CLEARING THE AIR
As the polluted air over Beijing grows thicker, one man is trying to find a solution. CNN reports on a Dutch designer who claims to have come up with a device he hopes will suck the pollutants from the Chinese capital’s smoggy atmosphere. Not unlike a large vacuum cleaner, Daan Roosegaarde’s invention employs an electromagnetic field generated by copper coils that is capable of pulling airborne particles in smog to ground level. “It’s like when you have a balloon which has static [electricity] and your hair goes toward it,” said Roosegaarde. A prototype of the device has been tested indoors with positive results and Roosegarde is convinced the device will work outdoors. “Beijing is quite good because the smog is quite low, it’s in a valley so there’s not so much wind. It’s a good environment to test this kind of thing,” he said.
ALL DONATIONS APPRECIATED
Are organ donors more willing to donate when compensated? As reported by NBC News, a new study from the University of Calgary suggests that paying living donors $10,000 per kidney could save money compared to the existing altruistic system. Researchers say that even if the incentive system only increased donation by a conservative five per cent, it would save health-care systems money in the long haul. “We don’t have enough organ donors coming forward,” said Dr. Braden Manns of The University of Calgary. “We need to figure out a way to solve that problem.” At the same time, some experts believe paying donors could have a negative impact. “If we paid $10,000, a lot of altruistic donors would say that it’s just a cash transaction,” predicts Dr. Stephan Pastan, a transplant surgeon at Atlanta’s Emory University. “Donations could go down.”
NO SUGAR TONIGHT
Even if your blood sugar is safely below diabetes or even pre-diabetes levels, you could still be at risk of memory problems. Reuters reports that German researchers have discovered that patients with elevated, but not necessarily unhealthy, blood-sugar levels tended to perform worse on memory tests. The study from Berlin’s Charite University of Medicine also revealed links between blood-sugar disorders and weakened brain function and dementia. “We were also interested if this extends to people who are still in the normal range,” said neurologist Dr. Agnes Floel. The study required participants to fast for 10 hours, followed by blood-testing, MRI scans and a memory test. Overall, those test subjects with higher blood-sugar readings performed worse on the memory test compared to those with lower blood-sugar levels.
THOUGHT DU JOUR
A man’s interest in the world is only the overflow from his interest in himself.
George Bernard Shaw, playwright (1856-1950)