Health News – Healthy Living Your daily dose of health Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:04:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Is Figure 1 potential target of Facebook acquision? Sat, 01 Mar 2014 17:21:21 +0000 Related posts:
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  5. Windows 7 phone medical app launched by Unbound Medicine
  6. Internet surfing may have weight-loss potential
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  9. Northrop Grumman Launches EHR app for Veterans on iOs and Android
  10. Can BlackBerry PlayBook supersede iPad in healthcare industry?
  11. How many medical professionals will switch to Verizon iPhone?
  12. iPhonECG – Alivecor is developing ECG gizmo for iPhone 4
  13. Search medical apps from Google’s Android Market Webstore
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  15. Prepare for allergic emergency via MyEpiPen iPhone iPad app
Figure-1-homeSocial media has revolutionaized the mode of interaction with family and friends setting expectation to have update on your Facebook page every minute.  Yet another leap in the technology is growth of social media on mobile platforms, which is the future of social media as evident from $19 billion acquision of Whatsapp by Facebook.  

Healthcare community has seen activity in socail media area geared towards health and health issues.  Figure 1 is one such company started in Canada referred as instagram of doctors. Figure 1 raised $2 million of seed funding in December 2013 by a crowd-sourced community of physicians readily sharing medical images. Poor selectivity of medical imaging in Google images and expensive private medical image libraries motivated Dr. Joshua Landy, an Toronto-based Pulmonary/Critical Care specialist, to give birth to Figure 1.

What are main features of Figure 1, medical instagram?
Figure 1 is a free platform that offers physician verification (via personal registration or Doximity integration). Figure 1 allows:

  • Sharing of patient images by individual physicians
  • Patients can sign consent form that is individualized by clinic or a genernal form from Figure 1
  • Ability to  de-identify photos by allowing the uploading user to block out faces, tattoos, and distinguishing features of patients.figure1
  • Also developing browseable image categories  (by specialty or anatomy).
    • This provide easy access to the massive database topically
    • Users can suggest alternative categorizations (each image can be in multiple categories) to assist in future discovery of these images.
  • Retains a clean, simplified, but highly functional user interface.

What platforms are supported by Figure 1?
You can access Figure 1 through iPhone, Andriod app and through internet/ web. Andriod app and web browsing capability has been added within last week.  Image categorization has not been yet incorporated in Android platform, but the Figure 1 team expects the Android and iOS team to have feature parity over the next few months.

What is the current traffic on Figure 1?
Figure 1 is seeing steady users with over one million views per week and each image viewed thousands of times.  The uploads receive multiple comments, with many comment sections exceeding 5 posts.

What countries have access to Figure 1?
Figure 1′s is available internationally in Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada.

Furthermore, the Figure 1 team highlights a particularly interesting finding or case each week in their Image of the Week mailing list. Figure 1’s user experience is limited to search and viewing of images and is looking to expand this capability to provide users much more rich experience in near future.  KAH is excited by the platform created by Figure 1 and look forward for Figure 1 to be a part of Facebook family! 


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Clean your teeth by Oral-B SmartSeries Bluetooth toothbrush Mon, 24 Feb 2014 02:58:40 +0000 Related posts:
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  2. Thimble: A Bluetooth device converts any text into Braille
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  4. Detrimental effects of white wine on your teeth
  5. Oral sex may cause more throat cancer than smoking due to HPV
  6. FDA approved Gilenya, Novartis oral drug for Multiple Sclerosis
  7. Gel can end painful dental fillings
  8. 3M launches world’s first bluetooth stethoscope
  9. Refrain from tongue piercing to avoid gapped teeth
  10. Stop dental cavities before they grow
  11. Are BPA laced dental sealants safe for your child?
  12. Nicotine addiction due to toothpastes in India
  13. NHS health check in UK can save significantly by using telehealth
  14. Search medical apps from Google’s Android Market Webstore
  15. Check your health through iPhone
Oral-B-SmartSeries-Bluetooth-Electric-ToothbrushToothbrush has been a simple day to day gadget that is useful in keeping your teeth clean. Development of battery operated and further more recharageble toothbrush provided better users experience and more control on dental hygiene. Now we are entring a era of merger of information technology with medical devices, which is touted to give growth to the medical device sector. Beam technologies came out with first connected manual toothbrush in 2013, cleared by FDA in 2012 for $24.99.

