‘Lumen’ is a bicycle that glows in the dark to keep riders safe (video)
Mar20

‘Lumen’ is a bicycle that glows in the dark to keep riders safe (video)

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Cycling at night can put riders in danger, so most place sets of reflectors and lights on their bikes to make sure that drivers know where they are. Now one company in San Francisco has an idea to make bikes even more noticeable in the dark: by making their entire body reflective. On Kickstarter, Mission Bicycle Company is trying to raise funds to create ‘Lumen’, a bike that’s gray by day but glows bright white when a car or anything else shines some light on it. The bike’s frame and rims are coated with “hundreds of thousands” of retroreflective spheres, which send light that hits them directly back to where they came from. The reflection is apparently visible up to 1,000 feet away. Mission Bicycle believes that Lumen will be the first commercially available retroreflective bike, and it plans to start shipping some of them out as rewards beginning in July. It’s looking to raise $15,000 for the project, and it’s already almost two-thirds of the way there. Backers can receive a single-speed city bike for $1,245 or an eight speed for $1,595. Those who know their way around a bike may instead want to opt for a less expensive option, receiving just a frame and fork for $499. It’s a surprisingly stylish bike for how functional its coating is, and it’s a smart way to address a recurring problem. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to put a light on it too. By Day By Night       Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

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How Google uses data to combat human trafficking
Mar19

How Google uses data to combat human trafficking

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Image Credit: Shutterstock image modified by Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat NEW YORK — Google Ideas takes a data-driven approach to expose and address shadowy fields like human trafficking and drug rings. But that’s a huge challenge, because data on these criminal endeavors is almost always elusive. Google founded the New York-based think tank Google Ideas in 2010 to apply technological solutions to global challenges. Since then, the organization has used data as a resource to combat these illicit activities, said Google Ideas product manager Justin Kosslyn at GigaOM’s Structure Data conference on Wednesday. A host of valuable data sits inside dockets and indictments in various justice systems around the world. Together, the records can help investigators draw some conclusions about the shape and actions of crime rings. But that information tends to be difficult to access, because many of those records are stored by local courts with no ties to broader federal or international resources. Google Ideas worked with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to develop an investigative dashboard — an online portal with access to various public records around the world — that makes it easier to conduct cross-border investigations. “I think of it like caching,” said Kosslyn in conversation with New Yorker writer Patrick Keefe. First, “it serves up the smallest number of records, but hopefully the most valuable. If you have a cache miss, then you fall back on [a broader level]. … If [that fails], then you go to disc.” It is unclear if use of the tool has been directly linked to arrests or convictions; probably not, Kosslyn positioned it more as a tool for investigative journalists than law enforcement.       Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

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Genes predispose obesity but it’s a lack of feeling full that makes you fat
Feb22

Genes predispose obesity but it’s a lack of feeling full that makes you fat

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.   A genetic predisposition to gain weight and become obese in later life can in part be explained by a lack of feeling full after eating, according to a new study in JAMA Paediatrics. Although there has been some study of why some people appear more likely to gain weight, researchers from UCL and King’s College London were interested in how 28 of the 34 identified “obesity genes” affected children. They found that although someone might be predisposed to becoming obese, it was also due to a tendency to eat more. In other words, predisposition doesn’t mean growing large is inevitable, and recognising it may help avoid overeating. “Our findings suggest that satiety responsiveness [how full we feel after eating] is one of the mechanisms through which obesity genes influence weight,” Clare Llewellyn, research associate in the Health Behaviour Research Centre at UCL and a co-author of the study said. “Obesity genes influence satiety responsiveness, and through influencing satiety responsiveness, they indirectly influence your weight … This study indicated that the reason why some people feel full and other don’t is due to differences in our genes.” The paper is based on the participants to the Twins Early Development Study – a long-term study into more than 16,000 pairs of twins born in the UK between 1994 and 1996. But rather than compare siblings, the researchers chose to study 2,258 participants who weren’t related. The average age of participants was nine. And they used a polygenic (multiple genes) risk score (PRS), which adds up the number of genetic variants someone has that puts them at increased risk of obesity. For each of the 28 known obesity-related genes, you can score between zero and two. If you have all 28 genes, your score can go up to 56, where the higher the score the higher your genetic predisposition is to getting obese. They found that those children with a higher PRS also tended to have a lower response to feeling full and a larger BMI and waist circumference. More children in the top 25% of obesity risk were overweight than in the lowest 25%. “These findings indicate that some children are less sensitive to internal ‘fullness’ signals in response to food intake, by virtue of their genetic endowment,” Llewellyn said. “These children are at risk of overeating and gaining excessive weight, putting them at greater risk of overeating, and obesity.” Parents were often aware of their child’s “fullness” sensitivity, she said, but the study findings should give them more confidence in saying “no” if a child demands more or...

