Stroop test app screens for cognitive dysfunction

In patients with cirrhosis, a cognitive dysfunction called hepatic encephalopathy can sometimes arise, causing altered levels of consciousness, confusion, and sometimes, in advanced stages, even coma and death.

Now a smartphone app developed to help diagnose the milder minimal hepatic encephalopathy -- which has until now been almost impossible to diagnose due to the extremely subtle symptoms -- has been found to be a fast and effective screening tool, according to a new Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) study published in the September issue of Hepatology.… Read more

Smart syringe turns bright red to warn of prior use

First, the bad news: As much as 40 percent of the world's 40 billion injections administered every year are with unsterile, reused syringes, according to the World Health Organization.

Fortunately, people are working on better, tamper-proof syringes, and one of those -- the ABC Syringe -- holds such promise it is a finalist at this year's Index Awards in Denmark.

The syringe, designed by Dr. David Swann of Huddersfield University in England, comes in a nitrogen-filled pack, which ensures that the syringe is clear. But when exposed to air, the special ink in the syringe's barrel absorbs the carbon dioxide and, after 60 seconds of exposure, turns the barrel of the syringe a bright red to warn that it is now "used."… Read more

Breast-milk ice cream: Test before you taste?

In February, the uber trendy Icecreamists boutique in London began serving a scoop of ice cream straight from the supple breasts of London mother Victoria Hiley. Her milk was screened at what parlor founder Matt O'Connor calls a "leading medical clinic" before being pasteurized and served in a martini glass with lemon zest and vanilla pods for 14 pounds, or about $22.50.

Not for long. News of the unusual dessert, dubbed Baby Gaga, swept across the Interwebs, and when two people complained to Westminster Council (perhaps notably, both were men), officers removed the product from the … Read more

'Rapid tests' target STD-tropical disease combos

What's worse than malaria? Malaria with a syphilis shooter. But seriously--a Canadian company has just introduced several "rapid tests" that can instantly detect various combinations of tropical and sexually transmitted diseases.

MedMira this week launched its expanded line of Multiplo rapid tests at the U.S. military's Advanced Technology Applications for Casualty Combat Care Conference in St. Pete's Beach, Fla.

The Multiplo tests will be used to diagnose conditions such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, malaria and dengue fever in various combinations. This combo feature enhanced by, in some cases, instant results, is … Read more

Hep C test for walking blood banks

A new test to screen blood donors for hepatitis C (HCV) is showing promise, having scored the highest against five other systems during an evaluation by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, according to developer OraSure Technologies.

When there's a shortage of blood for transfusions on the battlefield, medics turn to the Walking Blood Bank, i.e. any available soldier. However, short of prescreening every potential donor or using other time-consuming methods, there has been no way to be sure that a donor is disease free (PDF).

The company already offers a test for HIV, and now it looks … Read more

Hep B unrest looms as Chinese forum is blocked

Members of a hepatitis B support group in China, numbering about 300,000, lost their online forum in a Chinese crackdown on civil society. Now some say they may be forced into taking drastic measures, even during the Olympics.

In an unusually prominent threat of collective action in China, Lu Jun, who ran a recently blocked site for carriers of hepatitis B, said some disgruntled members may be planning protests during the Olympics, according to the Financial Times:

Mr. Lu, who heads a rights group that has helped carriers sue companies such as IBM and Foxconn for discrimination, said the … Read more

Where if you listen to this, you've played Mortal Kombat in a bowling alley


Friday, the end of the work week, the denouement, if you will, which means it's the perfect time to get Hepatitis A! Or at least that's what happened to some A-list celebrities at Ashton Kutcher's birthday party. D'oh! Also, Portal 2 might be in the works (we hope) and Jonathan Coulton's "Still Alive" will be included in a Rock Band downloadable content pack.

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