derGoldstein writes: Ars has a story up on printing electronic circuits onto the skin, allowing for extremely sensitive sensors: "New research published in Science describes technology that allows electrical measurements (and other measurements, such as temperature and strain) using ultra-thin polymers with embedded circuit elements. These devices connect to skin without adhesives, are practically unnoticeable, and can even be attached via temporary tattoo. All of the necessary components of the devices, including electrodes, electronic components, sensors, radio frequency communication components, and power supplies, are set within an extremely thin (about 30 m) elastic polyester sheet. The sheet has a low elastic modulus (that is, it's flexible) and no noticeable mass (about 0.09 g), so you have a lightweight, stretchable membrane."
derGoldstein writes: Discovery is pointing to an ongoing study by Sophia Vinogradov, professor of psychiatry at UC-San Francisco, who is "trying to determine whether computer-based cognitive remediation, a type of brain training through video game-like programs, is effective for treating schizophrenia... In a handful of blinded and randomized trials with computer-based training, Vinogradov has reported cognitive improvements for both recently diagnosed patients and those living with the disorder for several years. So far, treatment — such as 50 hours of training over a 10-week period — has shown great promise for patients when compared to control groups".
derGoldstein writes: Discovery posted an interesting story of how X-rays that are used by astronomers for determining the various chemical abundances inside stars could also potentially be used for more effective radiation therapy: "radiation treatment is a coarse instrument at best, since it destroys surrounding healthy cells as well as cancerous tumors. Much research is underway for targeted methods to reduce the collateral damage and attack just the cancer cells, including embedding nanoparticles inside tumors.... Nahar and Pradham envision a prototype device capable of generating x-rays at the key frequencies to trigger a flood of low-energy electrons in platinum and gold, based on their computer simulations. Gold or platinum nanoparticles would amass naturally in cancerous tumors in the body, and could then be zapped with the focused x-ray beam."
derGoldstein writes: An article on singularityhub describes the effort to get pharmaceutical companies to manufacture a Cocaine Vaccine, which is held back because of a characteristic inherent to all vaccines: "Dr. Thomas Kosten, who came up with this idea as a student, has spent the last 20 years working with his wife, Therese, who has a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience, making this simple idea into a reality". But here's the problem: "It turns out that during the Phase I clinical trial, which successfully helped some of the volunteers who were inoculated build immunities to cocaine, some still tried to get their fix and that requires having more cocaine in their blood stream than antibodies.... What would happen if the media got wind that inoculated drug users were buying even more coke than before. It would be a public relations nightmare for any business". This means that a working cocaine vaccine could be perfected, yet no drug company would risk handling the potential public misunderstanding.