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Health Check: is it safe to cut mould off food?
Feb04

Health Check: is it safe to cut mould off food?

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.   The short answer is that it’s a lot safer than not cutting it off. Some moulds make and release poisons, called mycotoxins, into the food that could, over time, make you very sick. Why they do it is not especially well understood but that doesn’t make it any safer. Some mouldy foods should simply be discarded (ideally, to compost). For others, though, you can salvage and use the unaffected parts without exposing yourself to a health risk. That’s good if your mouldy food is an expensive, vintage cheddar cheese! The life of moulds Moulds are fungi. They’re related to mushrooms, and the yeasts we use to make bread, or convert sugars to alcohol. They are heterotrophs, meaning they can’t make their own food (unlike plants). Instead, they degrade complex organic molecules in their environment into smaller molecules they can absorb to meet their energy and nutrient needs. In nature, mould’s ability to break down detritus (waste) ensures that dead matter doesn’t accumulate. It also enables the release of minerals that are chemically tied up in detritus to the plants that need them for their primary production. Moulds are single-celled organisms and, individually, are microscopic. When water and nutrients are available (such as in semi-perishable foods) they grow in number: to procreate, mould cells simply make copies of all essential cell components, and then divide into two new (genetically identical) “daughter” cells. When moulds divide the two cells stay connected and when they divide again and again, they form a long chain of cells, called a hypha. The hyphae can branch and collectively form a complex matrix called a mycelium that, when big enough, can be seen with an unaided eye. This is the furry growth we can see, for example, on crumpets, berries, jam, tomato paste, cheese, and so on. Not all moulds on foods will produce mycotoxins, or produce them at harmful levels. Sleepy Gonzales The growing tips of the hyphae release enzymes into the environment to degrade complex organic molecules into usable nutrients. The tips of the hyphae also release the mycotoxins which are probably released to ward off competitors. So, wherever the mycelia go in search of nutrients, toxins may also be found. The extent of spread of the mycelium is not always visible, however, and herein lies the problem. What to do? Many moulds can grow on, and spoil, our foods. Among those we are likely to encounter on foods in our homes are Penicillium (“cousins” of those used to make antibiotics, or to ripen some cheeses), Aspergillus, and on fruits, Botrytis. You’re...

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Swiss scientists develop breakthrough technique that could see full-thickness skin grown in the lab
Jan30

Swiss scientists develop breakthrough technique that could see full-thickness skin grown in the lab

