What's the buzz

Now, artificial skin made of nanowires

Using semiconductor nanowires, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic material that could one day give new meaning to the term ‘thin-skinned’.

The artificial skin, dubbed ‘e-skin’ by the researchers, is the first such material made out of inorganic single crystalline semiconductors. “The idea is to have a material that functions like the human skin, which means incorporating the ability to feel and touch objects,” said Ali Javey.

A touch-sensitive artificial skin would help overcome a key challenge in robotics: adapting the amount of force needed to hold and manipulate a wide range of objects.

A longer term goal would be to use the e-skin to restore the sense of touch to patients with prosthetic limbs, which would require significant advances in the integration of electronic sensors with the human nervous system.

Swimming in indoor pools could increase cancer risk

Taking a dip in indoor chlorinated pools may induce genotoxicity (DNA damage that may lead to cancer) as well as respiratory problems, revealed a study.

However, authors of the study claim that the positive health effects of swimming could be maintained by reducing pool levels of the chemicals behind these potential health risks.

The study is the first to provide a comprehensive characterisation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in an indoor pool environment and the first to study the genotoxicity of exposure to these chemicals among swimmers in an indoor chlorinated pool.

DBPs form in pool water from reactions between disinfectants such as chlorine and organic matter that is either present naturally or is introduced by swimmers, such as sweat, skin cells, and urine.

Previous epidemiologic studies have found an association between exposure to DBPs in drinking water and risk of bladder cancer, and one such study has found this association for dermal/inhalational exposure such as occurs during showering, bathing, or swimming. Addicts can be treated, but not quickly

A UCLA psychologist has said that people can overcome severe addictions which ruins their lives and are extremely difficult to control, but not quickly or easily. Adi Jaffe, a former drug addict who spent almost a year in treatment, holds strong views about addictions of all types and the process of rehabilitation.

He believes addicts can be treated successfully — but not quickly or easily. “Treating addicts with 30-day programmes is a horrendous idea,” Jaffe says. “Almost nobody changes a habit in 30 days.”

“The longer the addiction and the more entrenched, the longer you need to be away from it. You need to give yourself time for all the physical aspects of the addiction, the cravings and triggers to wane,” Jaffe added.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)