Researchers hope to reverse aging with new compound: A collaboration of researchers from Sierra Sciences, TA Sciences, Geron Corporation, PhysioAge and the Spanish National Cancer Research Center announced the discovery of a naturally derived compound known as TA-65 that can activate the telomerase gene in humans. Activating this gene could prevent the shortening of telomeres at the ends of chromosomes, thereby slowing or even stopping the cellular aging process — though before any readers start preparing for immortality, MedGadget‘s contributors point out that humans are believed to have a maximum lifespan of 125 years. The project’s scientists claim that, in addition to slowing cellular aging, TA-65 may also help treat diseases that attack the immune system, such as AIDS.
Philips’ greaseless fryer: Royal Philips Electronics Inc. (NYSE:PHG) announced at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin a new kitchen gadget that can make oilless fried food. So, while MedGadget‘s contributors disclaim that the Airfryer can make delicious calamari, since it is a physical impossibility, Philips believes otherwise. Perhaps it’s time for a Pepsi Challenge. Philips said its “airfryer uses patented Rapid Air technology to circulate hot air around a grill component, creating delicious meals with up to 80% less fat. Whether it’s perfect French fries, crispy chicken nuggets, delicately browned meat or golden pastries, food is cooked and crisped to perfection.”
Titanium foam could offer better orthopedic implants: Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing and Advanced Materials in Dresden developed a titanium “foam” that may be a better material to use than solid titanium in orthopedic implants. Because of its porous structure, the researchers on the “TiFoam” project believe bone will better grow into the implant, which itself will be lighter due to less material used. “The mechanical properties of titanium foams made this way closely approach those of the human bone. This applies foremost to the balance between extreme durability and minimal rigidity,” said the Fraunhofer Institute’s Dr. Peter Quadbeck in prepared remarks.
Artificial surface that’s sensitive to pressure like human skin: University of California, Berkeley engineers created a material out of semiconductor nanowires that is as touch sensitive as human skin. The scientists projected that the so-called “e-skin” can be used in future robots to provide tactile feedback and perhaps even in prostheses to return a sense of touch to amputees. Because the inorganic single crystalline semiconductors making up the material are chemically stable, they have a promising future in medicine. UC Berkely said the researchers "demonstrated the ability of the e-skin to detect pressure from 0 to 15 kilopascals, a range comparable to the force used for such daily activities as typing on a keyboard or holding an object."
A weekly roundup of new developments in medical technology, by MedGadget.com.