Electronic Underwear Could Bring End to Bed Sores

Electronic Underwear Could Bring End to Bed Sores
This underwear makes me feel “super!”

Painful bed sores may have finally met their match according to University of Calgary researchers who’ve developed electronic underwear designed to prevent the potentially deadly sores from forming.

Scientists reported results from a trial of their “Smart-e-Pants” system at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans on Monday — unveiling a new way to reduce the incidence of bed sores — also known as pressure ulcers — by delivering tiny electric shocks through pads on each side of the buttocks which trick the muscles into contracting.

While these shocking underpants look like normal boxer shorts — pads inside transmit 10-second electrical pulses into the muscles every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day. The stimulation is designed to relieve pressure, sending a fresh supply of blood flowing through the area — preventing the tissue and muscle from dying.

Findings from a preliminary trial led by Dr. Sean Dukelow, showed that none of the 33 patients who wore the hi-tech underwear over a period of several weeks developed bed sores at all.

“If a large-scale trial is equally successful, the underwear could be on sale in just three years,” University of Calgary researcher Sean Dukelow told the Daily Mail UK.

“This has shown us that the Smart-e-Pants are safe and feasible and what were really need to do now is prove in a very large sample of people that they work, so that you actually prevent pressure ulcers.” he added.

Dr. Dukelow also cited that the technology used in Smart-e-Pants could ultimately be adapted to benefit other parts of the body like the shoulder blades, back of the head and heels which are also prone to develop bed sores.

Read the entire report at Daily Mail UK.

Tomato-Rich Diet Helps Lower Risk of Stroke

Tomato-Rich Diet Helps Lower Risk of Stroke

Researchers in Finland have found that a diet rich in tomatoes may be a tasty way to reduce the risk of having a stroke due to the vegetable’s high concentration of lycopene.

Evidence suggests that antioxidant-rich lycopene — the orange-red pigment found in tomatoes, also  has the ability to quell inflammation, limit cholesterol production and inhibit blood clotting.

A study published in the journal Neurology, showed that men with the most lycopene in their bloodstream were the least likely to have a stroke — in fact, the overall risk of stroke was reduced by 55% according to researchers.

“This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke.” said study author Jouni Karppi, PhD, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.

“The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research.” Dr. Karppi added in an AAN press release.

The study was conducted over a 12 year period using blood tests to determine lycopene levels in 1,031 men between the ages of 46 to 65 — with 67 strokes tallied by researchers in their subjects during the monitoring period. Men with higher lycopene levels proved to be less vulnerable to a stroke.

When tomatoes are cooked, the amount of lycopene absorbed by your body increases. According to the USDA, 1 cup of ready-to-serve spaghetti/marinara sauce contains more than 31,000 micrograms of lycopene compared to the average raw tomato which has about 3,165 micrograms.

“More research is needed to help us understand why the particular antioxidant found in vegetables such as tomatoes could help keep our stroke risk down.” Dr. Clare Walton, from the Stroke Association told the BBC.

It should be noted that lycopene also appears in pink grapefruit, papaya, guava, red peppers, and watermelon.

[via American Academy of Neurology]

Tin Foil Hats Are Counterproductive. Really?

Tin Foil Hats Are Counterproductive. Really?

As we near the apex of our political silly season, the final stretch of our presidential election cycle, it’s always fun to lighten up the mood a little. Where there’s politics, tin foil hats are near.

It started with science fiction writer Julian Huxley who wrote a story called “The Tissue Culture King” (1927) where the protagonist discovers that metal foil hats “foil” the effects of telepathy. Since then the tin foil hat has become a metaphor for people suffering paranoia or those obsessed with conspiracy theories, specifically relating to government.

Julius Caesar would decimate you for calling this knock-off the “centurion.”

This concept has become so pervasive in our culture that a team of students from MIT in 2005 published a study called “On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil: An Empirical Study.” It’s worth a second look.

They used three different (and creative) tin foil hat styles, the classical, the fez and the centurion. Measuring different frequencies with a network analyser they came to a stunning conclusion. Not only did the tin foil hats fail to attenuate any frequencies, instead they amplified the bandwidths commonly used by the government. The surprising conclusion is that tin foil hats help the government spy on you.

Somebody had to do it. We only wish they had submitted their poster to the Cureus Fall 2012 Poster Competition.


Study Finds Those Who Read Food Labels Stay Thinner

Study Finds Those Who Read Food Labels Stay Thinner

In a study that included some 25,000 Americans, a team of researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela along with Universities of Tennessee, Arkansas (USA) and the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Finance Research, have linked obesity prevention with those who read nutritional labels on food products — especially in women.

According to results taken from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — 74% percent of women reported reading food labels as a part of their grocery shopping regiment — compared with 58% of men who say they read nutritional labels.

The team, lead by María Loureiro, found Women who scrutinize food labels had lower body mass indexes and on average were almost 9 pounds lighter when compared with women who don’t regularly read food labels, according to a ScienceDaily report.

“First we analysed which was the profile of those who read the nutritional label when purchasing foods, and then we moved on to the relationship with their weight,” says María Loureiro, lead author of the study published in the journal Agricultural Economics.

