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Medicine and Health

Immortality no longer a pipe dream as cure for aging seems to be just around the corner

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Immortality is probably on a lot of people’s ultimate wish list, but it seems to be one of those wishes that are highly unlikely to ever come true. Or will it? Thanks to modern medicine we are now able to live several decades longer than our ancestors did and the interesting thing is that technology is currently improving at an unprecedented rate, which means that our life expectancy will increase even more in the years to come. Many experts believe that the day when the average human being will live well beyond 100 years is just around the corner, but there are others who think that this is just the beginning. Immortality per se might not be an achievable goal in the near future, but living for as much as 1,000 years is apparently not as far fetched as one may think.

This is according to Aubrey de Grey, a gerontologist from the University of Cambridge who also happens to be the co-founder of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Research Foundation. Aubrey de Grey finds the word immortality to be a bit misleading since it implies that nothing can kill you, however, what he’s currently researching is likely the next best thing. “The first thing I want to do is get rid of the use of this word immortality, because it’s enormously damaging, it is not just wrong, it is damaging,” de Grey told Motherboard. “It means zero risk of death from any cause—whereas I just work on one particular cause of death, namely aging. It is also a distraction, it causes people to think this whole quest is morally ambiguous and technologically fanciful.” He does have a point there.

So, we shouldn’t expect actual immortality, but rather very long and healthy lives, which is an extremely good alternative in my book. “If we ask the question: ‘Has the person been born who will be able to escape the ill health of old age indefinitely?’ Then I would say the chances of that are very high,” he said. “Probably about 80 percent.” What de Grey is specifically working on is a new type of innovative therapies that will not only stop a person from aging, but will even reverse the process and potentially make them younger again, or at least keep them young for a very long period of time. What’s more, this process can be repeated every few decades so that you can be biologically young for a long time despite continuing to age chronologically. Now that I think about it, these therapies might be better than immortality since most of us would prefer to live for centuries as young people rather than live forever as old timers.

As for how de Grey is planning to go about this, he wants to essentially prevent aging rather than merely curing it. The therapies he speaks off will ideally be able to kill off harmful cells (including cancerous ones) so that healthy ones can continue to divide unhindered. In principle this plan is not as complex as it seems and might actually work, although there might be a couple of problems that still need to be solved. For example, neurons are known to be different from other cell types because they do no undergo division. In other words, your neurons keep dying as you age and their numbers are not easily replenished. Unless de Grey manages to find a workaround to this problem, I’m afraid near immortality might not be as fun as it sounds. Having said that, your brain should still be able to function normally for at least a couple of centuries, so these therapies are still very much worthwhile despite any possible drawbacks.

Generally speaking, people expect these kinds of ambitious plans to take decades until they can be fully realized, but de Grey is confident that his therapies will yield promising results in just a matter of years. As it’s more often than not the case with revolutionary therapies, mice will be the first to undergo the treatment, with human trials presumably on their way shortly after. “The big breakthrough in terms of publicity will be when we can take middle aged mice in the laboratory and rejuvenate them,” de Grey says. “Once we can do it for mice, people are going to know that it’s only a matter of time before we can do it for human beings. So that’s where I want to get to and I think we have a fair chance of getting there in six to eight years from now.”

Medicine and Health

Your Chance Of Contracting This Rare Eye Infection More Than Triples If You Wear Reusable Contact Lenses

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If you wear soft reusable contact lenses instead of soft disposable ones, your chance of getting an uncommon eye infection rises by almost four times. These sobering conclusions come from study conducted by the University College London (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, which looked at what variables could make someone more likely to get Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK).

“In recent years we have seen an increase of Acanthamoeba keratitis in the UK and Europe, and while the infection is still rare, it is preventable and warrants a public health response,” said lead researcher Professor John Dart in a statement.

“Contact lenses are generally very safe but are associated with a small risk of microbial keratitis, most commonly caused by bacteria, and which is the only sight threatening complication of their use. Given that an estimated 300 million people across the globe wear contact lenses, it is important that people know how to minimise their risks for developing keratitis.”

Over 200 patients were recruited by Dart and colleagues, 83 of them had AK and the remaining 122 were taken to the Moorfields Eye Hospital for various ailments. The second served as a control group so that the researchers could determine what risk factors made someone more likely to develop the corneal infection.

According to their findings, people who wear reusable soft contact lenses had a 3.8-times higher risk of acquiring AK than people who wear daily disposable lenses. Wearing lenses while sleeping and taking a shower raised risk by 3.9 and 3.3 times, respectively. According to the researchers’ calculations, switching to daily disposable lenses might avoid 30-62 percent of AK cases in the UK, and this may hold true for other nations as well.

“Previous studies have linked AK to wearing contact lenses in hot tubs, swimming pools or lakes, and here we have added showers to that list, underlining that exposure to any water when wearing lenses should be avoided,” said first author, Associate Professor Nicole Carnt of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital. “Public pools and coastal authorities could help reduce this risk by advising against swimming in contact lenses.”

Even though sight loss from AK is uncommon, it can occur in extreme cases, which is why the researchers decided to further explore potential risk factors. The team is working to find ways to reduce the annual incidence of AK, which is estimated to affect 1 in 20,000 contact lens wearers in the UK.

Opthalmology published the paper.

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Android

Top Rated Dentist Apps for 2018

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Looking at today’s technology it is kind of hard to believe that 20 or 30 years ago we didn’t know what a smartphone was, right? Hell, most of us (kids and adults alike) didn’t even have a mobile phone! And those of us who had one were in complete awe over games like Snake or Pong!

