Sweatin to the Oldies

A vintage photograph of two Gatsby era girls on wooden treadmills shows just how far exercise equipment has progressed since the 1920s.

The photo, shared by aReddituser, reveals two rudimentary running devices that are little more than wooden slats fixed on two wheels with a frame to hold on to.

The user would operate the treadmill by pushing the rickety slats along with their feet.

Wooden treadmills and Mary Janes: Workouts 1920s style were a glamorous, if low-tech, affair
Wooden treadmills and Mary Janes: Workouts 1920s style were a glamorous, if low-tech, affair

There is nothing hi-tech about 1920s workout clothing either. With Lycra decades away from being invented (Lycra is a brand name of Spandex, invented in 1959), there was no stretch gymwear to rely on.

Exercise clothing of the era was either a cotton singlet with shorts or, going back a few more decades to the Victorian era of the late 1800s, the smart tailoring that would have been worn as day to day dress.

Exercise carried out in a gym during the decades from the late Victorian times up to the 1930s was very much a wealthy person’s pursuit too.

The working classes would have got their exercise cleaning, carrying out chores and walking or cycling to work.

It was the upper classes and those with money and time to spare who looked to dedicated gymnasiums or specialised equipment to help them stay in shape.

Here FEMAIL unearth a selection of fascinating photographs of gym gear and fitness wear from the 1800s and beyond that remind us how thankful we should be for Technogym and Lycra…

Torture chamber? All 240lbs of Mrs Virginia Smith try out a ground-breaking fat-busting device at Philadelphia Jack O'Brien's gymnasium in New York City
Torture chamber? All 240lbs of Mrs Virginia Smith try out a ground-breaking fat-busting device at Philadelphia Jack O’Brien’s gymnasium in New York City in 1930
A Presidential workout: It's 1927 and businessmen of Chicago have adopted a mechanical machine similar to that said to be used by President Coolidge in his daily exercise regime
In 1927 businessmen of Chicago adopted a mechanical machine similar to that said to be used by President Coolidge in his daily exercise regime. The vibrating machines had a belt attached to which it was claimed gave relief to stiff joints as well as busting fat
Pedalling across the water: Passengers of the doomed Titanic on the exercise bikes in the boat's gymnasium, built in 1910
 Passengers of the doomed Titanic, which sunk in 1912, on exercise bikes in the boat’s gymnasium wearing their extravagant cruise outfits
Moving forwards: By 1934, treadmills had come a long way. Gone were the wooden slats, replaced by a durable fabric
By 1934, treadmills had come a long way. Gone were the wooden slats, replaced by a durable fabric. Still no running shoes though…
Great Gatsby! More Twenties era exercise bikes - this time with a meter attached that measures input. Note the lady to the right of the photograph wearing heels and hot pants
Great Gatsby! More Twenties era exercise bikes – this time with a meter attached that measures input. Note the lady to the right of the photograph wearing heels and hot pants

That thing looks dangerous! A woman demonstrating an exercise machine, known as the Gymo Frame, to members of the Arsenal soccer team at Highbury football ground in London, UK, in 1932
That thing looks dangerous! A woman demonstrating an exercise machine, known as the Gymo Frame, to members of the Arsenal soccer team at Highbury football ground in London, UK, in 1932

Riding the pounds away: A 1928 bucking bronco used as part of an exercise class held by American Olympic squad coach Aileen Allen in Pasadena, California, for fashionable ladies from the Huntington gym
 A 1928 bucking bronco used as part of an exercise class held by American Olympic squad coach Aileen Allen in Pasadena, California, for fashionable ladies from the Huntington gym

 

'20 minutes every morning': Actress Helene Chadwick pictured in 1925 demonstrating how she kept her trim figure
20 minutes every morning’: Actress Helene Chadwick pictured in 1925 demonstrating how she kept her trim figure

 

Gentleman Gym: The pinstripe workout gear looks a world away from today's Lycra - but these machines from the late 1800s show how some gym equipment remains almost unchanged
 The pinstripe workout gear looks a world away from today’s Lycra – but these machines from the late 1800s show how some gym equipment remains almost unchanged

 

Victorian: Engravings showing physiotherapy machines from 1895, taken from an edition of Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, a 19th century German encyclopedia
 Engravings showing physiotherapy machines from 1895, taken from an edition of Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, a 19th century German encyclopedia
Attribution: Deborah Arthurs, Mail Online

Catch That Clock!

