Your smartphone or tablet PC may soon enable a breath test for real-time assessment to detect diabetes and lung cancer. Il-Doo Kim, from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Republic of Korea), and colleagues have developed a highly sensitive exhaled breath sensor by using hierarchical SnO2 fibers that are assembled from wrinkled thin SnO2 nanotubes. The team has innovated a morphological evolution of SnO2 fibers, called micro phase-separations, which takes place between polymers and other dissolved solutes when varying the flow rate of an electrospinning solution feed and applying a subsequent heat treatment afterward. The morphological change results in nanofibers that are shaped like an open cylinder inside which thin-film SnO2 nanotubes are layered and then rolled up. A number of elongated pores ranging from 10 nanometers (nm) to 500 nm in length along the fiber direction were formed on the surface of the SnO2 fibers, allowing exhaled gas molecules to easily permeate the fibers. The inner and outer wall of SnO2 tubes is evenly coated with catalytic platinum (Pt) nanoparticles. According to the researchers, highly porous SnO2 fibers, synthesized by eletrospinning at a high flow rate, showed five-fold higher acetone responses than that of the dense SnO2 nanofibers created under a low flow rate. The catalytic Pt coating shortened the fibers' gas response time dramatically as well. The study authors submit that: “These results demonstrate the novel and practical feasibility of thin-wall assembled metal oxide based breath sensors for the accurate diagnosis of diabetes and potential detection of lung cancer.”
Jungwoo Shin, Seon-Jin Choi, Inkun Lee, Doo-Young Youn, Chong Ook Park, Jong-Heun Lee, Harry L. Tuller, Il-Doo Kim. “Thin-Wall Assembled SnO2 Fibers Functionalized by Catalytic Pt Nanoparticles and their Superior Exhaled-Breath-Sensing Properties for the Diagnosis of Diabetes.” Advanced Functional Materials, Volume 23, Issue 19, May 20, 2013, Pages: 2357–2367.
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Fifteen-minute walks taken after meals help to curb blood sugar spikes.
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Bexarotene reverses memory deficits, in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.
Cognition and arterial aging both may benefit from daily supplements of curcumin.
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Pinpointing cancer-associated changes in metabolism of cells may be an effective early detection technique.
Japanese researchers innovate a metabolic assessment designed to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
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The rate of people who seek preventive cancer screenings has fallen over the last ten years in the United States.
Georgia Institute of Technology (US) team devises a computer-based tool to allow people to screen themselves for early signs of dementia.
Among families with a genetic risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, early signs presaging the condition’s onset appear in blood and cerebrospinal fluid.
High-resolution ultrasound offers an inexpensive, non-invasive and fast method to detect cancer that could someday help doctors identify cancers.
Tip #187 - Milk The Benefits
Dairy and dairy products have been studied extensively for their promising health benefits:
• Combat Heart Disease & Stroke: University of Reading (United Kingdom) researchers studied findings from 324 studies of milk consumption as predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and, diabetes. Data on milk consumption and cancer were based on the recent World Cancer Research Fund report. The team found that drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from illnesses such as coronary heart disease and stroke by up to 15-20%. Separately, researchers from Bristol University (United Kingdom) studied data from the Carnegie (“Boyd Orr”) survey of diet and health in pre-war Britain. Tracking the lives and the dairy intake of 4,374 children between 1948 and 2005, the researchers found that 1,468 (34%) of them had died, and 378 of those deaths were caused by coronary heart disease and 121 were due to stroke. Not only did the study suggest that dairy rich diets in childhood do not contribute to heart problems later, the team found that higher childhood calcium intake was associated with lower stroke mortality. In addition, children who were in the group that had the highest calcium intake and dairy product consumption were found to have lower mortality rates than those in the lower intake groups.
• Maintain Cognitive Health: Researchers from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) studied whether foods rich in Vitamin B-12 might counter homocysteine, a compound for which high levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cognitive decline including Alzheimer's Disease. The team monitored 5,937 subjects in two age groups (47-49 years, and 71-74 years) participating in the Hordaland Homocysteine Study in Norway, surveying them for their daily food intake patterns. The team observed that those subjects with low B-12 levels suffered twice as much brain shrinkage as compared to those study participants with higher blood levels of the vitamin. The researchers observed two glasses of skim milk daily can help that raise plasma vitamin B-12 levels.