Oral-B, one of the market leader in dental products made announcement of Bluetooth-connected electric toothbrush line, named SmartSeries to be available in iOS and Andriod this year.  The SmartSeries tooth Brush will be available to users in Germay and USA in June 2014.

How many modes does Oral-B SmartSeries toothbrush has?
The SmartSeries has six different brushing modes:

  • Daily cleaning
  • Deep clean
  • Whitening
  • Gum Care
  • Sensitive
  • Touge cleaning

Theese modes can be personalized by the user with help of their dentist.

How does Oral-B SmartSeries toothbrush help user?
SmartSeries app will start timing when you will start brushing with the selected brushing routine.  Also you will

  •  get alert message if too much pressure is applied
  • see graphical view of brushing performance over time

The app also suggests nearby dentists, and logs your appointments. It reminds you to replace your brush head every 90 days, with a link to buy more, and pictures to make sure you pick the right one.

“[Our Bluetooth connected toothbrush] provides the highest degree of user interaction to track your oral care habits to help improve your oral health, and we believe it will have significant impact on the future of personal oral care, providing data-based solutions for oral health, and making the relationship between dental professionals and patients a more collaborative one,” Wayne Randall, vice president of Global Oral Care at Procter and Gamble.

What is price tag on Oral-B SmartSeries toothbrush?
The toothbrush is set to launch with price tag of £199 in the UK, or 219 euros in the rest of Europe, and £219 in the US.

Is Oral-B first company to launch connected toothbrush?
Oral-B is the first big company to launch connected toothbrush, but not the first in this space.  Two other companies have connected toothbrush in market

  • Beam Brush – manual toothbrush launch in 2013, FDA approved in 2012
  • Kolibree – Launched electric brush in 2014.  The detects whether you hit all hard to reach places between gums and teeth along with brushing time

 The connected toothbrush does look like a promishing technology, but how much will you pay for such a toothbrush?  Also, with everything connected to internet, it will be interesting to see, how much of the data is analyzed by the user or clinic and put to use to further refine medecial care such as dental hygiene.  Dental hygiene is definetly important, but is connected bluetooth brush from companies like Oral-B an overkill?


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Trick or treat – Keep kids away from sugary Halloween candy Sun, 28 Oct 2012 21:58:13 +0000 Related posts:
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  5. Apartment kids exposed to more tobacco smoke
  6. Cartoon characters allure kids to Junk foods
  7. Gym class injuries in kids climbed to 150%
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  10. Kids likely to develop learning disabilities due to repeat anesthesia
  11. CDC recommends “measles vaccine” for kids travelling abroad
  12. Moms and Kids in the US have false sense of slimness
  13. Household cleaners pose risk to kids
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  15. Risk of increased severe attacks in kids by asthma drugs, FDA report
Halloween is around the corner with just three more days to go.  If you have small kids, your excitement must be at the peak with activities including selection of costume for your little one to plan for the evening. “Trick or treat” is the mantra of the Halloween day with children going door to door asking for candy.  Children are known to have a sweet tooth and Halloween day can be a day filled with sugar and tons of calories.

There are small tricks that you can apply to restrict your kid’s candy intake on Halloween day or thereafter:

  • You can fill you kids stomach with dinner before they go out for trick or treat.  Kids always have room for candy, but this can help less sugar intake on the day.
  • Parents can sort through the Halloween candy collection and separate the ones that are better than other.  As recommended by some physicians, separate the candies that have lot of fat content in them.
  • There is a old saying “out of sight, out of mind”.  Hide the candies out of sight of your little ones so that they don’t snack on it day in and day out.  One of my colleagues use to keep Halloween candies on his office desk for other colleagues to consume them, an innovating out of sight approach.
  • You can make small snack size bags of the candy and give them as they want it.
  • Emphasize on dressing, spending time with family and friends to divert kids attention from candy.
  • Another idea that I like is to hand out  trick-or-treaters Halloween stickers, trinkets or fruit snacks as a fun, but healthy alternative.
  • Do some activities like dance, skating, etc that would help in burning calories.

Well it’s always challenging to keep little ones away from candies for too long.  Good luck and have lot of fun this Halloween.