An alarm clock which forces its owner out of bed to turn it off could be the saving grace for snoozers.

The robotic clock jumps off your bedside table and runs across the floor on two wheels, leaving big sleepers with no choice but to go after it to stop it emitting a high pitched alarm call.

When the alarm activates, the wheels propel the clock forwards and can survive drops from surfaces of up to 3ft tall.

Scroll down for video

Ring the alarm: 'Clocky' will jump off your bedside table and run off across the room, forcing you out of bed to stop the noise
‘Clocky’ will jump off your bedside table and run off across the room, forcing you out of bed to stop the noise
Clocky. The alarm that forces you out of bed, by running away!

Invented by a graduate student who struggled to get up in time for her lectures, ‘Clocky’ the robot clock, will not stop moving across the room until it is caught and the alarm switched off.

The $60 escapist alarm allows a single snooze before it kicks into gear and can travel on wood or carpet surfaces.

‘If you let Clocky go it will easily traverse your bedroom, it always finds its way under your bed,’ Ian Olson, sales director at No. 8 Brands said.

‘First you have to track Clocky down, then you can hit the alarm button to turn it off.’

No escape: The alarm allows a single snooze before it sets off over the floor and has a tendency to end up underneath the bed if its owner is not quick enough
The alarm allows a single snooze before it sets off over the floor and has a tendency to end up underneath the bed if its owner is not quick enough

 

Big jump: 'Clocky' can take a fall onto wooden floor from up to 3ft and has no problem running away on soft carpets either
 ‘Clocky’ can take a fall onto wooden floor from up to 3ft and has no problem running away on soft carpets either

‘We’ve received very positive feedback, we’ve had many customers who are heavy sleepers and Clocky is the only clock that will wake them up.’

Mr Olson explains that although it defies the idea of Clocky, the wheels can be removed.

‘We have had plenty of people who hate how effectively it works, those people love their snooze buttons too much.’

Study aid: The alarm clock was invented by a graduate student who had trouble getting out of bed in time for her lessons
 The alarm clock was invented by a graduate student who had trouble getting out of bed in time for her lectures

Attribution: Sara Malm, Mail Online

Ion Propulsion Rocket

Nasa’s advanced ion propulsion rocket engine has run continuously for over five and a half years, setting a new world record.

This makes it the longest test duration any kind of space propulsion system demonstration project ever.

The solar-electric propulsion thruster could be used in a wide range of science missions including intriguing journeys into deep space.

The thruster is part of the space agency’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project at its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

 
Nasa's advanced ion propulsion rocket engine could be used in a wide range of science missions including intriguing journeys into deep space
Nasa’s advanced ion propulsion rocket engine could be used for deep space science missons. It has been running continuously for over five and a half years to set a new record for the longest test duration of any space propulsion system demonstration

The project aims to develop a next-generation electric propulsion system, including power processing, propellant management and other components.

Despite setting a new record by operating for more than 48,000 hours, the long-running test will be shut down.

Michael J. Patterson, principal investigator for NEXT at Glenn, said: ‘We will voluntarily terminate this test at the end of this month, with the thruster fully operational.

‘Life and performance have exceeded the requirements for any anticipated science mission.’

The efficient engine is perfect for deep space missions. It is a type of solar-electric propulsion in which thruster systems use the electricity generated by the spacecraft’s solar panels to accelerate the xenon propellant to speeds of up to 90,000 mph.

This provides a dramatic improvement in performance compared to conventional chemical rocket engines.

 
The engine has been running for over 48,000 hours
The engine has been running for over 48,000 hours. It is a type of solar electric propulsion in which thruster systems use the electricity generated by the spacecraft’s solar panel to accelerate the xenon propellant to speeds of up to 90,000 mph. The thrust beam is pictured

HOW THE ROCKET WORKS

  • Nasa’s advanced ion propulsion system runs on the electricity generated by the spacecraft’s solar panels
  • It uses the power to accelerate xenon propellant to speeds of up to 90,000 mph
  • The engine consumed about 870 kilograms of xenon propellant dusting its 48,000 hour test
  • It is more efficient than conventional chemical rocket engines

During the endurance test, which was carried out in a high vacuum test chamber at Glenn Research Center, the engine consumed about 870 kilograms of xenon propellant.