Therefore, I think that a quick look at how mobile games evolved over time is a true testament to the speed of technology. I mean, going from Snake played on a 1990 Nokia phone to a high-graphics game played on the latest Android or iOS smart device is a huge leap!

Even more, nowadays we can run complex apps on our mobile devices, and some are quite impressive. Let’s take apps designed for dentists and their patients – a simple search will reveal a plethora of options, so I chose only the top-rated ones as an example.

DDS GP

This is an app, for iOS users, that makes a dentist’s work with patients easier. The app is equipped with over 200 illustrations, images, and animations that showcase the effects of various dental conditions. This way, a dentist can literally illustrate how a specific disease will progress in time if not properly treated.

DDS GP can help explain some of the most common dental problems such s decay, cracks, or periodontal disease. Furthermore, it accepts edits and drawings which the user can save, and it helps to create individual treatment plans for each patient.

Now, since it’s such a well-detailed app, the price is a bit steep, but for those interested to learn, there are more options at healthyteeth.org (and for free).

iBracesHelp

If you have to wear braces or you’re planning on installing some in the near feature, this app may be of great use. The app provides useful information, videos, and pictures on how to care for braces and what to do if any problems would show up.

DentalNavi

Designed by a dentist for dentists everywhere, this free app for iOS provides users with animations and 3D video representations of various dental procedures. Given that some patients are new to the field and some may even be fearful of some treatment methods, DentalNavi is a fantastic way to illustrate what happens in a patient’s mouth while you’re working on it.

The app has several different modules such as implantology, interactive jaw movement, and checking for occlusions. Everything is highly graphical, which is why communication with your patients will be improved significantly.

My Dental Clinic

A free Android app that can help you manage the activity of an entire dental clinic – cool, right? You won’t have to deal with papers and difficult planners since everything will be readily accessible using your phone!

The app allows you to keep patients’ records such as personal information, notes, appointments, dental charts, and more. Furthermore, you have the possibility to call a patient directly from the app, and the appointments can be sent to your Android calendar.

Overall, this is a fantastic virtual planner for small to medium clinics, and most users seem happy with the features provided.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the world of mobile apps has evolved from low-graphics games to high-end graphics and advanced apps that can keep up with various services at once. Isn’t this advancement impressive?

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Medicine and Health

You Will Be Surprised By These Recent Developments in Mattress Technology

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The industry presents you such a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to mattresses than it ever did before. As a matter of fact, presently, you have mattresses that are estimated to last you another 40-years; that’s approximately the major part of your life or the rest of it! The flocking, however, comes with its own level of technical work for us; we have more work trying out all the new brands coming up by the day as we compile our information. All a worthy experience – some of these beds have you bewitched to them; you just don’t feel like getting up at all.

But what are these improvements that have come to change the face of the bed industry as we knew it? What are the technological advances made to beds that you probably haven’t heard of? Some of these leaps are present in the Top Mattress only; you need to be prepared to do some decision making for a change by the end of this article – be sure to buy yourself and loved ones the nights they deserve.

 

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The Memory Foam Treat

Originally, memory foam was only available and used by NASA to make their pilot’s uniform. But when it was released to the public in the late seventies, we had opportunists springing forth and making the first foam beds. Right now, different types of foams are being made for the best bed make. Organic foam and synthetic foam all find their way to the top beds in the market. Others are a hybrid make involving a mixture of latex and synthetic foam. All these provide different levels of firmness and response to pressure and temperatures.

Memory foam beds are usually preferable and recommended to the side and back sleepers at times. This is because the foam creates more depressions and contouring with the body preventing much pressure on the spine. Stomach sleepers and back sleepers (not majorly) need more firm options for a perfect spine alignment.

The Bed-In-A-Box Concept

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Most of you bought your custom beds which were shipped as they are; you had to ask for help as you ferried it from the door to your room. Now consider a whole queen-sized bed coming inside a box, and all you have to do is open the box once you reach your room! This is the technology that will wipe away all shipping charges from bed provider stores and bring about a cool convenience to the client. That’s about as cool as it can get.

Meet the Smart Mattress

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Need to sleep at angles? Easy, adjust it! Are you a snorer which is affecting your partner? Easy! Smart Motion technology literally has your back. The wireless remote controlled bed has a head and foot massage option due to its adjustability. The wonder bed also has an automatic alarm system that determines when the sleeper is in the light sleep stages and hence calculates when best to wake them up. This comes together with a customizable coach that collects your sleep data and offers better sleep recommendations upon comparing your data with people with your characteristics. The Sleeptrack app pre-installed is also designed to have meditative music to help you fall asleep faster. Can sleeping get any easier than that really?

Sleep Cool Beds

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Sweating during the night can be quite a bore – especially if you have the same issue during the day. Sleeping with the windows open or buying fans to cool the room doesn’t seem to work for you. Take it easy; you are not alone. Good news is, there is something for you out there.

The market now has beds popping up with a top layer infused with gel to allow for breathability, thus, one sleeps as cool as they want. No hot nights anymore – sleep as sound as you’ve always wanted.

There is absolutely no more need to go around complaining of a consistent back pain or shoulder pains as a result of your unfulfilling nights. You need a mattress upgrade that suits your preferences. Some of these beds are really pocket-friendly. You’ll, nevertheless, be needed to dig deeper if you want to access the best that the industry has to offer.

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