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Skin graft breakthrough sees blood vessels grown in the lab   Skin grafting has been used to treat major burns and wounds for some 30 years. It is also used in a range of procedures including plastic surgery. But scientists have only been able to grow top layer skin and have been using a “sandwich technique” that involves using dead donor skin to cover the wound while a fresh layer is grown in the lab. But using specialist human endothelial cells (which line blood and lymphatic vessels) combined with fibroblast cells, which help to build tissue, the scientists were able to create human bio-engineered skin with functioning lymphatic vessels in a 3D gel in three weeks. Lymphatic vessels are important in regulating tissue fluid and carrying immune cells – vital if grafted skin is to settle in properly. The scientists, who published in Science Translational Medicine, showed that these vessels branched and took up fluid 14 days after being transplanted onto rodents whose immune systems had been knocked out. Skin sandwich The current way of skin grafting involves a “sandwich technique” which involves first taking a sample of cells from a patient or scraps of skin. These are then expanded to grow more skin in just a few weeks. When major burns are treated, the burned skin of a patient is removed leaving a wound base of fat or tissue that can be covered with skin from a dead donor. This allows the body to grow new vessels into the lower part of the skin (the dermis) and creates a barrier layer that leaves enough time for the patient’s own skin to be grown in the lab. When it is ready, a surgeon will then remove the top layer of the donor skin and attach the lab skin. In the US, a commercial product called Integra, an artifical skin made of silicone and collagen, is used rather than donated skin. But there are drawbacks to doing skin grafts this way. Sheila MacNeil, a professor of tissue engineering at Sheffield University, said: “Conventional skin grafting takes skin from one part of the body and grows it to be big enough to cover the affected area. Everyone has been able to make skin that looks good but when you put it on the wound bed the big problem is getting it vascularised and blood pumped into it fast enough. Problems begin because it’s not just about creating barrier skin but also the dermis.” Essentially, you can’t just lay a piece of skin onto a wound because without an adequate blood...

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The Immunity Project hopes to build a better HIV vaccine through crowdfunding and machine learning
Jan23

The Immunity Project hopes to build a better HIV vaccine through crowdfunding and machine learning

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The team behind a new HIV vaccine is hoping that a combination of crowdfunding, venture capital, and an innovative new scientific approach will help it to a major breakthrough in fighting the virus. The Immunity Project thinks it has found a new way to fight HIV, and its using a combination of Kickstarter-style crowdfunding as well as backing from notable startup incubator Y Combinator to get off the ground. Perhaps most notably, the Immunity Project wants to give away its vaccine for free — and it hopes to have it ready for widespread distribution by 2016. At a high level, the Immunity Project says that its vaccine works by “turning those who receive it into HIV controllers.” The Immunity Project calls HIV controllers “miraculous” people who have an inborn immunity to HIV — unlike the immune systems of normal people, HIV controllers have the ability to easily target and neutralize the HIV proteins that show up in infected cells. Unfortunately, only one in 300 HIV patients has this ability — but the Immunity Project says that this “power” will be granted to anyone who takes the vaccine.     Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

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Honda’s new EV charger can draw some of its power directly from the sun
Jan15

Honda’s new EV charger can draw some of its power directly from the sun

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. While your new EV or plug-in hybrid is surely green, plugging it into the coal-fired grid may not feel so much like winning. Solar energy is a much better story, though, and Honda has just announced a new exterior, wall-mounted plug-in charger that can work directly with such systems. The charger will switch between standard AC and solar according to the amount of power produced by the sun, and even work during a power outage. It’ll also allow smart-card metering for commercial installations, tamper-proof locking and smartphone monitoring via WiFi. There’s no timeline or pricing for it yet, but for the chance to stick it to big energy? We can’t wait.   Source: Honda (translated) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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This company is using crowdfunding to change how aid gets delivered to Africa
Jan10

This company is using crowdfunding to change how aid gets delivered to Africa

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Jumpstart Africa More than $1 trillion in development related aid has gone to Africa over the past fifty years, and yet evidence shows that this money has in fact made the poor, poorer. “This non-monitored assistance has encouraged corruption in Africa for decades. Our main goal is to help boost the African startup scene. We believe the only way forward for Africa is through technology.” Jumpstart Africa is raising money on Indiegogo to build a crowdfunding platform of its own, that will feature African entrepreneurs who need money to get their projects off the ground. Jumpstart Africa will use this technology to cut out the middleman of international development organizations, and directly fund promising entrepreneurs. The basic idea is along the same lines of Kiva, but with crowdfunding instead of microloans. The company also intends to provide ongoing support to participating entrepreneurs, including how-to guides, counseling, mentorship, and help with PR and marketing. Jumpstart has partnered with African incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial organizations to source candidates, and participating entrepreneurs must meet certain guidelines. “We want those who come to our platform to feel confident that their contributions will get to where it belongs,” Zrikem said. “We aim to be fully transparent so all who contribute through our platform will always know exactly where their money goes – to the African entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses it was meant for.” The site’s first projects will include drones for patrolling wildlife reserves, a solar cooking stove, and a teabag water filter.     Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