While this sounds like a lot, it provides an amount of total impulse (a measure of the maximum momentum that an engine and fuel can move a vehicle) that would take more than 10,000 kilograms of conventional rocket propellant for the same use.

The test engine’s core ionization chamber was manufactured at Glenn Research Center, while the ion acceleration assembly was designed and built by Aerojet Rocketdyne in California.

Julie Van Kleeck, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s vice president for space advanced programs, said: ‘Nasa developed next generation high power solar electric propulsion systems will enhance our nation’s ability to perform future science and human exploration missions.’

The system could also be used to power Nasa’s Asteroid Initiative.

The imitative aims to find asteroids that are a potential threat to human populations on earth and potentially capture and redirect the most threatening asteroids.

 
 
The solar-electric propulsion thruster uses a magnetic field to generate thrust by accelerating xenon ions and is powered by solar panel
The solar-electric propulsion thruster uses a magnetic field to generate thrust by accelerating xenon ions and is powered by solar panels. While this type of engine cannot produce as much power as chemical rockets, it is perfect for deep space missions as it is more efficient

Attribution: Sarah Griffiths, Mail Online

Cats Do Understand…They Just Don’t Seem to Care

They are often considered to be more aloof than their canine counterparts, but cats really can understand their owners’ voices, a study has claimed.

Japanese researchers have found that cats can distinguish their owners’ voices from those of other people – implying that they do pay attention when spoken to.

The study, from the University of Tokyo, examined felines in their home environment. It involved recordings of strangers, as well as of the cats’ owners, but that cats could not see who was speaking to them.

 
Cats can distinguish their owner's voices from those of other people - implying that they do pay attention when spoken to
Cats can distinguish their owner’s voices from those of other people – implying that they do pay attention when spoken to

The researchers found that cats responded to voices by moving their heads and/or ears nearer the person who was speaking to them.

Or, when the cats detected a familiar voice, they also had dilated pupils, which can signal emotions such as excitement, Discovery News reported.

These reactions were more likely to occur when the cats heard their owners voices or when they became increasingly familiar with strangers’ voices. 

Study co-author Atsuko Saito explained to the website that dogs have evolved, and are bred, ‘to follow their owner’s orders, but cats have not been. So sometimes cats appear aloof, but they have special relationships with their owners.’

She added that cats have evolved not to show their emotions in order to survive.

One example is illness, which they tend to hide because ‘in the wild, no one can rescue them and predators pay attention to such weak individual,’ she said.

When the cats detected a familiar voice, they also had dilated pupils, which can signal emotions such as excitement
The researchers found that cats responded to voices by moving their heads and/or ears nearer the person who was speaking to them

The researchers added that after 10,000 years of living with humans, domestic cats have the ability to communicate with us, and, generally speaking, we seem to understand them.

The study, which will be published in the July issue of Animal Cognition, comes just weeks after an expert in animal behaviour claimed we will one day be able to talk to animals using mobile phone-sized gadgets.

Professor Con Slobodchikoff, of Northern Arizona University, is developing technology that interprets the calls of the prairie dog and says the technology could eventually be used to interpret other animals.

He also believes the technology could one day be fine-tuned to enable humans to talk back to animals and engage in conversation.

 
The study comes just weeks after an expert in animal behaviour claimed we will one day be able to talk to animals using mobile phone-sized gadgets
The study comes just weeks after an expert in animal behaviour claimed we will one day be able to talk to animals using mobile phone-sized gadgets

In an interview with The Atlantic, Professor Slobodchikoff explained he is using new artificial intelligence (AI) software to record the calls of prairie dogs. He is then using the AI techniques to analyse the barks and translate them into English.

He explained that from his research, he knew that prairie dogs warn other members of the pack about potential dangers in great detail – even describing a threat as being a ‘thin, brown coyote approaching quickly’.

