This Glove Calms Tremors in Parkinson’s Patients

One symptom of Parkinson’s disease is involuntary hand tremors that make simple tasks like getting dressed or eating breakfast a daily struggle. After being assigned to care for a Parkinson’s patient as a medical student when he was 24, Faii Ong was inspired to devise an innovative new treatment for the disease.

Ong’s GyroGlove uses some clever physics borrowed from childhood toys to calm hand tremors in patients with the condition. “Mechanical gyroscopes are like spinning tops: they always try to stay upright by conserving angular momentum,” Ong, now 26, explained to MIT Technology Review. “My idea was to use gyroscopes to instantaneously and proportionally resist a person’s hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors in the wearer’s hand.”

Working with a team of fellow students from Imperial College London, Ong developed a prototype of the glove outfitted with a miniature, dynamically adjustable gyroscope on the back of the hand. The effect it produces is similar to the sensation of moving your hand through heavy molasses: movement is hampered without being prevented entirely. In early tests, the battery-powered gyroscope was shown to reduce hand tremors by up to 90 percent.

Adjustments still need to be made to the technology before the GyroGlove is ready for commercial production, but the team’s mentor, Imperial College professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics Alison McGregor, told MIT Technology Review that the device “holds great promise and could have a significant impact on users’ quality of life.”

The device has potential applications beyond Parkinson’s treatment as well; Ong says he could see the glove being used in professional fields such as surgery or photography where a steady hand is essential. A precise cost and launch date for the product have not yet been revealed, but the team says they're aiming for a UK launch sometime before September at a price between about $550 to $850 USD.

[h/t: MIT Technology Review]

Recall Alert: Swiss Rolls And Bread Sold at Walmart and Food Lion Linked to Salmonella
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // CC 1.0

New items have been added to the list of foods being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. According to Fox Carolina, snack cakes and bread products produced by Flowers Foods, Inc. have been pulled from stores in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The baked goods company, based in Georgia, has reason to believe the whey powder it buys from a third-party supplier is tainted with salmonella. The ingredient is added to its Swiss rolls, which are sold under various brands, as well as its Captain John Derst’s Old Fashioned Bread. Popular chains that normally sell Flowers Foods products include Walmart and Food Lion.

The U.S. is in the middle of a salmonella outbreak. In June, Kellogg's recalled Honey Smacks due to contamination and the CDC is still urging consumers to avoid the brand. The cereal has sickened dozens of people since early March. So far, there have been no reported illnesses connected to the potential Flower Foods contamination.

You can find the full list of recalled items below. If you have one of these products in your kitchen, throw it out immediately or return it to the store where you bought it to be reimbursed.

  • Mrs. Freshley's Swiss Rolls
  • H-E-B Swiss Rolls
  • Food Lion Swiss Rolls
  • Baker's Treat Swiss Rolls
  • Market Square Swiss Rolls
  • Great Value Swiss Rolls
  • Captain John Derst's Old Fashioned Bread

[h/t Fox Carolina]

97 Percent of Us Are Washing Our Hands All Wrong

Most of us know the importance of washing our hands, but we're still pretty clueless when it comes to washing them the right way. As CNN reports, we fall short of washing our hands effectively 97 percent of the time.

That number comes from a new study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that looked at 383 participants in a test-kitchen environment. When they were told to wash their hands, the vast majority of subjects walked away from the sink after less than 20 seconds—the minimum hand-washing time recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of them also failed to dry their hands with a clean towel.

The researchers had participants cooking and handling raw meats. Because they didn't wash their hands properly, volunteers were spreading potentially dangerous germs to spice jars 48 percent of the time, contaminating refrigerator handles 11 percent of the time, and doing the same to salads 5 percent of the time.

People who don't wash their hands the correct way risk spreading harmful microbes to everything they touch, making themselves and those they live with more susceptible to certain infections like gastrointestinal illness and respiratory infections. Luckily, the proper hand-washing protocol isn't that complicated: The biggest change most of us need to make is investing more time.

According to the CDC, you need to rub your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds to get rid of harmful bacteria. A helpful trick is to sing "Happy Birthday" twice as you wash—once you're finished, you should have passed the 20-second mark. And if your bathroom or kitchen doesn't have a clean towel to dry your hands with, let them air-dry. 

[h/t CNN]


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