Health & Spirit

Tri, Tri, Again

Scott LaFee on

For some years, physicians, engineers and sci-fi geeks have been trying to create a medical device similar (at least in inspiration) to the tricorder of Star Trek fame, which could measure, monitor and diagnose myriad human conditions without much more than a wave over the body.

No one has yet reproduced that ideal, but a Scottish company has received FDA approval to market a device that straps around a person's upper arm and monitors respiration, pulse, oxygen saturation, temperature and mobility. It's also capable of wirelessly transmitting that data to doctors, using machine learning to determine if there's an emerging health issue.

The makers envision chronically ill patients wearing the device at home after discharge from a hospital.

Body of Knowledge

All sneezes originate as a signal from the nervous system, though the varying paths that the signal can take to the brain account for different individual sneeze scenarios. Many stimuli can prompt a sneeze, from inherited photosensitivity that causes some folks to sneeze in response to bright sunlight to plucking eyebrows, which stimulates facial nerves linked to the nasal passages. People generally don't sneeze when they snooze because their nerves are taking time off, too.

Get Me That, Stat!

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A vaccine being tested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to be 97.5% effective in protecting people against the deadly virus Ebola. More than 90,000 people were vaccinated, according to newly published data, and only 71 developed the disease. Most of those who became infected displayed symptoms fewer than 10 days after being vaccinated, suggesting the vaccine had not had time yet to fully protect them.

Mark Your Calendar

June is awareness month for Alzheimer's disease, scleroderma (a chronic condition involving connective tissues), aphasia (loss of speech), congenital cytomegalovirus (a newborn viral infection), myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease), cataracts and fireworks eye safety (presumably in preparation for next month).



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