HEalth News Today


'Foldit' Gamers Solve AIDS Puzzle that Baffled Scientists for Decade

How amazing is this: U.S. gamers, playing a protetin-folding game called Foldit, have helped to unlock the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme the scientific community had been unable to for a decade. more

Exercise benefits boys in anti-smoking program

Adding exercise improved the results of a smoking cessation program among teen boys according to a CDC funded study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Teen girls in the program were more successful without the exercise, the study found.more

Electric current aids learning

Electric current aids learning

Electrically stimulating the brain can help to speed up the process of learning, scientists have shown.
Applying a small current to specific parts of the brain can increase its activity, making learning easier. more


Plastic bottles could clean arsenic-contaminated water

Chopped up plastic bottles covered in a common chemical may be a simple and inexpensive method for removing arsenic from drinking water.
A team of chemists at Monmouth University, United States, found that bits of plastic coated with cysteine, a common molecule found in foods, bind to arsenic.

“Laboratory experiments have shown that the method has the potential to be very efficient and very cost effective,” Tsanangurayi Tongesayi, lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the university told SciDev.Net.

“The method uses plastics which are cheap and locally available,” he added. “[It] is eco-friendly because it involves recycling of plastic bottles [and] is also safe because the chemical ingredients used are not toxic.” Read more

Microsoft unveils its new Windows 8 operating system

Microsoft has taken the wraps off the next generation of its Windows operating system.

Windows 8 is designed to run on tablet computers, as well as desktop and laptop PCs.

The software, which is due to be released in 2012 will work on the popular ARM-designed low power processors for the first time.

Microsoft has been under pressure to come up with an answer to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.

Unveiling Windows 8 at the Build developers’ conference in California, Windows division president Steven Sinofsky declared: “We re-imagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience.” Read more

Staying safe while using Facebook on mobile phones

Configuring your Facebook settings from a laptop is confusing enough, but try monitoring your Facebook privacy and security setting on a mobile phone. It’s even more of a mess.

There’s some help on the way, however. On Tuesday, the nonprofit group MobileActive published its list of tips for using mobile Facebook more safely.

About one-third of Facebook’s 750 million active users worldwide access the service via mobile phones.

MobileActive’s mobile Facebook guide is written with activists in mind (especially in light of the key role that Facebook played in many Arab Spring uprisings), but it’s useful for any Facebook user.

Some Facebook-related mobile security risks have to do with how you use Facebook in general. Others relate to how your phone and its various mobile communication channels handle security when you’re using a Wi-Fi connection rather than your carrier’s data network.

For instance, many people set their phone to use a Wi-Fi connection whenever possible, in order to curb their data usage, which can get expensive. If you use Wi-Fi on your phone, depending on how your mobile browser or Facebook app handles security, someone might snoop on your login credentials (“sidejacking”) and use them to impersonate you on Facebook. They could even lock you out of your own account. Read more

DOST explores GM mosquito applications against dengue

Part of its advocacy to find solutions against dengue, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) explores the possibility of using genetically-modified mosquito (GMM) to curb the population of dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

In a conference organized by the DOST, experts from the University of California and the Oxitec Technologies of the United Kingdom (UK) presented the aspects of genetically-engineered male mosquitoes to the scientists and biotechnology experts of DOST and other concerned agencies at the Hyatt Hotel last 12 September 2011.

“Male mosquitoes were basically used because they don’t bite humans and they have significant role in the reproduction of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Anthony James, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifProfessor at the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California. Through the “Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal” (RIDL) technology, male mosquitoes are engineered to contain a gene that can be passed on to female mosquito by mating. The mating results to unviable female mosquito offspring.

“The gene targets a certain muscle on a female mosquito that affects the development of wings – thus flightless female mosquitoes are produced.” The flightless female mosquito can’t seek host to take blood meal. Thus, it can’t spread the dengue virus,” said Dr. James. “This is also lethal for female mosquitoes because they are more likely to be eaten by predators. Continuous release of male mosquitoes in the wild will eventually cut-off the population of deadly mosquitoes,” added Dr. James. Read more

New camera shows blood flow

A Swiss company has developed a camera which shows how blood is circulating through the skin in real-time.

The camera is designed to help assess the extent and severity of burns.

The device has been trialled by burn specialists and reconstructive surgeons at CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Clinical data from the trial is being presented at the 14th European Burns Association Congress in the Hague on Wednesday.Read more

Emotion sensor catches out liars

United Kingdom – A sophisticated new camera system can detect lies just by watching our faces as we talk, experts say.

The computerised system uses a simple video camera, a high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms.

Researchers say the system could be a powerful aid to security services.

It successfully discriminates between truth and lies in about two-thirds of cases, said lead researcher Professor Hassan Ugail from Bradford University. Read more

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