Tag Archives: inventions

Good News Monday: Mammo Mia!

There’s a fascinating article in October Vogue magazine about a new device that could change the way health care workers perform breast exams.

Imagine — something faster and more pleasant than squashing your boobs in a giant panini press!

iBreastExam is a handheld cancer screening tool about the size of a travel-sized clothing steamer.  Using Cloud technology rather than radiation, the padded electronic sensor can detect abnormal lumps as small as five millimeters. And it only takes a few minutes to assess multiple quadrants in each breast and then store the info.

Already in use across developing countries where access to radiology and conventional mammograms is limited at best, iBreast Exam is now becoming available to primary care physicians and gynecologists in the U.S.

Despite some limitations — e.g., it’s unable to detect tiny amounts of calcium that may indicate precancerous cells — the tool’s sensitivity is equivalent to a mammogram. For women showing early warning signs, the standard (and proven) mammo would likely be the next step.  But for women with healthy indicators, this might be all that’s needed.

Good news indeed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

 

Good News Monday: When Bad Food Happens to Good People

I thought this was so clever: a simple way to tell if food has gone off, without having to guess, sniff, or rely on a (frequently unreliable) sell-by date.

Developed by researchers in London, paper-based electrical gas sensors (“PEGS”) can detect spoilage gases like ammonia and trimethylamine in packaged fish and chicken.

Smartphones can read the data, so you simply hold your phone up to the packaging to learn whether a food is safe to eat.

In lab tests, PEGS identified trace amounts of spoilage gases more accurately than existing sensors.  And since they’re much cheaper to manufacture, the hope is that once PEGS are widely used, the savings for retailers might get passed along to the rest of us as lower food costs.

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No More ‘Sniff Tests’: Cheap Biodegradable Sensors Can Tell Smartphones When Food Has Gone Bad