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E-skin bandage that acts as health monitor

Scientists have created an electronic skin that responds to touch by instantly lighting up.

The more intense is the pressure, the brighter is the light emitted.

Ali Javey, UC Berkeley associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, said that with the interactive e-skin, they have showed an elegant system on plastic that can be wrapped around different objects to enable a new form of human-machine interfacing.

This latest e-skin builds on Javey’s earlier work using semiconductor nanowire transistors layered on top of thin rubber sheets.

The engineers believe the new e-skin technology could also be used to create things like wallpapers that double as touchscreen displays and dashboard laminates that allow drivers to adjust electronic controls with the wave of a hand.

Molecule responsible for causing feelings of depression

Researchers have claimed that they have discovered molecules that are responsible for stress, anxiety and even depression.

They discovered that the protein receptor CRF1 is responsible for releasing hormones which could cause anxiety and depression over long time periods, the Independent reported.

Researchers in their study, conducted by drug company Heptares Therapeutics, used a particle accelerator known as Diamond Light Source for understanding the CRF1 structure.

According to Sunday Times, the X-ray machine’s powerful beams illuminated the protein’s structure, which includes a crevice that is capable of becoming the new target for drug therapy.

Dr Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer at Heptares Therapeutics, said  that since the shape is now known, a molecule can be designed which is going to lock into this crevice and block it so that CRF1 becomes inactive - ending the biochemical cascade that ends in stress.

Poor sleep can increase knee pain

It makes sense that pain can interfere with a good night’s sleep, but growing evidence suggests that poor sleep can itself lead to an increase in pain.

It's like a vicious cycle that researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)  are trying to understand.

“Understanding this relationship could open up new avenues in pain management through the treatment of sleep disorders,” said Megan Ruiter, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in UAB’s Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology.

Ruiter is studying the sleep and pain relationship among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease affecting mainly the hands, knees, hips and spine. Pain from this disease is common, though the experience of the pain can widely vary among patients, regardless of how much the disease has progressed. Ruiter is recruiting patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who are already participating in an ongoing pain study at UAB, the Understanding Pain and Limitations of Osteoarthritic Disease (UPLOAD) study, to also participate in a sleep study. Participants from the UPLOAD study who qualify for the sleep study will undergo sleep testing on two nights in the UAB Sleep Wake Disorders Centre.

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