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Anxious that your smartphone is not connected to your toothbrush? Well, fret no longer…
Jan06

Anxious that your smartphone is not connected to your toothbrush? Well, fret no longer…

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. An app for your toothbrush? Sure it might seem ridiculous but we are way too far down the ‘everything’s connected’ rabbit hole to get back out now. I admit I’ve never looked at my phone and shrieked “if only there was some god damn way to check my plaque on this stoopid thing’ but to be fair until 2007 I mostly only looked at my phone to see how many missed calls I had from crazy bosses and ex-girlfriends (or was that ex-bosses and crazy girlfriends – the 2000’s was a giddy ride). But, my phone and I have come along way since then and it would be flippant of me to put any boundaries on where we might go next. Including my phone shaming me into brushing my teeth more effectively. To that end Kolibree have created the connected toothbrush. It connects to your phone via bluetooth and gives you a score telling you if you brushed your teeth for long enough and if you cleaned all those hard to reach parts of your mouth. The app recognizes up to five family members which is where I can see it really becoming valuable. For a parent this toothbrush could end the daily cycle of arguments with their kids about whether they’ve brushed their teeth. Damn you technology, you win again. At $99 it’s not cheap but if it works as well as Kolibree claim it does then it could save you thousands of dollars on dentists bills in the future and help you avoid countless hours of arguing with your kids.         Follow @Andrew303 Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on...

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10 tech non-profits worth donating to before 2014
Dec31

10 tech non-profits worth donating to before 2014

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Granted, the holidays didn’t exactly leave us flush with cash, but as every charity we’ve ever contributed to has reminded us via e-mail over the past couple of days, the year is drawing to an end, which means we’re running out of time to rack up those tax deductions. And what better way to do that than by donating to a cause you really believe in? In the seasonal spirit of not entirely altruistic giving, we’ve asked our editors to suggest some of their favorite non-profit tech organizations. Sure there’s an endless list of non-tech orgas we could have included like, say, The Red Cross, the Humane Society or even the first amended defending Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, but for the sake of brevity — and staying comfortably within our own wheelhouse — here’s a list of tech non-profits to get you started. If we skipped one of your favorites, feel free to add it in the comments below. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: When you leave your job as the longstanding CEO of one of the world’s biggest tech companies, the choices for your future are pretty clear: do-gooder, billionaire playboy or super villain. Bill Gates chose door number one, thankfully, forming an organization focused on global development, health, education and advocacy. Center for Democracy and Technology: The CDT has been fighting to keep the internet “open, innovative and free” since 1994. The organization’s goals include democratizing online participation, enhancing user privacy and limiting government surveillance. Child’s Play: Video games and toys for sick kids? Now that’s a cause we can get behind. Child’s Play uses your donations to buy consoles, games, peripherals, toys and books for children in hospitals. Code.org: Code.org wants to make programming a key part of K-12 education, bringing it to the STEM system, alongside math and science. The organization also looks to increase computer science participation among women and students of color. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Government snooping! Patent trolls! Frivolous lawsuits! Who has your back in this fast moving digital age? Why, the EFF, of course! Khan Academy: Devoted to free education for everyone, Khan Academy covers a wide range of subjects, including a slew of computer programming courses like game design and 3D modeling. Mozilla Foundation: The team behind the one of the world’s top browsers is a non-profit 501c dedicated to the creation of “world-class open source software.” The list includes the Firefox browser, the learning tool Webmaker and the new Firefox mobile operating system. One Laptop Per Child: OLPC is dedicated to the democratization of technology by innovating...