The professor, who has spent the past 30 years analysing the behaviour of animals, added: ‘I think we have the technology now to be able to develop the devices that are, say, the size of a cellphone, that would allow us to talk to our dogs and cats.

‘So the dog says “bark!” and the device analyses it and says, “I want to eat chicken tonight.”

‘Or the cat can say “meow,” and it can say, “You haven’t cleaned my litterbox recently”.’

Attribution: Anna Hodgekiss, Mail Online

Curved Screen

Samsung has officially launched its first super-thin curved TV screen with a price tag of $13,000 – five times more than its flat-screen equivalents.

The 55-inch model has a high-resolution OLED display and its design means the screen is an equal distance from the viewer at all times.

It is now on sale in South Korea but Samsung told Reuters the set will be made available in other countries from July – the first time a curved TV of its kind has been sold outside of Asia.

Samsung has launched its first high-resolution curved TV in South Korea before releasing it worldwide in July.
Samsung has launched its first high-resolution curved TV in South Korea before releasing it worldwide from July. The 55-inch model costs £8,500, has an OLED screen and is the first set to be made available outside Asia

 
Kim Hyunsuk, Samsung executive vice president stands with a model next to the company's new OLED curved TV screen.
Kim Hyunsuk, Samsung’s executive vice president, stands with a model next to the company’s new OLED curved TV screen. The curved display helps eliminate the distortion of images. It is only the second 55-inch curved TV screen to go on sale after rival LG started selling its own version in May
 

WHAT IS OLED TECHNOLOGY?

OLED’s (organic light-emitting diodes) are used to create digital displays in TVs, computer monitors, phones, tablets and games consoles.

An OLED display works without a backlight, which means it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LCD).

In low lighting, an OLED screen can produce a higher contrast ratio than an LCD, too.

The Korean company announced the television during the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year.

At the time, Samsung’s curved screen was the world’s first yet delays in the manufacturing process meant that rival LG beat the company to selling the device.

Speaking at the launch event Kim Hyunsuk, Samsung executive vice president, said: ‘We have just introduced our first OLED TV and have to see consumer response to gauge overall market demand.’

Samsung said it will begin selling its curved OLED television outside South Korea from July but did not specify which countries.

It also said it has no plans to offer a non-curved one this year. 

The concave display gives viewers a sense of being immersed in the images.

Samsung claims its ‘Timeless Arena’ design reduces the chance of images appearing pixelated, too.

The 55-inch OLED screen also supports Samsung TV features such as multi-view that lets two people watch different things at the same time.

The concave display of Samsung's new TV gives viewers a sense of being immersed in the images.
The concave display of Samsung’s new TV gives viewers a sense of being immersed in the images. Samsung claims its ‘Timeless Arena’ design reduces the chance of images appearing pixelated, too. The screen also supports multi-view that lets two people watch different things at the same time

Samsung and LG, which are the only TV makers in the world to begin commercial sales of OLED TVs, had promised to launch them in 2012 but delayed the launch to this year.

The two South Korean TV giants tout OLED, short for organic light-emitting diode, as the next-generation display technology that will eventually replace older displays.

But mass producing OLED displays still faces many challenges, leading to high prices.

In addition to curved OLED TVs, Samsung launched two ultra-HD TVs, with four times the resolution of regular high-definition TVs.

Models pose with Samsung's 55-inch curved OLED TV during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

Models pose with Samsung’s 55-inch curved OLED TV during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. The Korean company announced the television during the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year but delays meant it is only now available to buy

The technology has long been touted as the future of consumer electronics displays, offering crisper picture resolution, a faster response time and high contrast images.

Yet televisions with OLED screens are still a niche market and Samsung warned that industry forecasts for sales growth were a bit too optimistic.

Research firm DisplaySearch has forecast global industry-wide sales of OLED televisions at 50,000 this year, at 600,000 next year and rapid growth thereafter to reach 7 million in 2016.

LG, which currently offers both curved and non-curved 55-inch screens, is estimated to have only sold a few hundred screens so far after starting sales earlier this year.

Attribution: Mail Online

Blackbeard’s Ship

Two cannons used by notorious pirate Blackbeard to wreak terror over the seas centuries ago have been raised from the wreck of his ship.

