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Monthly Archives: December 2012

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A new bionic suit is helping paralyzed patients walk. It’s the first time this technology has been available in Southern California. It’s giving one man the use of his legs again.

A July 2010 accident left Aaron Bloom, 27, paralyzed from the waist down.

“It’s really important that you just get up after something like that. I think that’s what’s most important,” said Bloom.

And thanks to the latest in bionic technology, he does get up and walk.

“Mentally it’s a wonderful feeling to be upright and moving,” said Bloom.

For the last three months, he’s been training on the Ekso, a ready-to-wear battery-powered bionic suit. It was first designed to help soldiers carry heavy loads. Now it’s bearing a different weight. Aaron provides the balance and body position, the Ekso does the rest.

“I just started using this pro-step function yesterday so this is still pretty awesome, in my mind,” said Bloom.

Click HERE to read the whole story at ABCLocal.com

Plaques and tangles pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The extracellular protein amyloid-β makes plaques, and the intracellular protein tau makes tangles, but how exactly these might kill neurons is unclear. Work presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco, California, this week starts to connect some of these dots.

George Bloom, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and his colleagues began by following up on work that neurons exposed to amyloid-β die not from direct poisoning, but because amyloid-β prompts inappropriate cell behaviour. They re-enter the cell cycle but never divide, and die instead.

“The framework of the process has now been defined,” he says. “We think we’ve stumbled upon one of the seminal events in the transition of healthy neurons into Alzheimer neurons.”

The work identifies several potential very early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and suggests new ideas to treat it.

Click HERE to read the whole article

Diabetes is a highly manageable condition that affects more than 8 percent of the U.S. population — some 25.8 million Americans. And because it is so common and manageable, we often forget that those who suffer from it must be vigilant in their behavior. That extends to the holidays.

Diabetes is a series of conditions that all have in common dangerously high blood glucose levels that result from the body’s inability to properly produce insulin. While some people are born with the condition (Type 1) and are incurable, others develop it (Type 2) and might be able to reverse it with weight loss and other lifestyle changes. No matter the origin of the disease, it requires monitoring, medication and lifestyle changes.

Click HERE for some tips at HuffingtonPost.com


One of the interesting products introduced at Compamed 2012 held last week in Düsseldorf, Germany was aliphatic polyurethane foam for wound management from Bayer MaterialScience.

Based on Baymedix FP reactive foam technology, the material is said to have a high absorption rate coupled with fluid retention capability. It is also described by a BMS official as a very smooth and conformable foam that is non-yellowing, maintaining its white color over time.

The foams can be coated with a two-component adhesive made from Baymedix, a solvent-free material also based on aliphatic polyurethane chemistry. The new material is designed to replace silicone adhesive.

Filtrona Porous Technologies (Colonial Heights, VA), also showed new polyurethane-based foams for wound care applications.  Specific innovations include molded and thermoformable medical-grade foams.

Click HERE to read the whole story at PlasticsToday.com

A group of curlers were taking part in a game of wheelchair curling on Saturday. It was a fundraiser for First Steps Wellness Centre, a rehab clinic that works with people who have spinal cord injuries. It was also a fun way for people in wheelchairs to build their strength and independence.

“Everybody’s having fun. It’s fun because anybody can do it. You don’t have to get out and stretch your muscles and tear everything apart. You just get out and curl. You push the rock and it’s fun, anybody can do it,” said organizer Owen Carlson.