“We know that this information can be used as a mechanism to prevent obesity. We have seen that those who read food labels are those who live in urban areas, those with high school and high education. As we would hope therefore, campaigns and public policy can be designed to promote the use of nutritional labeling on menus at restaurants and other public establishments for the benefit of those who usually eat out,” Loureiro concluded.

Although reading food labels can be an added health benefit, nutritional labels are often misleading. Read “16 Most Misleading Food Labels” to learn more about the confusing phrases manufacturers use on food.

This Smart Bra Could Help Catch Breast Cancer Early

This Smart Bra Could Help Catch Breast Cancer Early
Smart Bra has shown a 90% level of accuracy predicting tissue abnormalties


Breast cancer, which will affect about 1 in 8 women in the US can be easily treated if detected early. Still, the current breast screening methods like 3d mammography and thermography are not practical to do frequently.

Enter the “Smart Bra,” a high-tech sports bra designed by First Warning Systems. It’s loaded with extremely precise sensors to log tiny differences of cell temperatures over time. As a tumor develops, it makes its own vasculature which results in measurable cell temperature variation. The bra then feeds this temperature data into its proprietary pattern recognition software armed with artificial intelligence. If the software recognizes a change in breast tissue it could indicate the presence of a tumor.

The bra has shown impressive results in the first three clinical trials. Tested on 650 women, First Warning Systems’ device is able to detect possible tumors years before other imaging systems can — all for less than $1,000.

Commercialization of the system is set to begin in Europe 2013 and a submission for FDA 510(k) for approval for entry into the U.S. market in 2014. The company is also seeking $5 million in capital funding — expected to be captured in three rounds.


Cureus People: Olga Afanasiev, University of Washington

Cureus People: Olga Afanasiev, University of Washington


Cur&#275us stopped by to talk to Olga Afanasiev, a pathology graduate student at the University of Washington. Olga has begun her thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Nghiem. The focus of her research is on studying a rare, and often lethal, neuroendocrine skin cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) She entered her poster into the Cur&#275us Fall 2012 Poster Competition on the same topic.




New Smartphone App Works As Pill Identifier Tool

New Smartphone App Works As Pill Identifier Tool

Researchers from the US National Institutes of Health are currently developing an app that can identify pills using an image captured with a smartphone in less than one second.

Although websites such as Drugs.com and WebMD currently have pill identification tools — it’s the time required to enter detailed descriptions of drugs which can make such services too time-consuming for use in a clinical setting.

Jesus Caban and colleagues are working on a handheld image-analysis software that can distinguish the shape, color and imprint of most widely prescribed pills from a simple smartphone snapshot, according to a report from New Scientist.

Currently, the software has performed with a 91% accuracy in identifying 568 of the most prescribed pills from images taken in a variety of angles and lighting conditions. The biggest challenge is the app’s inability to identify pills captured from awkward angles — something that researchers expect will be improved upon going forward.

So far, this mobile pill identifier shows huge potential as a useful tool — both at home and for health care professionals.

Building Your Professional Reputation With Posters

Building Your Professional Reputation With Posters

It used to be that building a professional reputation as a physician was just a matter of working hard, publishing and speaking to demonstrate your thought leadership while also developing strong word of mouth from well treated patients.

No longer! A physician’s reputation is increasingly built and displayed online. The web is now the largest source of information for physicians AND patients. When your colleagues want to know more about you…they turn to the web.

Writing is one of the most powerful ways a physician develops his or her reputation and publishing medical posters is often the first experience most physicians have with publishing.

Cureus is hosting our first international poster competition for many reasons among which are the opportunity for authors to showcase their works to the world rather than a few people at a conference. Additionally, it’s a way to begin building one’s “Digital CV” while possibly making connections with other authors with similar interests.

With that context, I want to offer some very simple advice to every medical student and physician author…spend a little time building out your profile. People connect with people first then they connect with content. The Fall 2012 Poster Competition site traffic has shown very clearly that those authors who create a full profile along with a picture are far more likely to generate poster views and votes.

Realize this is not specific to Cureus — as you move forward in your career, don’t short-change your work and expertise by not taking advantage of the tools at your disposal. This may include personal or practice web sites, LinkedIn accounts and more.

As for generating maximum readership of your posters on Cureus…take a few extra minutes now to add a picture, list awards you may have earned, your address etc. Our data shows that these steps work!

Building The Ultimate Dream Catcher

Building The Ultimate Dream Catcher



Scientists in UC Berkley are trying to capture images within the human brain. Subjects were shown movie trailers while sensors in their brain converted the (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) data collected from  brain activity to voxels (3d pixels.) This was then put against 18 million seconds of random you tube video and the result is what you see on the clip above.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Professor Jack Gallant, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online (Sept. 22) in the journal Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

So essentially, given infinite computer power and an infinite video database our dreams and visual brain activity can be replicated. This will help researchers to get insight into the brain activity of people who can’t communicate verbally.

Professor Gallant belives his work  has a lot of potential clinical applications and also thinks it could be a great tool for psychotherapy and dream analysis. Watch the results of the experiment below.



(this video has no sound)

functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Christopher Walken was way ahead of these guys.