Deep sea divers have recovered two guns from the remains of the Queen Anne’s Revenge where it rests at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of North Carolina.

A former French slave ship, it was re-named the Queen Anne’s Revenge by English-born Blackbeard after he captured it in 1717.

 
Historic treasures: Divers emerged from the waves with the two cannon off the coast of Carteret County in North Carolina
Divers emerged from the waves with the two cannon off the coast of Carteret County in North Carolina
It was hoped the dive expedition last week would yield eight cannon, but the project was hampered by bad weather until Thursday
It was hoped the dive expedition last week would yield eight cannons, but the project was hampered by bad weather until Thursday

 

SEVENTEEN YEARS OF DISCOVERY

Experts have found an array of fascinating artefacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage since 1996.

Archeologists have recovered onion bottles, two bells of Spanish or Portuguese origin a coin weight with Queen Anne’s likeness stamped on it, buckles, glass beads, buttons, cuff links, pieces of wine glasses, a syringe, gold flakes, among others.

The same team are said to have also found 11 cannons from the pirate ship, including one in 2005 and another in 2007.

Another rare find was a partly gilded hilt thought to have held the sword of Blackbeard himself.

But the project was hampered by bad weather until Thursday, according to a Fox News report.

The dive was carried out as part of $450,000 scheme to remove all of the artefacts from the historic ship by the end of next year.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge was the infamous vessel commanded by English outlaw Blackbeard – who roamed the seas in the early 18th century and wore lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies.

Named after his flowing black beard, Blackbeard – whose real name is thought to be Edward Teach or Thatch – operated around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies.

In 1717, he captured a French slave ship and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Although Blackbeard’s career lasted only two years, he was the world’s most feared pirate and once held hostage the entire city of Charleston, South Carolina.

 
Raised from the deep: Two cannon have been lifted from the wreck of the ship Blackbeard used to wreak terror on the seas in the 18th century
 Two cannon have been lifted from the wreck of the ship Blackbeard used to wreak terror on the seas in the 18th century
 
Heave ho: Straps were attached to the cannon- believed to have been used on Blackbeard's captured ship in the 18th century - and they were winched on the waiting boat
 Straps were attached to the cannon – believed to have been used on Blackbeard’s captured ship in the 18th century – and they were winched on the waiting boat
 

In 2011, crews also salvaged an anchor from the wreckage.

The anchor is 11 feet, 4 inches long with arms that are 7 feet, 7 inches across.

It was covered with concretion — a mixture of shells, sand and other debris attracted by the leaching wrought iron — and a few sea squirts. Its weight was estimated at 2,500 to 3,000 pounds.

 
Named after his flowing black beard, Blackbeard - whose real name is thought to be Edward Teach or Thatch - operated around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies
Named after his flowing black beard, Blackbeard – whose real name is thought to be Edward Teach or Thatch – operated around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies
 
Raised: A 3,000 pound anchor from what is believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge has been recovered
 A 3,000 pound anchor from what is believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge has been recovered

 

 
Old: The anchor has been under water since 1718
 The anchor has been under water since 1718
 
Legendary vessel: Blackbeard's ship the Queen Anne's Revenge has been heavily excavated over the past 14 years
 Blackbeard’s ship the Queen Anne’s Revenge has been heavily excavated over the past 14 years
Site: The Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718 but stayed intact for a year before eventually disintegrating and collapsing
The Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718 but stayed intact for a year before eventually disintegrating and collapsing
 
 
Notorious: Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge ship has been excavated off the North Carolina coast since 1996
 Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge ship has been excavated off since 1996

 

Archaeologists had planned to remove the second-largest anchor, which is 13 feet long with arms that are 8 feet across, from the top of the ballast pile.

But it was too well-attached, so instead the divers went in from the side to retrieve the everyday anchor.

Blackbeard settled in Bath, North Carolina, where he eventually received a governor’s pardon.
Some experts say he grew bored and returned to piracy.

He was killed by volunteers from the British Royal Navy in November 1718, five months after the ship thought to be Queen Anne’s Revenge sank.

After running aground on a sandbar in 1718 near the town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the ship was abandoned but probably remained intact for as long as a year before collapsing and disintegrating.

