Monday, November 7, 2016

Next Week’s Supermoon May Be a Once in a Lifetime Event

Fall 2016 is proving to be an exciting season for stargazers, with three consecutive supermoons (which happen when the moon is closest to Earth) occurring in October, November, and December. But the upcoming supermoon on Monday, Nov. 14 will be particularly special, due to a unique alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun. The moon will be the closest it’s been to the Earth since January 26, 1948—the next similarly large supermoon won’t occur until November 25, 2034. In short: You won’t want to miss it.

On the night of the supermoon, the diameter of the moon could appear up to 14 percent larger and the total area of the moon may look up to 30 percent larger and brighter, according to Jonathan Kemp, a telescope specialist at Middlebury College Observatory. The moon appears so large due to its positioning on its orbit.

“The moon’s orbit is not a circle, but rather an ellipse, just as with the planets,” Kemp says. “On average, the moon is about 239,000 miles away from the Earth. When it is at perigee, or its closest point to Earth, it can be about 225,000 miles away. When this happens during full moon, the apparent size of the moon, as seen from Earth, appears to increase.”

This month, the full moon will occur within about two hours of the moon’s perigee, causing the extra-special supermoon. And because there is typically one supermoon per year, the fact that there are three in three months is also pretty spectacular.

The best way to view the supermoon is look for it low in the sky (as it rises or sets near the horizon) with foreground reference points (like buildings) to provide some context, Kemp says. Because it’s a full moon, it will rise as the sun sets, and set as the sun rises. With binoculars, you’ll get an even more exciting sight.

“When the moon is full, the larger craters show ‘ray’ features, which look like lines pointing away from the crater, spanning much of the surface of the moon,” says Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. “These 'rays’ are streams of rock that were ejected when the crater was formed by a colliding asteroid long, long ago.”

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Saturday, November 5, 2016

This New Patch Can Monitor Patient’s Vital Signs With High Accuracy

Hospital patients could have their vital signs tracked without cumbersome wires and complex monitors once a new startup’s wearable monitoring patch hits the market.

VitalConnect is building a lightweight, disposable patch that can be affixed to a patient’s chest and wirelessly sends vital signs including heart rate, ECG read out and rate of breathing to a mobile app. The patch has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and provides clinical grade accuracy in monitoring, the company said.

“It is very small, comfortable and fully disposable,” Dr. Nersi Nazari, VitalConnect’s CEO, said on Wednesday during a demonstration at the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference. One patch can be worn for four to five days and can survive getting wet in the shower, he noted.

The patch, which could also be worn by patients at home, has the ability to detect if the wearer has fallen down. If a fall is detected, the patch can wirelessly notify a doctor or other party.

VitalConnect is also developing a cloud-based service to analyze the health data collected by the patches. The software ultimately could help physicians decide how to treat a patient or decide when the patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital, Nazari said.

For more about medical wearables, see: Can a Wearable Fitness Device Predict Your Heart Attack?

“The data is sliced and diced and analyzed to the condition that the doctor is looking at,” Nazari explained. “We do not want to bombard doctors with so much data that it’s just not useful.”

VitalConnect, founded in 2011, is seeking to combine expertise in bioengineering and data analytics. Nazari previously worked on semiconductor chip design at Marvell Semiconductor. Joseph Roberson, the company’s chief medical officer, was formerly chief of otology-neurotology-skull base surgery at Stanford University.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Why an $80 Artificial Knee Outruns a $1,000 Version

Contrary to what many people may believe, it’s not war or landmines that are the primary causes of amputations in impoverished countries.

In places like Kenya or India, amputations are often the result of more commonplace and unfortunate incidents, like automobile accidents or train mishaps involving businesspeople on their commutes to work.

Each year, tens of thousands of people in low-income nations suffer amputations, explained Dr. Krista Donaldson, CEO of medical device non-profit D-Rev, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego Wednesday.

Get Brainstorm Health Daily, Fortune’s health-care newsletter.

Modern prosthetic limbs are often expensive, she said, with some devices costing upward of $1,000, making it hard for struggling medical clinics to afford them. And even when those devices are donated to clinics operating in impoverished nations, frequently those devices go unused, and the clinics are unable to perform the maintenance required to keep them functional.

