Technology

A new battery-less cardiac pacemaker is based on the automatic wristwatch concept - it is powered by heart motion.

The prototype device  presented at ESC Congress 2014 by Adrian Zurbuchen from Switzerland does not require battery replacement.

Zurbuchen is a PhD candidate in the Cardiovascular Engineering Group at ARTORG, University of Bern and said, "Batteries are a limiting factor in today's medical implants. Once they reach a critically low energy level, physicians see themselves forced to replace a correctly functioning medical device in a surgical intervention. This is an unpleasant scenario which increases costs and the risk of complications for patients.



Nano-robots have cancer in their sights. Credit: StephenMitchell/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Dr. Jason Liu, Monash University

It sounds like a scene from a science fiction novel – an army of tiny weaponized robots traveling around a human body, hunting down malignant tumours and destroying them from within.


Image credit:  Peter Blanchard via flickr | http://bit.ly/1q1sNlt. Rights information: http://bit.ly/c34Awz

By:  Benjamin Plackett,  Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- It may be unintentional, but it’s possible that your car insurer may know a lot more about where you go than you’d like.


Checking for glaucoma. Image credit: communityeyehealth,  CC BY-NC

By David Crabb, City University London

Scientists have proposed a way to monitor glaucoma using a tiny device implanted in the eye. Readings from the device could be monitored by a smartphone. The technology could help prevent some people from going blind.

Are you in the target market to eat insects? The easiest uptake will be by a young male who claims to care more about the environment, believes they are progressive and adventurous about food, and already doesn't care about meat. 

Matching those criteria, the likelihood that this type of person is willing to eat insects as a meat substitute is estimated more than 75%, according to a new paper published in Food Quality and Preference.


One evening, during the drearily sodden summer of 1816, Lord Byron and his friends read Fantasmagoriana, a French translation of a German book of ghost stories (they were intellectuals after all) in his Villa Diodati in Switzerland (they were rich intellectuals). Afterward, Byron suggested they all write a horror story. Everyone did except Mary, the wife of his friend, Percy. She kept demurring, saying she had not yet thought of anything suitable.

Raloxifene is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for decreasing fracture risk in osteoporosis and it is effective at reducing fracture risk, but only partially by suppressing bone loss.

With the use of wide- and small-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS and SAXS, respectively), researchers carried out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory that revealed an additional mechanism underlying raloxifene action, providing an explanation for how this drug can achieve equivalent clinical benefit.

These data, together with complementary techniques, help define a novel mechanism by which raloxifene increases inherent bone toughness.


A middle aged, male, investment banker arrives at the emergency department with complaints of nausea, vomiting, anxiety and tremor. At business lunches and then at home every evening, he was drinking too much so, worried about his health, he decided to quit drinking and had his last Scotch 24 hours before coming to the emergency room.

It's a common scenario in emergency rooms - a patient suddenly stops regular, excessive alcohol consumption and develops withdrawal symptoms.


Rice University scientists have produced a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing of three gas reservoirs and suggest environmentally friendly remedies - advanced recycling rather than disposal of "produced" water pumped back out of wells - could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year.


Researchers at Rice University have synthesized a recently discovered natural fungus-derived  antibiotic, viridicatumtoxin B, which may shelp bolster the fight against bacteria that evolve resistance to treatments in hospitals and clinics around the world.  

The work reported this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) focused on a tetracycline discovered in 2008 by scientists who isolated small amounts from penicillium fungi. The yield wasn't nearly enough for extensive testing, but it provided a basis for the discoverers to analyze its structure through magnetic resonance imaging.