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Is costly iPad mini small enough for doctor’s coat? Sun, 28 Oct 2012 03:55:04 +0000 Related posts:
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  2. iPad, Playbook, Galaxy, Xoom, Streak, how can doctor choose a tablet?
  3. Can BlackBerry PlayBook supersede iPad in healthcare industry?
  4. Use iPad to explore body parts via The Skeletal System Pro
  5. Will iPad2 continue to rule physician’s heart as top Medical Tablet?
  6. Ear Trumpet – iPhone, iPad app to assist hearing
  7. Pink Pad iPhone, ipad app by Alt12 addresses women’s health
  8. Mater Health Services Australia not biting into tablet mania
  9. Mobile MIM iPhone iPad radiology app cleared by FDA
  10. iPhone, iPad – Do you like ihealth’s BP monitor better than Withing’s
  11. Prepare for allergic emergency via MyEpiPen iPhone iPad app
  12. Gluten free app launched for iPhone, iPad & iTouch
  13. Australian government to spend $500,000 on iPad for hospitals
  14. Educate your kid about nutrition via Count Your Peas iPad app
  15. Count carb with Lenny the Lion iPad app from Medtronic
Introduction of iPad mini has triggered mixed reaction among the consumers.  Some analyst reported excitement in the users owing to its small size, but some analyst rated the iPad mini low on consumer preference index owing to its high starting price of $329 and some of the features missing as compared to previous version of iPad like retina display.  iPad has an edge as medical tablet over its competition. The key question is acceptability of iPad mini by the medical community and increase the market share as medical tablet even more with introduction of iPad mini.

The key features that differentiate iPad mini from previous iPad versions and/or existing competitive tablets are its small size (7.87 inches tall by 5.3 inches wide), a dual-core Apple A5 processor, which is the same found in an iPad 2 or iPhone 4S, optional LTE, a 5-megapixel iSight camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, the new Lightning connector, and a claimed 10-hour battery life. The small size makes iPad mini 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the new 4th generation iPad, which was launched at the same time. The iPad mini is expected to be a hit among physicians per survey conducted by  Epocrates, prior to its release.  The small size is attributed the main reason for high interest in the medical community.

What are the key features that allure medical community towards iPad mini?
As described by experts, the key features that excite healthcare professionals towards iPad mini include:

  •  Due to its small size, iPad mini is the first iPad that can fit into the standard lab coat pocket, which typically measure about 8.5 inches by 7.5 inches. It would be easier to carry it around with them on rounds.
  •  The resolution of iPad mini remains the same as the normal iPad2 so all the apps and content for the iPad will run on the iPad Mini, i.e. all apps that run on iPad will run on iPad mini.
  • The keyboard for iPad mini is of reasonable size and should not pose major problem as initially perceived
  •  In spite of being low powered machine, user reports suggest that the Mini is more than capable of running powerful apps. This is important as medical apps often are quite resource intensive.

There are some trade off though, as the screen resolution of iPad mini is not as high as the iPad3 with Retina display.  This can mean that viewing radiology images may not be as high quality with the mini. None-the-less portability of the iPad mini is a major selling point for the medical community.

Preorders for the iPad mini have already started this Friday, October 26th, and it will hit store shelves and start shipping next Friday, November 2nd.


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Dole bagged salad recall due to salmonella risk Mon, 16 Apr 2012 03:52:44 +0000 Related posts:
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  6. J&D expanded Parsley-cilantro recall due to Salmonella outbreak
  7. Salmonella outbreak trigger lawsuits against egg recall firms
  8. Hamburg FDA chief throws light on the egg recall salmonella outbreak
  9. Jimmy John’s alfalfa sprouts linked to salmonella outbreak
  10. Hillandale Farm joins egg recall, how many more to go?
  11. Third Tylenol recall by J&J’s McNeil
  12. Know if your Lipitor from Pfizer is on recall list due to musty odor?
  13. Moark, Cardenas Market and Trafficanda Egg Ranch join egg recall
  14. Taco Bell potential link to nationwide salmonella outbreak
  15. Wright County Egg bad violations history prior to salmonella outbreak
Dole is a known name to consumers for its popular food products including juices and salads. If you are regular consumer of Dole’s salad, check your refrigerator for use-by-date of the salad.  Dole is recalling 756  cases of the company’s Seven Lettuces salad with a use-by date of April 11, 2012.  The reason for recall is possibility of presence of  Salmonella. No other Dole salad has been recalled.

How many states are affected by Dole’s recall?
The salads were sold in fifteen states, including Virginia.

How many cases of illness have been reported due to consumption of Dole salad?
Dole acknowledged that so far no illnesses have been reported.

Do we know UPC code for Dole’s recalled salad bags?
The Associated Press reports that the tainted Dole salad bags have UPC code 71430 01057 and product codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B.

