Diagnosing malaria can be a bit of a pain, especially when trying to test in remote parts of the world where such tests are most needed. For one, it requires a standard blood smear test with the right chemical reagents and a high-quality microscope. It also should be done by a lab technician with proper training, and each test takes 15 minutes and costs roughly $1. Oh -- and the tests spoil in hot climates if not properly stored.
While the features and services offered by wearables and home tech are certainly abundant, hardware makers say the next big challenge for these products is an age-old one: getting people to actually use them.
This means making products that look good and are ridiculously easy to use, according to a panel of industry folks from Misfit Wearables, Intel, Ford, and Microsoft at CNET's Next Big Thing presentation on Tuesday.
A visually-pleasing design is the only way these types of products can go mainstream because people won't just use wearables simply because they perform well, said Sonny Vu, CEO … Read more
Sony introduced a health-tracking device Monday, bringing yet another competitor into the popular fitness band category.
The Japanese electronics giant unveiled its new wearable device, Core, at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, all while running through a long list of gadgets. Core is a tiny, waterproof device that works with an app to track your daily activity, according to Sony's President of Mobile Kuni Suzuki. He said it will be available this Spring.
The Core can be slipped into a SmartBand, available in a range of colors and worn around the wrist, but it it … Read more
Forget rehab, medication, and counseling. What if light could one day help cure us of our addictions?
Reporting in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers at the University of Buffalo and Wake Forest University shed light on a different way to go about deep brain stimulation that may have profound and lasting effects -- at least when it comes to binge drinking in lab rats.
Instead of using electricity to blast neurons indiscriminately, the researchers turned to an emerging technique known as optogenetics, using light to target and stimulate specific neurons (in this case dopamine).
And it worked. Very convincingly.… Read more
The creator of a smart and sleek thermometer has far more on his mind than whether your body temperature is above 98.6 degrees F. He wants to revolutionize the thermometer by enabling it to read the "health weather" of a community.
To accomplish that goal, though, you and everyone you know will have to use the device dubbed the Kinsa Smart Thermometer.
After a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013, Kinsa last week earned FDA approval for its smart thermometer. It looks much like the thermometers of yore, but because it plugs directly into -- and is powered … Read more
They're dancing slowly in the streets of Colorado.
Why would anyone want to dampen their joy at being able to legally buy pot?
Yet along comes a bunch of French researchers to suggest that the brain has natural defenses against the nice feelings generated by the very popular plant.As Agence France-Presse reports, the researchers probed with lab rats and discovered that the naturally occurring hormone pregnenolone seems to counteract the high delivered by marijuana.
The research, published in Science magazine, explained that initially pregnenolone was thought to be "the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones."
However, … Read more
Influenza, Ebola, and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) can be nasty little buggers, infecting their hosts with rash abandon and, especially when they attack young babies, even killing them. And the danger reaches beyond the very young. Pneumonia, for instance, is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and RSV is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
As imaging techniques advance, researchers are being able to study these viruses in greater and greater detail. Now, according to a team of scientists at Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, and Emory, one new technique for studying RSV … Read more
Have the winter blues got you down? Is a promotion at work making you swell with pride? Does watching kids take "selfies" (and then use the word) elicit contempt?
Chances are, these emotions are making you feel physical sensations in the same parts of your body that others feel them in their bodies, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.… Read more
Imagine doctors using your own DNA in diagnosing and treating you for everything from cancer to heart disease to stroke. According to researchers at IBM, that technology, now in use in just a handful of cases, will become common practice in the next five years.
IBM researchers included DNA sequencing and other ideas on their annual "5 in 5" list this year. It's a list of what they call the five "innovations that will change the way we live" in the five years to come.
The theme of this year's list (below) is "in the future everything will learn." … Read more
We've seen robots destroy and conquer in movies, but we never thought that would come close to happening in the real world. After all, we've mostly seen them being built for such humanly tasks as painting and, well, vomiting.
But researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have developed a micro-size robotic muscle that is 1,000 times stronger than a human muscle.
They used a material called vanadium dioxide to produce the robot muscle. When heated to 152.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the compound changes from an insulator to a conductive metal, giving it a huge amount of strength during the transition.
This lets the robot muscle throw objects 50 times heavier than itself over a distance five times its length, all within 60 milliseconds -- faster than the blink of an eye. … Read more