“Most medical devices are designed for places like here, not low-income clinics,” Donaldson said in reference to clinics in wealthy nations that can more easily afford and maintain the prosthetics. D-Rev created more affordable prosthetic limbs to help amputees worldwide who don’t have access to the medical devices.

For instance, Donaldson showed off a recently developed artificial knee that costs $80 and contains the organization’s custom technology such as an embedded spring that helps amputees move the artificial leg forward as they walk.

The artificial knee was also designed to accommodate uneven terrain and rocky roads, unlike other devices built with smoother, paved surfaces in mind.

Currently, the knee is being used in 17 countries, but she hopes to bring it many more nations over the next three-to-five years.

For more from Brainstorm Health, click here.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Good News: You've Got a Better Brain Than You Think

If babies could gloat, they would. The rest of us may have it all over them when it comes to size, strength and basic table manners, but brain power? Forget it. The brain you had at birth was the best little brain you’ll ever have. The one you’ve got now? Think of a Commodore 64—with no expansion slots.

That, at least, has been the conventional thinking, and in some ways it’s right. Our brains are wired for information absorption in babyhood and childhood, simply because we start off knowing so little. At some point, though, absorption is replaced by consolidation, as we become less able to acquire new skills but more able to make the most of what we do know. What’s always been unclear is just what that point is. When does our learning potential start to go soft? A new paper published in Psychological Science suggests that it might be later than we thought.

The study, led by cognitive neuroscientists Lisa Knoll and Delia Fuhrmann of University College London, involved a sample group of 633 subjects, divided into four age groups: young adolescents, roughly 11–13 years old; mid-adolescents, 13–16; older adolescents, 16–18; and adults, 18–33. All four groups were trained and tested in two basic skills, known as numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning.

In the numerosity tests, people sitting at computer screens were flashed a series of images of large clusters of dots. Each cluster consisted of a mixture of two colors and the task was to select which color was more plentiful. That was easy enough when the ratio of one color to the other was 70-30, but it got harder as it went to 60-40, then 55-45, and finally 51-49. The challenge was made greater still since every screen was flashed for one fifth of a second. All of the subjects were tested three times—once at the beginning of the study, once three to seven weeks later and once nine months after that. And all were required to complete 12-minute practice sessions at some point before each test.

The relational reasoning part of the study followed a similar training and testing schedule, and involved subjects being flashed a screen filled with a three-by-three grid. The first eight boxes of the grid contained abstract designs that changed sequentially in terms of color, size or shape. The bottom right box was left blank and subjects had to choose which of a selection of images best completed the pattern.

Both puzzles are the kinds of things that routinely appear on tests of basic intelligence and predictably give subjects fits—not least because there exactly many occasions outside of the testing room that either skill has any real-world use. But numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning are basic pillars of our mathematical and logical skills, and the better you do at them the more that says about your overall ability to learn.

So how did the kids—with their nimble brains—do compared to the ostensibly more sluggish adults? Not so well, as it turned out. In the relational reasoning portion of the test, the 18 to 30 age group finished first over the course of the three trials, followed closely by the 15 to 18 year olds. The mid-adolescents—13 to 16—trailed at a comparatively distant third, with the 11 to 13 year olds last. In other words, the results were exactly the opposite of what would be expected from traditional ideas of learning capability. In the numerosity discrimination, the order of finish was the same, though the improvement across the three trials was less for all groups, with only the adults and the older adolescents seeming to benefit much from the three practice sessions.

“These findings highlight the relevance of this late developmental stage for education and challenge the assumption that earlier is always better for learning,” said Knoll in a statement accompanying the study’s release.

The reason for the findings was less of a surprise than the findings themselves. Brain development is a far slower process than it was once thought to be, and neuroscientists know that this is especially true of the prefrontal cortex, which in some cases is not fully wired until age 30. This has its downsides: impulse control and awareness of consequences are higher-order functions that live in the prefrontal, which is the reason young adults are a lot likelier to make risky choices—cliff diving, drunk driving—than older adults. But learning lives in the prefrontal too, which means the knowledge-hungry brain you had when you were young may stick around longer than you thought.

“Performance on executive function tasks undergoes gradual improvement throughout adolescence,” the researchers wrote, “and this might also contribute to improved learning with age.”