Where do I locate UPC code and use-by-date for Dole salad?
The product code and use-by date are located in the upper right-hand corner of the package, while the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the bar-code.

Do check for the UPC code and use-by-date for Seven Lettuces salad that you recently bought and discard the bags that match given UPC codes.

Healthy Eating!


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Study shows that autistic children have much more nerve cells Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:11:20 +0000 Related posts:
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  2. Dementia – Drug can grow new nerve cells
  3. Study – Know how non-stick cookware can increase cholesterol in children
  4. Glioblastoma brain cancer- cholesterol feeding to cells
  5. Normal brain communication found in people with Agenesis of The Corpus Callosum
  6. Nintendo – 3D games can impair vision of children under six
  7. Tiny RNA molecules microRNA-101 starve cancer cells
  8. NIH Study- Cell phone radiation alters brain activity
  9. AAP urges ban on children and adolescents using tanning salons
  10. Slow growth of prostate cancer cells by fish oil supplemented diet
  11. 5 reasons why children should play Nintendo Wii
  12. Multiple Sclerosis is triggered by friendly bacteria residing in the gut
  13. Yale Study- Some people suffer from “food addiction”
  14. Implant device from Inspire Medical shows promise for sleep apnea
  15. Electric skin patch developed by Oplon shows promise in acne treatment
Researchers have found that autistic children have much more nerve cells than children without autism in a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex which is involved in processing social skills.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.

 Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. About a third to a half of individuals with autism do not develop enough natural speech to meet their daily communication needs. Differences in communication may be present from the first year of life, and may include delayed onset of babbling, unusual gestures, diminished responsiveness, and vocal patterns that are not synchronized with the caregiver. In the second and third years, autistic children have less frequent and less diverse babbling, consonants, words, and word combinations; their gestures are less often integrated with words.

Brain cells
Brain cells are electrically excitable cells that process and transmit information by electrical and chemical signaling. Chemical signaling occurs via synapses, specialized connections with other cells. Neurons connect to each other to form networks. Neurons are the core components of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain.

There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain.There are many types of neurons,  varying in size from 4 microns (.004 mm) to 100 microns (.1 mm) in diameter. Their length varies from a fraction of an inch to several feet. There are many more glial cells providing support functions for the neurons.

Autistic children have much more nerve cells than normal children
A new study has found that excess of brain cells exists in children with autism.

In the research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that autistic children have about 67% more nerve cells in a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex than children without autism. The prefrontal cortex is involved in processing social skills, communication, cognitive functions and language — all areas in which autistic children often show abnormal development.

 They studied the brains of seven autistic boys between the ages of 2 and 16 after their death and compared his analysis to the brains of six unaffected boys who died at similar ages. The excess of neurons was found with a surprise since in most cases, deficits in social skills in autistic children typically are linked to less nerve tissue/cells.

 Equally significant is the fact that the excess of neurons in the prefrontal cortex are not formed after birth, but during early development in utero. That suggests that the changes responsible for autism are occurring much earlier than scientists had thought.

 The lead researcher Courchesne concluded, “Knowing that we have a specific type of defect that occurs very early in development really helps us to focus and sharpen the next steps in research to determine what caused the excess and hopefully find new treatments that can help children and their families cope better with the symptoms of autism.”


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Study promises vaccine for metastatic Breast, Ovarian Cancer Sun, 13 Nov 2011 13:34:00 +0000 Related posts:
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  3. Study – Breast cancer not to come in way of becoming pregnant
  4. Dr K’s Breast Checker – iPhone app hits breast cancer awareness month
  5. Did you know men can be at risk of breast cancer?
  6. Combo of Glaxo’s Tykerb, Roche’s Herceptin effective in early breast cancer
  7. Hot flashes, night sweats may reduce breast cancer risk by 50%
  8. Overcome breast cancer risk via healthy lifestyle
  9. Olive oil effective against breast cancer
  10. Use of plant harmones in breast cancer
  11. Broccoli – new hope for breast cancer sufferers
  12. Breast-feeding could boost intellect of boys
  13. Vitamin E supplements escalates prostate cancer risk, finds study
  14. FDA approved Vandetanib by AstraZeneca for Medullary Thyroid Cancer
  15. Mammograms should begin at age 40 for early detection- A Study
Researchers at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute have found that treatment for metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancers in women with a recombinant pox viral vaccine showed positive response.

Breast cancer 
Breast cancer
 (malignant breast neoplasm) is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas.

Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to distant metastases. It is a complication of primary breast cancer, usually occurring several years after resection of the primary breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells frequently differ from the preceding primary breast cancer in properties such as receptor status, have often developed resistance to several lines of previous treatment and acquired special properties that permit them metastasize to distant sites, making them especially dangerous. The prognosis is often poor.

Ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer
 is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary. Symptoms are frequently very subtle early on and may include: bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating and frequent urination, and are easily confused with other illnesses.

Most (more than 90%) ovarian cancers are classified as “epithelial” and are believed to arise from the surface (epithelium) of the ovary. However, some evidence suggests that the fallopian tube could also be the source of some ovarian cancers. Since the ovaries and tubes are closely related to each other, it is thought that these fallopian cancer cells can mimic ovarian cancer.

Vaccine for metastatic breast and Ovarian cancer
According to a trial published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the clinical trials group at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute have found that treatment with a recombinant pox viral vaccine showed a positive response in both metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

James Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., director and deputy chief of the clinical trials group and colleagues enrolled 26 patients and assigned them to monthly vaccinations with the PANVAC vaccine, which contains transgenes for MUC-1, CEA and three T cell costimulatory molecules. These patients were already heavily pretreated, 21 of them receiving at least three prior chemotherapy treatments.

Among the 12 patients with breast cancer, median time to progression was 2.5 months and median overall survival was 13.7 months. Four patients had stable disease. For the 14 patients with ovarian cancer, median time to progression was two months and median overall survival was 15 months.

Mild injection-site reactions were the most common side effect after the vaccine treatment. However, Gulley said. ” More studies in the appropriate patient populations are required to adequately assess efficacy.”

The development of vaccine for metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer would be relief for cancer patients, especially if it can eliminate or at the least reduce the chemotherapy sessions. Hopefully a bigger clinical trial continue to show promise for cancer patients.


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Amperometer measures glucose levels from tears Sun, 13 Nov 2011 05:50:10 +0000 Related posts:
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  6. Sanofi Aventis, Agamatrix launch glucose meter plug-in for iPhone
  7. AgaMatrix developed iPhone support for blood glucose monitor
  8. High BPA levels affect male fertility by hurting sperm quality
  9. Parents beware! Dangerous sugar levels in beverages for kids
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  13. Study – New long lasting insulin drug need injection only thrice a week
  14. Freescale Technology – Medical Kiosk Prototype holds promise for future
  15. Merck launches Vree iPhone app for type 2 diabetes
There is ongoing effort to develop technologies to monitor glucose without the need of pricking your finger.  Some of the technologies include, transdermal device, Raman spectroscopy through skin, fluorescent hydrogel, etc.  Scientists have successfully developed an electrochemical sensor device that can measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood. This could save the world’s 350 million diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood sugar tests. A report appears in ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.

glucometer is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It is used for home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) by people with diabetes mellitus or hypoglycemia. A small drop of blood, obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet, is placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood glucose level. The meter then displays the level in mg/dl.

 Problems with diabetes and glucose testing
About 5% of the world’s population (and about 26 million people in the U.S. alone) have diabetes. The disease is a fast-growing public health problem because of a sharp global increase in obesity, which makes people susceptible to developing type-2 diabetes. People with diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day to make sure they are within a safe range. Current handheld glucose meters require a drop of blood, which patients draw by pricking their fingers with a small pin or lancet. However, some patients regard that pinprick as painful enough to discourage regular testing.

 Measurement of tear glucose levels with amperometer
Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed an electrochemical glucometer that has shown good results comparable to traditional blood glucose testing, but uses only 4–5 μL of tears. An amperometric needle-type electrochemical glucose sensor is deployed for tear glucose measurements in conjunction with a 0.84 mm i.d. capillary tube to collect microlitre volumes of tear fluid.

The sensor is based on immobilizing glucose oxidase on a 0.25 mm o.d. platinum/ iridium (Pt/Ir) wire and anodically detecting the liberated hydrogen peroxide from the enzymatic reaction. Inner layers of Nafion and an electropolymerized film of 1,3-diaminobenzene/resorcinol greatly enhance the selectivity for glucose over potential interferences in tear fluid, including ascorbic acid and uric acid.

The new sensor is optimized to achieve very low detection limits of 1.5 ± 0.4 μM of glucose (S/N = 3) that is required to monitor glucose levels in tear fluid with a glucose sensitivity of 0.032 ± 0.02 nA/μM (n = 6). Only 4–5 μL of tear fluid in the capillary tube is required when the needle sensor is inserted into the capillary.