Recovery: Experts raised a six foot-long cannon from wreckage of the Queen Anne's Revenge in 2005

Experts raised a six foot-long cannon from wreckage of the Queen Anne’s Revenge in 2005

 
Rare find: A pewter syringe discovered in 2007 is among other centuries-old items found in the Queen Anne's Revenge wreckage
 A pewter syringe discovered in 2007 is among other centuries-old items found in the Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage

 

 
Team effort: Another cannon was raised from the seabed wreckage in October 2007 near Morehead City, North Carolina
Another cannon was raised from the seabed wreckage in October 2007 near Morehead City, North Carolina

Linda Carlisle, North Carolina’s cultural resources secretary, said at the time the anchor was salvaged: ‘Blackbeard and piracy are important threads in eastern North Carolina’s maritime heritage fabric.

‘The historic and economic value of this project is enormous.’

The Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site, located off North Carolina’s coast, has yielded more than 250,000 artifacts and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Experts have been excavating the ship for 16 years since the area was located in 1996 by Florida company Intersal, Inc.

Attribution: Kerry Mcdermott and Amanda Williams, Daily Mail

UAB Researchers Cure Type 1 Diabetes in Dogs

Introducing a ‘glucose sensor’ by gene therapy eliminates the symptoms of the disease

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), led by Fàtima Bosch, have shown for the first time that it is possible to cure diabetes in large animals with a single session of gene therapy. As published this week in Diabetes, the principal journal for research on the disease, after a single gene therapy session, the dogs recover their health and no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms.

The therapy is minimally invasive. It consists of a single session of various injections in the animal’s rear legs using simple needles that are commonly used in cosmetic treatments. These injections introduce gene therapy vectors, with a dual objective: to express the insulin gene, on the one hand, and that of glucokinase, on the other. Glucokinase is an enzyme that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood. When both genes act simultaneously they function as a “glucose sensor”, which automatically regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood, thus reducing diabetic hyperglycemia (the excess of blood sugar associated with the disease).

As Fàtima Bosch, the head researcher, points out, “this study is the first to demonstrate a long-term cure for diabetes in a large animal model using gene therapy.”

This same research group had already tested this type of therapy on mice, but the excellent results obtained for the first time with large animals lays the foundations for the clinical translation of this gene therapy approach to veterinary medicine and eventually to diabetic patients.

The study was led by the head of the UAB’s Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG) Fàtima Bosch, and involved the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UAB, the Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery of the UAB, the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the UAB, the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy of the UAB, the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (USA) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Philadelphia (USA).

A safe and efficacious gene therapy

The study provides ample data showing the safety of gene therapy mediated by adeno-associated vectors (AAV) in diabetic dogs. The therapy has proved to be safe and efficacious: it is based on the transfer of two genes to the muscle of adult animals using a new generation of very safe vectors known as adeno-associated vectors. These vectors, derived from non-pathogenic viruses, are widely used in gene therapy and have been successful in treating several diseases.

In fact, the first gene therapy medicine ever approved by the European Medicines Agency, named Glybera®, makes use of adeno-associated vectors to treat a metabolic disease caused by a deficiency of lipoprotein lipase and the resulting accumulation of triglycerides in the blood.

Long-term control of the disease

Dogs treated with a single administration of gene therapy showed good glucose control at all times, both when fasting and when fed, improving on that of dogs given daily insulin injections, and with no episodes of hypoglycemia, even after exercise. Furthermore, the dogs treated with adeno-associated vectors improved their body weight and had not developed secondary complications four years after the treatment.

The study is the first to report optimal long-term control of diabetes in large animals. This had never before been achieved with any other innovative therapies for diabetes. The study is also the first to report that a single administration of genes to diabetic dogs is able to maintain normoglycemia over the long term (more than 4 years). As well as achieving normoglycemia, the dogs had normal levels of glycosylated proteins and developed no secondary complications of diabetes after more than 4 years with the disease.