Ultimately, the brain—like the muscles, joints, skin and every other part of our eminently perishable bodies—does start to falter. The good news is, it’s a tougher organ than we thought it was, and it’s ready to learn longer.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why Songs Get Stuck In Your Head—and How to Get Them Out 

This Is the Compelling Science Behind Fitness Trackers

I wear a fitness tracker that monitors how many steps I take each day. Ask me why, and I’ll tell you I’m not quite sure. Push me, and I’ll say it’s fun. It sort of appeals to my sense of achievement to know if I hit my Fitbit-suggested target every day of 10,000 steps.

My dichotomous enjoyment/ambivalence isn’t unusual. The companies making the trackers claim that counting your steps leads to better health. But as a user the evidence feels shaky. Stacey Burr, vice-president of wearable sports electronics for the German sneaker maker Adidas, makes a powerful argument that such nitpicking misses the point. How to use the collected information is “the next frontier,” she says. “Right now it’s about how to get people moving more and to stay with it.”

The data backs up Burr’s assertion. Just 1% of the U.S. population engages in regular vigorous exercise, she says. Seventy percent is “inactive,” a description that applies to an appallingly high percentage of children. View fitness trackers from that perspective, and the focus shifts from ‘what does this information mean?’ to ‘just getting inactive people moving is a good thing.’

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Burr, a founder of a sensor-based clothing business called Textronix that Adidas bought, spoke Wednesday at a lunch panel on “The Exercise Cure: The High-Tech Science of Fitness” at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego. She says a huge opportunity for combating childhood obesity is teaching kids to be active. School systems have begun experimenting with heart-rate monitors, for example, that kids wear during gym class. Grades are based on minutes of elevated heart-rate activity, and baseline measurements can shift for children of different athletic abilities. Burr says educators have found correlations between more activity and better attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.

Yes, there’s a commercial angle here. Adidas ADDYY -6.07% has released a wrist-based heart-rate monitor for kids called Zone. It’ll be good for kids if the product succeeds.

Maybe this fitness-tracker thing really is about more than fun.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Can a Wearable Fitness Device Predict Your Heart Attack?

The tech industry has trumpeted the promise of wearable fitness and health devices to improve care by empowering patients with a critical resource: data. But turning a stream of information into predictions of outcomes isn’t an easy task. And there are still a number of significant obstacles before this sort of tech can get us to a point where, say, a Fitbit or Jawbone-like device can accurately assess someone’s risk of a heart attack.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute; John Carlson, president of medical solutions at Flex FLEX -0.90% ; Dr. David Rhew, chief medical officer and health care head at Samsung Electronics America; and Dr. Dave Albert, the founder and chief medical officer at AliveCor, were among the featured guests during a breakfast discussion at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference on Wednesday. And they grappled with the regulatory and technological obstacles to developing the kind of products and services that might tell someone that they’re at imminent risk of a catastrophic heart-related incident.

Part of the problem is that current technology available to consumers only picks up on heart rhythms. That can be useful from a personalized standpoint, but it’s not the same as actually predicting an arterial problem. And it certainly doesn’t give Americans all the information (and, more importantly, the medical context) that they need to make the right decisions about their medical care when it comes to anticipating a disastrous heart problem.

Subscribe to Brainstorm Health Daily, our brand new newsletter about health innovations.

“There’s no wearable that’s likely going to provide that,” said Topol. There’s just too much uncertainty and fluctuation among available consumer devices, which would have to go through the intensive Food and Drug Administration medical-device clearance process before they could actually provide more information to caregivers. The exact genetic and biological warning signs of a brewing heart attack also aren’t totally clear yet.

But Topol expressed hope that, regulatory snags aside, the technology will eventually get there — as long as firms can collect enough relevant data about the exact biological risk factors and warning signs for a heart attack or a stroke.

This presents its own problem, as Flex’s Carlson and AliveCor’s Albert pointed out. Creating a consumer product like Fitbit isn’t the same as developing an FDA-cleared medical device. The latter proposition is far more cumbersome and even more expensive.

Click here for more from the Brainstorm Health conference.

Gaining FDA clearance “takes the development cycle from six months to three years,” said Carlson. Albert added that becoming an FDA-cleared device involves following a host of manufacturing rules that can gum up the works, and that there are legitimate risks to allowing this sort of tech (especially when it comes to things like “predicting” heart attacks) to run wild.

