A woman in the village of Karech, in rural India, prepares a meal on a traditional three-stone hearth. Courtesy of H.S. Udaykumar and University of Iowa Environment Health 

Small Metal Stove Grate Makes Big Impact

An inexpensive metal stove grate insert for primitive cookstoves, created by a University of Iowa research team, may decrease global warming and potentially save many lives. By Kate Stone The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.7 billion people worldwide still rely on wood fires to cook their food, and more than 4 million die each year from illnesses connected to household air pollution caused by that method of cooking. The insert decreases wood consumption by about 60 percent, and further testing  conducted in a national lab in India found…

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Cat Videos: Bloomington, Indiana's own Lil Bub is one of the more popular felines on the Internet. (Photo by Mike Bridavsky/www.lilbub.com) Citizen Science Health Zoology 

Cat Videos Boost Energy, Good Feelings

Do you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching cat videos online? If so, that emotional effect may be more profound than you realize. The Internet phenomenon of watching cat videos, from Lil Bub to Grumpy Cat, apparently does more than simply entertain. It boosts viewers’ energy and positive emotions while decreasing negative feelings, according to a new study from Indiana University Media School. Can a Cat Video a Day Keep the Doctor Away? The study, by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick, surveyed almost 7,000 people about their viewing of…

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An employee working at a treadmill desk. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU) Health 

How to Ask Your Boss for a Treadmill Desk

The adverse effects of sedentary office work have given adjustable desks, standing desks, and treadmill desks new attention, but treadmill desks are not everyone’s cup of tea. Now, the latest research from Brigham Young University reveals the impact that treadmill desks can have on job performance. So You Want a Treadmill Desk If you are interested in using a treadmill desk at the office, your greatest challenge may be convincing your boss that it will not have a negative impact on your job performance. Some employers worry that standing or…

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Volunteers wearing the rubber soled shoes walk up and down an ice-covered inclined floor in the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab. (Reza Rizvi, Yue Li, and Sharon Ravindran/ Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) Health New Technologies Physics 

Winter Hack: New Rubber Grips Icy Surfaces

Winter storms dumped record amounts of snow on the East Coast and other regions of the United States this year, forcing many people to navigate icy sidewalks and roads. However, treacherous travel by foot may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a team of researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto, Canada, who are working on a new rubber sole to help pedestrians get a better grip on slippery surfaces. The material is made up of glass fibers embedded in rubber, and it…

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Treadmill Desk (Photo courtesy of Marcolm via freedigitalphotos.net) Health 

Walk While You Work: Do treadmill desks help?

Treadmill desks help sedentary office workers get out of their chairs and get moving, but researchers at Oregon State University have found that walking while you work will not automatically rectify an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. Seth Roberts, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley designed a treadmill desk in 1996. Since then, this kind of hybrid workstation — part office furniture, part exercise machine — has been gaining popularity. How effective is a treadmill desk for weight loss? In a 2007 study, James Levine of the Mayo…

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Tapeworm in brain tissue (CDC) Biology Health 

Tapeworm Removed from Man’s Brain

Doctors in the UK recently removed a very rare tapeworm from a man’s brain that had been living there for four years. During its residency, the worm traveled five centimeters from one side of the brain to the other before it was detected and removed. Following the successful operation, a team took the opportunity to sequence the genome of this rare and poorly understood parasite. The tapeworm, Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, has been reported only 300 times worldwide since 1953 and never before in the UK. The parasite causes sparganosis: inflammation of…

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Eye on tech background, jscreationzs via freedigitalphotos.net Health New Technologies 

Artificial Retina Could Someday Restore Vision

An international and interdisciplinary team of scientists is working on a compact, artificial retina that could someday be used to restore the eyesight of people with retinal degeneration. The gradual loss of eyesight, often caused by the degeneration of the retina, can be a life-altering health issue for many people, especially as they age. The development of a prosthetic retina, however, could help reverse conditions that affect this crucial part of the eye. A growing number of medical devices capable of sending sensory signals to the brain are now available…

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