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SolarCity plans to donate hundreds of solar power systems to schools without electricity
Dec18

SolarCity plans to donate hundreds of solar power systems to schools without electricity

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. SolarCity is on a mission to light up the dark corners of the world. SolarCity created a nonprofit called the Give Power Foundation that will bring solar power systems to the developing world. For every megawatt of residential solar power that SolarCity installs in 2014, it will donate a solar and battery system to schools without access to electricity. If your heart strings aren’t tugged yet, check out the video on the Give Power website featuring an adorable kid wielding a sign that says “thank you for light.” 1.4 billion people don’t have access to electricity,  representing 20% of the world’s population. Furthermore there are nearly 291 million children attending schools without electricity. Not having access to electricity has a significant and detrimental impact on education. It means no lighting, no computers, no Internet, and no printers. This limits the amount of time students can spend learning and studying. It also removes the possibility for students and teachers to learn computer skills, access online learning resources, and make use of printed learning materials. SolarCity is addressing these issues by making clean power accessible to people who need it. In it’s most recent earnings call, SolarCity said it plans to deploy between 475 and 525 megawatts next year (to its paying customers), which would translate into 475 to 525 donated solar power and battery systems for needy schools. That’s bringing light to a lot of communities. The company is partnering with buildOn, a nonprofit that builds schools is in poor rural communities, to make this happen. SolarCity will train buildOn employees and work with local communities to install and maintain the solar power systems in places like Nicaragua. Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Senegal.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

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Khan Academy & Comcast team up to bring affordable Internet to low-income families
Dec16

Khan Academy & Comcast team up to bring affordable Internet to low-income families

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Blog do Planalto // Flickr Khan Academy chief executive Salman Khan The problem with online education is that it’s so limited to people with high-speed Internet access. The poorest and most rural communities, who could stand to benefit most from free online education, often lack reliable broadband. So Comcast, the maligned cable company, is making its largest commitment to a nonprofit to date through its partnership with Khan Academy. In a press release, the companies revealed plans for the education program. Comcast will foot the bill for hundreds of thousands of PSAs, digital promotion in both English and Spanish, and other joint opportunities to spread the word about online education. Comcast is hoping to promote its Internet Essentials program, which launched back in 2011. That initiative is designed to bring Internet to families that Comcast describes as “on the wrong side of the digital divide.” Internet Essentials broadband service starts at $9.95 a month plus tax, with the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150. “While Comcast has made great progress connecting more than 1 million low-income Americans, or more than 250,000 families, to the Internet through our Internet Essentials program, there are many more families who are still eligible to participate, but have not yet signed up,” said David Cohen, Comcast’s executive vice president at a joint event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.    Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

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Koru wants to help millions of underemployed college grads get good jobs
Dec16

Koru wants to help millions of underemployed college grads get good jobs

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Koru Koru cofounders Kristen Hamilton and Josh Jarrett. A college degree just ain’t what it used to be.  Koru has secured $4.35 million in financing to grow its blended (online and offline) training program that seeks to smooth the transition from college to the workplace. “I was shocked to see that about half of college graduates are either unemployed or are underemployed as bartenders, baristas and the like,” cofounder and CEO Kristen Hamilton told VentureBeat. “I just started talking to as many college seniors and graduates as I could and some of their stories were heartbreaking.  These grads have done everything they were supposed to do — great colleges, great grades — but they are not in a position to land a good job that leads to the career they want.” 44 percent of recent college graduates are “underemployed” in America, meaning they are working in jobs that don’t require their degrees. At the same time, 50 percent of U.S. employers said they cannot find qualified entry-level hires.  A recent report from Goldman Sachs, based on Department of Labor Statistics, found that unemployment rates of college graduates has surpassed those of workers without a high school education. Meanwhile the cost of college tuition, and consequently loan debt, are climbing at alarming rates. Koru is a learning program that gives recent graduates the opportunity to “learn by doing.” The company partners with actively hiring employers to present grads with challenges that they might face in the workplace. It also connects participants with in-person instruction, professional mentorship, network-building opportunities, and online education that teaches various skills, tools, and techniques needed to be competitive in workplace.       Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Venturebeat - Read the original article...