“There will always be false positives and false negatives,” said Albert. “And those results can influence patients behavior and incur, at the very least, a financial and emotional toll on them if they act on it.”

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Is Virtual Part Of the Hospital Of The Future?

Hospitals in the future will certainly include telemedicine, where telecommunications technology can help diagnose and treat patients remotely in the comfort of their own homes, according to a panel of medical experts on Wednesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego. 

Dr. Randall Moore, president of Mercy Virtual, explained that his hospital is a $54 million hospital with no hospital beds. The aim is to streamline hospital care so that a patient is admitted only when it is absolutely necessary, reducing costs as well as stress on the patient, who could be treated from the comfort of their home.

He recalled the care of one patient, an 87-year-old woman who had been hospitalized 13 times in just a few years due to cancer and other health issues. In nine months, with Mercy’s virtual care, the patient was hospitalized only once.

“The reduction in cost was dramatic and she had a better quality of life,” Moore said. He explained that the beauty of how Mercy is handling telemedicine is to make virtual care one part of a holistic care plan, as opposed to relying solely on virtual care.

Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of American Well, a company that provides telemedicine technology to health care companies, said that it doesn’t make sense to provide virtual care without in-person physical care. “It’s how to make care teams fully centric,” he explained.

Telemedicine, which is expected to be worth more than $34 billion globally by the end of 2020, is still very much in its early days, he added. “Right now 2% of health care is done online. In the future, it will be 20% to 30% of care,” Dr. Schoenberg added.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What It's Like To Meditate with Deepak Chopra

I’m not one for meditating. It’s not that I don’t believe in the virtues and benefits of the practice, but my mind tends to wander and instead of coming out of a session feeling zen, I instead emerge worried about my next deadline or the mysterious cough my 4-year-old daughter might have. Oh, and I’m eight months pregnant, so I feel my little girl kicking me pretty much constantly.

But when alternative medicine advocate and meditation guru Dr. Deepak Chopra organizes a small group, 20-minute meditation, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Such was the case at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego, where on Tuesday, Chopra led a meditation for the conference’s two-hundred plus attendees.

Meditation has increasingly become a booming business. In 2015, the meditation and mindfulness industry raked in nearly $1 billion, according to research by IBISWorld, which breaks out the category from the alternative health care sector. There’s also revenue collected from the growing number of mindfulness apps, like and Headspace.

Here’s what the Chopra experience was like:

Chopra first instructed the group to relax their stance and close their eyes with their palms open. He then asked the group to start paying attention to their breathing, and told the group that if their mind wandered that was ok, and to be bring it back to the present.

Chopra then asked the group to ask themselves a series of questions, including: “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”

He asked the audience to try to listen to their heartbeat, and see if they could feel the energy of it in their fingertips.

Chopra also asked the group to repeat their name to themselves, starting with their full name and then shortening it to their first name. And he called on the crowd to say a silent mantra to themselves.

Lastly, he told the group to slowly open their eyes.

I’m surely missing some of the moments—because at times, I felt like I was meditating. Twenty minutes felt more like five, and I returned to the present feeling surprisingly rested. And ready to tackle the deadline for this article.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Here’s Why Pond Scum Will Live Longer Than You

There’s more to pond scum than meets the eye.

Just ask Nobel Prize-winning scientist Elizabeth Blackburn, now the President of the Salk Institute, who earned her Laureate status, in part, for insights gleaned from that lowly life form.

Blackburn is famous for her work on telomeres—the chromosome-capping entities that protect genetic material as it replicates. Telomeres wear down over time, she discovered—and that erosion corresponds to aging.

She also discovered that telomerase, an enzyme plentiful in “pond scum,” but limited in humans, rebuilds telomeres and holds the secret to longevity.

Pond scum, she said, speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference on Tuesday, is “an organism that multiplies forever and ever. We used to say, you could feed and talk nicely to it and it would multiply forever.”

It’s not so easy with human cells. Blackburn says telomerase can be a mixed blessing: while the enzyme allows the renewal of useful, necessary human cells—like blood cells—it also promotes the spread of cancer cells.

It will take more science to discover when telomerase becomes a danger, and how that knowledge might be used to improve health. For now, what we know about telomeres tells us a few basic things about how to live a longer life, says Blackburn, whose book, The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger, hits stores in January.

