're likely to increasingly see eating nuts included in that list. Those who ate nuts nearly every day were 20 percent less likely to die in the course of two 30-year cohort studies. Nut eaters were almost 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease and more than 10 percent less likely to die of cancer than those who never at them.

FDA Approves Brain Implant to Monitor and Autonomously Respond to Epileptic Seizures

In recent years, brain implants have been used to control tremors from Parkinson’s Disease and help quadriplegics move robotic arms. We can now add epilepsy to the list—a brain implant for patients suffering epileptic seizures was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA Tells 23andMe to Stop Marketing DNA Sequencing Service

The FDA told 23andMe on Monday that it must stop marketing its hallmark personal DNA sequencing kit. The agency informed the company that it considers its 2012 petition for approval withdrawn because it has not received the information that it required.

NASA’s Next Frontier: Growing Plants On The Moon

A small team at NASA’s Ames Research Center has set out to “boldly grow where no man has grown before” – and they’re doing it with the help of thousands of children, a robot,...

Fleets of Robots Take To the Sea, Autonomously Collecting Data

Autonomous robots are plumbing the ocean’s depths with increasing regularity. This hurricane season, a research project called GliderPalooza 2013 deployed some twelve sea drones to take a snapshot of the mid-Atlantic ocean. Ocean-going robots can go where humans can’t, are cheaper than ships, and easier to maintain than buoys. Combined traditional data sources, scientists are piecing together an increasingly complex map of the ocean.

Spain Considers Release Of Genetically Modified Fruit Flies, Controversy Simmers

Medical uses of genetic technology are well received. But agricultural uses are a different story, generating controversy at every turn. In the United States, where genetically modified strains dominate the most common crops, fights have...

Chefs, Guitar Heroes, Even Doctors Now On Demand With Google Helpouts

Telemedicine and online education aim to connect great teachers and skilled doctors to thousands or millions using video. Google’s latest experiment expands that list to place experts, from chefs to yoga teachers, on call for anyone, anytime.
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Jason Silva and Barry Ptolemy Collaborate on New Series, ‘The Future of Us’

Future of Us on AOL. Silva told us the new stuff will be recognizable to those who’ve seen Shots of Awe or his philosophical espresso shots. Sponsorship by Chevrolet came with creative freedom and the funds to improve the end product.

Smartphone Physicals Are Taking Off With Explosion of Apps, Attachments

Last month in a Ted Talk, Shiv Gaglani showed that a standard physical exam can now be done using only smartphone apps and attachments. From blood pressure cuff to stethoscope and otoscope — the thing the doctor uses to look in your ears — all of the doctor’s basic instruments are now available in “smart” format. The work has generated a lot of interest and will likely become the basis for a company.

Sensors Embedded in Clothing? Check Out Sensoria Smart Socks

The first wave of self-tracking devices—Fitbit, Fuel, XX—has washed ashore and perhaps receded somewhat. No one device went viral; none are must-have. Even so, market watchers predict strong growth in wearables, and more specifically, sports and activity trackers make up some 61% of the market. Most of these strap to your wrist to record heart rate with a traditional monitor or count steps with an accelerometer. But a more recent example, Sensoria, may better exemplify the market direction—that is, instead of discrete devices, more sensors will be invisibly embedded in clothing or attached to the skin.

Bionic Eye Implant Will Become Available in U.S. in Coming Weeks

The Argus II retinal implant looks like computing goggles such as Google Glass, but it sends the images the eyeglass-mounted visual processing unit detects to a tiny electrode array that’s been implanted in the user’s retina. Electrical stimulation sends visual information up the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the user’s brain, allowing him or her to see. You could call it a bionic eye, and average Americans will gain access to it before the end of 2013.

With Flexible Circuits, Wearable Electronics Gain Uses

Boston-based electronics company MC10's skullcap that measures head trauma will be spotlighted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There are lots of wearable products out there. Most are small and clip easily onto clothing, but they're as rigid and fragile as electronics ever were. Few if any other wearable devices could withstand a football game attached to one of the players, but MC10 is proof that more will come.

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