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Kiddology: A platform for reading books to your kids from far away
Nov29

Kiddology: A platform for reading books to your kids from far away

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. If you’re one of the more tech savvy parents out there and you happen to travel often, that video chat just before bed is a precious part of your day. Whether you’re using FaceTime, Hangouts, or something else, video chat can be a powerful tool as a parent. While it’s a nice starting point, this interaction could certainly be better. If you’re really brave, or have a really great connection, you might even try a bed time story during this brief video experience. Kiddology wants to try and improve on this particular experience with a video chat platform that brings bedtime reading into the mix. At its core, Kiddology is an e-reader platform. What makes it unique is how you use it. With you on one tablet and your kids on another, Kiddology allows you to share an interactive reading experience over great distances. The creators want to take things a step further than this eventually by allowing for simultaneous interactive gaming and even content creation tools for parents who want to try their hand at making their own books. Just to start, however, Kiddology is aiming at being the closest thing to sitting next to your child during storytime that you can manage when you’re not at home.       Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Source: Geek.com - Read the original article...

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FDA approves skull implant that helps treat epileptic seizures
Nov14

FDA approves skull implant that helps treat epileptic seizures

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Epilepsy affects 3 million people in the US, making it the third most common neurological disorder in the country. In a move that may offer relief for some patients, the FDA has approved a skull implant that helps reduce the frequency of seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. The device is known as an RNS Stimulator, a neurotransmitter that sends electrical impulses to areas of the brain where seizures are believed to originate. Seizures occur when groups of neurons fire abnormally. This device is able to detect when seizure-causing electrical signals are happening in the brain, and fires impulses of its own in order to help regulate brain activity. The RNS Stimulator’s efficacy is supported by nearly a decade of research. NeuroPace, the implant’s manufacturer, worked with 256 patients — some for eight years — to determine the device’s therapeutic benefits. In a three-month trial of 191 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, patients with the implant turned on experienced a 37.9 percent decrease in their seizures over the course of a month. During a two-year follow-up phase, patient still showed reduced seizure frequency. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

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Kidaptive’s interactive iPad stories prime your child to be a successful learner
Nov14

Kidaptive’s interactive iPad stories prime your child to be a successful learner

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Eighty-five percent of who you are is developed by the age of five.  Early education is critical the way a child’s brain develops, and Kidaptive wants to make sure that it develops right. The ed-tech startup closed $10.1 million to continue developing its learning platform for kids aged 3 to 11. Kidaptive powers an interactive storytelling iPad app that embeds assessments into the stories and customizes learning accordingly. Based on this data, it provides parents with insights and tips about how to support their child’s progress and interests. “Kids are increasingly spending more minutes on screen time each day, but parents don’t yet have a great readout on what they’re learning from these activities or even what’s capturing their imagination,” cofounder and CEO P.J. Gunsagar said. “We can do so much more with tablet time for our kids than use it as a digital babysitter.” In its flagship game Leo’s Pad, a young Leonardo da Vinci and his friends guide kids through the adventure stories and games, where they practice over 70 cognitive, academic, and social “learning dimensions.” The games adapt as children play to achieve “just the right” level of difficulty to motivate learning. The curriculum is designed by Stanford University researchers and Emmy award-winning animators, and incorporates early-learning curriculum based on recent research. It is designed to promote 7 key skills — controlling yourself, figuring stuff out, gathering necessary knowledge, acquiring physical routines, developing a love of learning, being creative, and interacting with others. These are viewed as behaviors that promote successful learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Read the full article...

