Robots Are Coming to the ER

A group of computer engineers at Vanderbilt University is convinced that the basic technology is now available to create robot assistants that can perform effectively in the often-chaotic environment of the emergency room. The specialists in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are enthusiastic about the potential advantages. So, the two groups have formed an interdisciplinary team to explore the use of robotics in this critical and challenging setting.

Team member Mitch Wilkes, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented an overview of the group’s thinking on Monday, Dec. 6, in a paper titled, “Heterogeneous Artificial Agents for Triage Nurse Assistance,” at the Humanoids 2010 conference held in Nashville.

The paper proposes a system of cognitive robots  Continue reading

This Popular Moisturizer Applied to Mice for 17 Weeks Got 69% More Tumors

A study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk.

Irradiated mice who were treated with the moisturizers exhibited a significant increase in their rate of tumor formation and increase in tumor size per mouse. Treatment of the mice with Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream for 17 weeks increased the total number of histologically characterized tumors by 69 percent.

According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:

“The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications  Continue reading

More People are Turning to Prayers to Help with Health Issues

When it comes to their health, more Americans are turning to a higher power.

A paper published in the May issue of the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality found that an increasing number of people are praying about their health.

In 2007, 49 percent of adults said they prayed about their health during the previous year. That number rose from 43 percent in 2002. The increase is part of a larger trend, researchers say, as only 14 percent of people said they had prayed about their health in 1999.

Researchers were unsure about what might be causing the increase in health-related prayer. Continue reading

Eat your Apple with its Skin for Stronger Muscles

Many individuals — especially those with small children to please — will often peel their apples before eating them, discarding a part of the fruit that has been known to be rich in nutrients.

Now, researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered one more reason why consumers should opt to keep their apples intact: The skin apparently contains a compound that may stave off muscle loss.

“Muscle wasting is a frequent companion of illness and aging,” said lead author Christopher Adams. “It prolongs hospitalization, delays recoveries and in some cases prevents people from going back home. It isn’t well understood and there is no medicine for it.”

In a mouse model, the researchers found  Continue reading