Tests of the approach in laboratory showed that levels of glucose in tears track the amounts of glucose in the blood. “Thus, it may be possible to measure tear glucose levels multiple times per day to monitor blood glucose changes without the potential pain from the repeated invasive blood drawing method,” say the researchers.

This technology is an effort to reduce pain out of diabetic patients from pricking their fingers.  Are you thinking would you rather cry by pricking your finger or to product tear to perform this tear test?

Healthy Monitoring!


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Is prenatal genetic testing a need for most of women Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:13:23 +0000 Related posts:
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Genetic testing (also called DNA-based tests) is among the newest and most sophisticated of techniques used to test for genetic disorders which involves direct examination of the DNA molecule itself. Other genetic tests include biochemical tests for such gene products as enzymes and other proteins and for microscopic examination of stained or fluorescent chromosomes. Genetic tests are used for several reasons, including prenatal diagnostic testing and newborn screening.

Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child’s paternity (genetic father) or a person’s ancestry. Normally, every person carries two copies of every gene (with the exception of genes related to sex-linked traits, which are only inherited from the mother by males), one inherited from their mother, one inherited from their father. The human genome is believed to contain around 20,000 – 25,000 genes. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders.

Do all women need Genetic testing before pregnancy
Geneticists in Maryland and New Jersey looked for cellular changes that are fatal and ones that are treatable and they decided to include close to 600 mutations found in more than 160 diseases in a single genetic screening test.

GenPath Women’s Health, part of N.J.-based Bio-Reference Laboratories, announced recently about the most comprehensive screen currently offered in a field of rare diseases, the test distinguishes itself by scanning for 95 disorders, including 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis. They call it the Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screen as a way to signal to all women, regardless of ethnicity, that genetic-testing is important for them.

 But do all women really need to undergo genetic testing? Many of the pregnant women undergo some kind of prenatal screening or testing of their fetus. But how many women undergo prenatal screening or testing of their fetus and how many women screening based on their ethnic background, although many are also screened for cystic fibrosis. Traditionally, certain ethnic groups — especially Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern European descent — have been advised to undergo carrier screening for various fatal conditions including Tay-Sachs and Canavan diseases.

Marc Grodman, CEO of Bio-Reference says, “There are a good number of ethnicities that have been ignored by genetic testing. Parents would want to know ahead of time about any increased risks in order to be prepared. The biggest fear about rare disorders is that a baby is born and no one can make a diagnosis. Just because it’s a hard decision and a hard process doesn’t mean we should shy away from asking the questions.”


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Parents beware! Dangerous sugar levels in beverages for kids Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:34:28 +0000 Related posts:
  1. Beware of junk like high calorie kids cereal
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Yale University’s Rudd Centre For Food Policy & Obesity has found that many popular beverages for the kids in the market are having very high level of sugar. It has warned the parents not to be under a false notion of considering these healthy as an alternative to soft drinks.

These popular brands of beverages increase the risk of diabetes and obesity in the children up to the extent that even one 8 ounce bottle or pouch consumed daily, increase the chances of the child’s becoming obese by 60%.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 4 to 8 year old kid should not consume more than 15 to 18 grams of sugar per day.

The researchers analyzed the popular brands of these beverages in the market and concluded that following brands were the culprits, listed in the increasing order of the sugar levels:

  1. Powerdale Play, projected as sports drink, 10 ounce bottle contains 15 grams of sugar, the day’s requirement of sugar.
  2. Capri Sun, a 6 ounce pouch contains 16 grams of sugar which gives 107% more sugar than required for the  day.
  3. Sunny D, an 8 ounce pouch contains 20 grams of sugar which gives 130% more sugar than required for the day.
  4. Kool-Aid, a 6.8 ounce pouch contains 24 grams of sugar which gives 160% more sugar than required for the day.
  5. Minute Maid, a 6.7 ounce pouch contains 25 grams of sugar which gives 175% more sugar than required for the  day.
  6. Arizona Kids, a 10 ounce bottle contains 27 grams of sugar which gives 180% more sugar than required for the day.
  7. Hawaiian Punch, an 8 ounce serving contains 27 grams of sugar giving 193% more sugar than required for the day.

Kids like to consume these drinks and more often as a substitute to their regular meals.  It is parent’s responsibility to keep an eye on the type of food children are consuming and advise them accordingly.

Healthy Parenting!