What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Contact lenses may manage diabetes

Your contact lenses would one day help you manage diabetes, say researchers.
The team from the University of Western Ontario has developed new kind of lenses that would continuously alert diabetics to variations in their glucose levels by changing colours.

The new non-invasive technology will be able to replace the need to routinely draw blood throughout the day.

Developed by Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Jin Zhang, the new technique uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses, reports firstscience.com

These engineered nanoparticles react with glucose molecules found in tears, causing a chemical reaction that changes their colour.

Zhang is conducting further research to develop technologies using multifunctional nanocomposites.

These technologies have vast potential applications beyond biomedical devices, including for food packaging.

For example, nanocomposite films can prevent food spoilage by preventing oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture from reaching fresh meats and other foods, or by measuring pathogenic contamination; others can make packaging increasingly biodegradable.

Christmas turkeys are a pain in the ‘back’, literally

The much-celebrated Christmas turkey can really be a pain in the neck, say experts, claiming that placing the festive bird in the oven while cooking can lead to a condition dubbed ‘turkey back’.

The British College of Osteopathic Medicine claims that failing to bend the knees properly when lowering the turkey to oven height could pull muscles in the back and lead to strained ligaments.

The BCOM has reported more back injuries after Christmas than at any other time.
‘Turkey back’, is due to poor technique in the kitchen and also carrying too many heavy shopping bags, it says.

“When you’re lifting the turkey out of the oven, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Don’t stoop or twist and you’ll avoid unnecessary pulled muscles,” said Dr Ian Drysdale, BCOM principal.

“When it comes to the shopping sprees, make sure you avoid carrying all your bags in one hand — try and distribute the weight as evenly as you can,” he added.

Operation that cures high blood pressure

Doctors in Britain have carried out a one-hour operation that could cure high blood pressure, it has been revealed.

Called renal sympathetic-nerve ablation, the procedure apparently disrupts signals from the brain that help keep blood pressure raised.

The procedure involves inserting a wire into a blood vessel close to the kidneys to burn through nerves which carry signals that stimulate high blood pressure. Anthony Henry, 68, was the man on whom the operation was carried out.

His blood pressure reportedly came down after just two weeks.

Professor Martin Rothman, who led the surgical team at the London Chest hospital, said: “This relatively trivial procedure has the potential to make a serious improvement to the quality of life for the patient”.