Scitech | Earth on tickertape

Californian “technology pioneer” Proteus Biomedical is designing one millimetre-squared computer chips that, when ingested with drugs, will monitor the body’s response to the drugs, relaying the information to an online repository using Bluetooth technology. The technology, which “adds intelligence to any implanted medical device,” is slated to come to markets next year. A web site called discountmedspa.com was shut down in December for selling cosmetic treatments that patrons were encouraged to inject into their own faces. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – which are used in most anti-depressants – have been found to suppress feelings of romance in addition to causing sexual dysfunction. Honeybees were found to exaggerate the quality of pollen they had scouted after exposure to cocaine. Potpourri is growing in popularity as an alternative to marijuana, though doctors warn of the adverse side-effects, like elevated blood pressure and nausea, caused by the chemicals it is sprayed with. A study found that cocaine overdoses increase in warmer temperatures, while another found that mice were able to wean their addiction to cocaine more easily when given a running wheel. Researchers found that patients who had used an ointment made of pomegranate rinds, vitamin C, and metal salts were less likely to contract hospital-associated infections. Astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis conducted research for commercial vaccines because microbes have been found to grow better in space.

Earth on tickertape will be back again in two weeks to cover global environmental issues.


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