Her research has shown that people who exercise, sleep well, eat decent food, and keep a good attitude—“everything your mother told you,” she said—are more likely to preserve their telomeres and live longer. Her studies have also shown that long episodes of stress—dealing with a sick child, for instance—take a toll on one’s telomeres, and contribute to aging.

Of course, telomeres are only one piece of the puzzle, Blackburn explained. While the health of one’s telomeres correspond with longevity, it’s only one factor, she said.

This article originally appeared on

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr

Love Ashley Graham? Here Are 9 Other Body-Positive Activists You Should Follow Too 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This Is the Best Time of Day to Do Everything, According to Your Chronotype

Everyone has a biological clock that governs the rhythm of their day, and not everyone’s clock keeps the same time. That’s why some people are early birds, and others night owls. But according to sleep specialist and psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, there are more than just larks and owls in this world. 

In his new book The Power of When ($28,, Breusargues that the majority of us fall into four categories (which he’s named after mammals, not birds) and that knowing your “chronotype” will help you figure out the best time of day to do just about everything—from when to have your first cup of coffee to the ideal time to exercise, have sex, and more.

Below, we pulled a few tips from his book on how to be more productive throughout the day, whether you’re a “dolphin,” “lion,” “bear,” or “wolf.” Read on to see which chronotype describes you best, and learn how you can tweak your routine so you stay energized longer. (To find out more about your personal chronotype, check out Breus' online quiz.)

If you’re a light sleeper and wake early, but not fully refreshed…

You’re likely a dolphin. Breus named this group of people after the ocean-dwelling mammal because real dolphins only sleep with half their brain at a time. The name is a good fit for folks who are prone to restless sleep and insomnia, he explains. While “dolphins” tend to feel groggy in the a.m., they should exercise first thing, says Breus. Even the sleepiest heads can go from exhausted to pumped after a bout of intense physical activity. His recommendation: After a fitful night, do 100 crunches and 20 push-ups, to raise your blood pressure, body temp, and cortisol levels before you start your day.

RELATED: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

If you rise bright-eyed at dawn, and feel sleepy by mid-afternoon…

You’re likely a lion. Like real lions, people with this chronotype are at their best in the morning; as the day goes on, their energy level takes a dive. Breus suggest scheduling your most important tasks between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Mid-morning is “when you are best equipped, hormonally speaking, to make clear, strategic decisions,” he writes. This is also when you’ll get hungry, since you’ve been firing on all cylinders for hours. But a smarter strategy is to snack earlier, around 9 a.m., and wait to eat lunch until after 12. Lions tend to crash an hour or two post-lunch, so it’s best to eat later rather than earlier. If you can, eat outside or take a walk on your break; the exposure to sunlight will help you feel more alert.

If you make good use of the snooze button and get tired by late evening…

You’re likely a bear. About half of people fall into this category, named after those diurnal (active in the day, restful at night) creatures known for their long, deep sleeps. People with this chronotype have a sleep/wake pattern that matches up with the solar cycle, says Breus, which is lucky for them. They require a solid eight hours (at least) of quality z’s, and often need a few hours to fully wake up. To put a pep in your step in the first part of the day, Breus suggests prioritizing a hearty, high-protein breakfast around 7:30 a.m. “Bears usually reach for high-carb choices like cereal or a bagel,” writes Breus, but “eating carbs in the morning raises calm-bringer serotonin and lowers cortisol levels, which you need to get up and moving.”

RELATED: How to Get More Energy, From Morning to Night

If you don’t get to sleep until midnight or later (and struggle in the mornings)…

You’re likely a wolf. Named for the nocturnal hunters, “wolves” are most alert after the sun has set—typically around 7 p.m., according to Breus. They don’t feel tired until very late at night, and have trouble getting up before 9 a.m. Wolves tend to down several cups of coffee in the morning. But since this is when your “wake-up” hormones are flowing, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you wait until “your morning cortisol release has run its course,” says Breus. Around 11 a.m. is when a cup of joe will do you the most good. And take it black. Sugar and cream could cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin that may slow you down more.

Another tip: Bathing in the evening rather than the morning could help you nod off at a more reasonable hour. When you get out of a hot shower or warm bath, your core body temperature drops, he writes, “signaling to the brain to release melatonin, the key that starts the engine of sleep.”

from Tinnitus Miracle Healing via tinnitus relief
from Tumblr