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Mendor simplifies life for diabetics with a blood sugar metering kit
Nov14

Mendor simplifies life for diabetics with a blood sugar metering kit

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Dean Takahashi Mendor Discrete kit   More than 347 million people are afflicted with diabetes, and the cost of dealing with the disease runs more than 400 billion euros, or $538 billion. The patients need to take both long-acting insulin and fast-acting insulin to keep their blood sugar levels stable, and they need to strictly control their diets and measure the carbs they eat. If you don’t do that, you face a lot of complications that become very expensive to treat. The Mendor kit helps lower the costs of doing all that, Westermark said in a presentation before the Slush tech conference in Helsinki this week. “You have to have a meter, test strips, a control solution, and lancers,” said Westermark, research project manager at Mendor. “What if you put all of that in one magic box?” The company is now testing the device with 1,000 diabetics in Finland and it expects to be shipping the device across Europe, selling it for about 30 euros, or $40. They’ve also created Mendor Balance, a cloud-based software platform for both patients and doctors. The cloud service helps patients keep their blood sugar in balance. “I can measure and upload my results in almost real-time,” Westermark said.   Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Read the full article...

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MIT’s shapeshifting display lets you reach out and touch someone
Nov13

MIT’s shapeshifting display lets you reach out and touch someone

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. MIT has demonstrated a “Dynamic Shape Display” that can physically change shape to render 3D content. As Fast Company reports, the display is called inFORM, and it’s a large surface that sits atop a series of pins, actuators, and linkages. By moving each actuator, inFORM can move the pin it’s attached to up or down, allowing for a wide range of interactions. A projector mounted above the surface provides context to the shapeshifting pins, giving them color and highlighting depth. In a video released by MIT, the table is shown moving a ball, mirroring a book, displaying 3D charts, and giving an extremely visible smartphone notification.     Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: The Verge - Read the original article...

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Screw Snapchat: Here’s tech that’s actually making a difference in the world
Nov06

Screw Snapchat: Here’s tech that’s actually making a difference in the world

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Don’t you get a little tired of all the picture-sharing, cab-hailing, first-world crap that pops up on your radar every day? Yeah, us too. Here’s a refreshing look at technology applied to some of the world’s most pressing problems: poverty, homelessness, clean water, rural medicine. We live for these stories, and we hope you find them as inspiring as we do. With special thanks to the Tech Awards for highlighting these projects. Sujala Watershed Project In Karnatka, India, more than two-thirds of the state is prone to droughts, resulting in low agricultural productivity, degraded natural resources, and poverty. This project spurs watershed development through community, biophysical, and technological interventions. The result: improved rural socio-economic conditions and productivity of drylands. Project impact: 1,270 villages, 350,000 households, 12.8 million acres. Enova More than 82 million of Mexico’s citizens don’t have computer access. This is a project to establish learnings and innovation education centers across the country to provide people with much-needed access to technology. Project impact: 70 centers, with more than 350,000 users. OPI: Yo Propongo Turn on English captions if needed. Public policy is tricky in Mexico, where many citizens lacking an Internet connection are left with little information and no voice in the government. This is a project to create and propagate video survey tools to increase participation across the board. Project impact: Engaged 80,000 people in previously apathetic communities. Wecyclers In developing countries, most households may not have reliable access to waste management. This project brings inexpensive cargo bikes to high-population, low-income communities — and it’s also got text message programs to keep people informed and engaged in the recycling efforts with special incentives. Project impact: 3,000 households in Lagos, Nigeria, registered for service. TOHL Clean water — or water, period — is a challenge for many geographies in the developing world. This project brings precious, water-carrying pipeline into rural territories via trucks and even helicopters. Project impact: Costs reduced, livelihoods preserved, homes protected, and resources conserved.   This is an excerpt of a post by the consistently amazing Jolie O’Dell that first appeared on Venture Beat. Jolie is one of the few tech writers that doesn’t get overawed by the tech scene and the ‘start-up’ hype. The Daily Tech Whip team are huge fans and we recommend you read all her articles at Venturebeat. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Follow @DailyTechWhip Read the full article...

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