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Long-term relief

Vaccination patches could be printed locally. Now, a long-term study is offering hope to those who suffer from bacterial urinary infections. Over a 9-year period, a British medical team observed the effects of a spray (containing different types of bacteria) administered under the tongue to 72 women and 17 men. All had suffered previously from UTIs  and took a...

Releasable contact

Self-dissolving medical aids can heal external wounds or restore defective heart valves. Now, using the body’s natural mechanisms, a Canadian-based research team has developed a similar concept to treat corneal abrasions. A certain amount of the enzyme MMP-9 is found naturally in the eye. Released in quantities that are proportional to the wound’s size, it helps the cornea to...

Salving shells

Pullovers from oyster shells are no sailor’s yarn. Mussels can also be a useful medical aid as a South Korean research team has proved with its biodegradable adhesive patch. To make it, they combined sticky proteins from the shellfish with two polymers: polyacryl and sodium salt. When dry, the patch is not adhesive. Instead, its adhesive effect comes into...

Preventative update

An armband could make hot flushes easier to manage. Those engaging in hormone-free birth control mostly use condoms or the coil. The latter, however, have barely changed in design for fifty years. Reason enough for a female-led US startup to develop a new model. The team’s solution comprises 3 copper-coated elliptical parts which each have a magnetic plus and...

Included strength

Breathing exercises with a special ball reduce stress and anxiety. Sport has numerous psychological benefits. But being able to train is not a given. Which is why a British Paralympian has teamed up with a sailing world champion and a lawyer to support people with disabilities. Their app contains a custom-made exercise library, with texts, images or a video...

Pleasant extract

Sustainable toilet paper made from oranges and aloe vera is helping to seed flowers. Meanwhile sanitary towels and pantyliners can be manufactured using banana fibres. And now, a female-led startup in Berlin is making nappy liners and tampons from seaweed. Dried brown algae is ground into powder and an off-white substance extracted from it. It is free from heavy...

Human mathematics

Thanks to 3D-printed alternatives, things are getting better for living test objects. Animals, too, could soon be spared chemical testing thanks to the work of an Edinburgh-based research team. Using a 3D printer, the team created a model comprising five interconnected compartments and filled each of those with human cells from the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidney respectively....

Confident cut

Sustainable hair extensions could soon be all the rage, and not just in salons run by the Black community. But in Africa, mental health treatment is more urgently required. Of the 110 million affected people, 66 million are women under 25. Since there is on average only one therapist for every 500,000 people, a non-profit-organisation is focusing its efforts...

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