New Technology Can Identify Biomarkers in Breath

breath-analysis-technologyThe identification of ‘biomarkers,’ chemical compounds which are found in our bodies, may now be possible following a recent discover of Purdue University. Researchers have developed a breath-analysis technology which is at least one hundred times better than those used previously. The new technology is able to detect biomarkers in the parts per billion to parts per million range, which is much faster than previous techniques.

“We are talking about creating an inexpensive, rapid way of collecting diagnostic information about a patient. It might say ‘there is a certain percentage that you are metabolizing a specific compound indicative of this type of cancer,’ and then additional, more complex tests could be conducted to confirm the diagnosis,” explained Carlos Martinez, an assistant professor at Purdue.

Facebook Helps Military Families Cope

At the beginning of the war in Afghanistan back in 2001 there was no such thing as Facebook. Today many spouses say that without Facebook they don’t know how they would cope.

One military spouse, Melanie McNicol explains: “I check the computer every five minutes,” for news and updates from her husband Jim’s Facebook page.
Jim McNicol is serving in Afghanistan as part of the Army’s 59th Mobility Augmentation Company, based in Fort Hood, Texas. And that unit has its own Facebook page which the captain regularly updates for the families back home.

One example of the kinds of things being written on Facebook dates from December 4, 2010:
“You should be proud of amazing work your Soldiers have done. We should be able to settle into a more predicable schedule soon. …”
The praise for the use of Facebook in this way has been resounding and unanimous.

“It has made all the difference in the world!!!!! (I cannot) express how much having contact like this has meant to all of our family while our soldier serves in Afghanistan,” one military spouse wrote.

Winter Skin Care

Winter Skin Care
Dry-SkinThe cold, clear days of winter may bring a rosy glow to the cheeks, but they also cause a tight dryness of the skin of the face, hands and legs. For some people the skin is just tight and itchy, while for others it may become flakey or cracked.

“As soon as you turn the heat on indoors, the skin starts to dry out,” Bonnie LaPlante, and esthetician with the Canyon Ranch Resort explains. “it doesn’t matter if you heat your home using oil, wood or electricity. The skin gets dry.” If you are familiar with this condition, you may want to consult a specialist. If the condition is persistent, a doctor may be able to provide you with an effective, medicated treatment. If your condition does not require a physician, you may want to try to moisturize more often. For the winter months, use a moisturizer that is oil-based, as opposed to water-based. For your face, be sure to choose an oil that is “nonclogging,” to avoid acne and clogged pores. Sunscreen is also very important during the winter months, as the glare from the snow, and even UV rays that are trapped below the clouds, can damage your skin. Don’t underestimate the sun’s power during the winter. You should also try to exfoliate your skin at least twice a week. Use a loofah or something similar to remove dead skin cells and enable new ones to grow. Be sure to drink lots of water. During the winter, people often forget the importance of drinking water, and get dehydrated. This has a direct effect on a person’s health.

History Breaking News from Amazon

According to a press release issued from the offices of Amazon, the giant online shopping center, the newest Kindle is now officially the “Bestselling Product in Amazon History.” A bit short on details, however, the press release did not specify exactly how many Kindle-Threes it sold to beat out the now second bestselling product in Amazon history, the last of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Unfortunately, since Amazon never released how many of those Harry Potter books it sold to become Amazon’s bestselling product, we are still left in the dark about how many Kindle-Threes Amazon has sold.

In a moment of weakness quite out of character for the secretive Amazon executives they did tell the public in December 2007 that until that date over 12 million copies of all the seven Harry Potter titles had been sold at Amazon.

So now if we do the math we can figure that there were most likely more than one million, but less than 12 million Kindle-Threes sold at Amazon this year.

Genetic Code of Wild Strawberries Cracked

wild-strawberryScientists have cracked the genetic codes of wild strawberries, as well as a certain type of cacao used to make chocolate. The new information should help breeders develop better varieties of mainstream crops.

“Because farmers have been crossbreeding and hybridizing food crops for centuries to improve traits, they tend to have large complicated genomes but the wild strawberry’s is relatively small so we can get access to all of these useful genes comparatively easily,” said Dan Sargent of BBSRC Crop Science Initiative.

Todd Mockler of Oregon State University explained that “this will accelerate research that will lead to improved crops, particularly commercial strawberries. It could lead to fruit that resists pests, smells better, tolerates heat, requires less fertilizer, has a longer shelf life, tastes better and has an improved appearance.”