Application in diabetic patients

There have been multiple clinical trials in which AAV vectors have been introduced into skeletal muscle, so the strategy reported in this study is feasible for clinical translation. Future safety and efficacy studies will provide the bases for initiating a clinical veterinary trial of diabetes treatment for companion animals, which will supply key information for eventual trials with humans. In conclusion, this study paves the way for the clinical translation of this approach to gene therapy to veterinary medicine, and eventually to diabetic patients.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disease, and a large number of patients need insulin treatment to survive. In spite of the use of insulin injections to control the disease, these patients often develop serious secondary complications like blindness, kidney damage or amputation of limbs. Moreover, in order to achieve good blood glucose control, insulin has to be injected two or three times a day, which brings a risk of hypoglycemia episodes (lowering of blood sugar): an additional problem that comes on top of the other hardships of the treatment.

Attribution: Real Clear Science (02-07-2013)

 

New Sony Products

Sony has launched a new waterproof android smartphone.

The Xperia Z Ultra can be used underwater up to a depth of 1.5m, even allowing people to take pictures and film video in full HD below the surface, the company said.

Launching it today, Sony claimed the handset, which has a 6.4-inch screen, has the biggest display and is the thinnest large-screen smartphone on the market.

 
The Xperia Z Ultra can be used underwater, even allowing people to take pictures and film video in full HD below the surface
The Xperia Z Ultra can be used underwater, even allowing people to take pictures and film video in full HD below the surface
 
Sony claimed the handset, which has a 6.4-inch screen, has the biggest display and is the thinnest large-screen smartphone on the market
Sony claimed the handset, which has a 6.4-inch screen, has the biggest display and is the thinnest large-screen smartphone on the market

 

 

Calum MacDougall, Sony’s director of Xperia marketing, said: ‘The Xperia Z Ultra is the most exciting revolution in large-screen smartphone entertainment devices with both the slimmest and largest full HD smartphone display in the world that is second to none.’

The phone will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor which Sony says is the world’s fastest processor.

The screen also features handwriting recognition software that allows it to be used with pencil or stylus.

 
The Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, a 'second screen' for any Android phone worn on the wrist
The Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, a ‘second screen’ for any Android phone worn on the wrist

 

 
Sony say it will allow people to remotely handle calls, read emails, alter the volume on their music and even take pictures
Sony says it will allow people to remotely handle calls, read emails, alter the volume on their music and even take pictures

The phone was launched today at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai, alongside the Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, a ‘second screen’ for any Android phone worn on the wrist.

Sony say it will allow people to remotely handle calls, read emails, alter the volume on their music and even take pictures remotely using a built-in camera app.

Attribution: Jaymi Mccann, Daily Mail

Tatooed Fruit

 

Fruit in Europe may no longer come with sticky labels, now that the European Union has approved the use of iron oxides and hydroxides, hydroxypropyl, methyl cellulose and polysorbates on the skins of fruit.

Using these chemicals creates contrast to allow the laser markings to stand out more clearly, and prevent the laser from penetrating the skin of the fruit.

A Spanish company developed the laser system, which can brand up to 54,000 pieces of fruit in an hour.

 
Fruit gets inked: Spanish company Laser Food has developed a method of branding fruits with a laser to replace the small stickers currently in use
 Spanish company Laser Food has developed a method of branding fruits with a laser to replace the small stickers currently in use

The company, Laser Food, developed the technology in 2009 and has been in talks with the EU to obtain approval ever since.

A significant stumbling block has been removed now that the EU has approved the use of iron oxides and hydroxides and other chemicals on fruits. 

The laser markings will contain information such as logos and place of origin and, according to trade magazine The Grocer, bar codes which could be scanned to access further information about the produce and QR codes that can be scanned with smartphones.

 
Details: The laser system can be used to inscribe brands and other information onto fruit such as melons, citrus and pomegranates
The laser system can be used to inscribe brands and other information onto fruit such as melons, citrus and pomegranates

 

 
Chemical romance: The EU has approved the use of some chemicals in labeling fruit, but so far only fruits that are usually peeled such as citrus
 The EU has approved the use of some chemicals in labeling fruit, but so far only fruits that are usually peeled such as citrus

Producers will know where their produce is being sold, and consumers will know the exact provenance of their fruit.

Jaime Sanfelix, managing director of Laser Food told The Grocer, ‘Consumers will have absolute certainty the product they are buying is fully guaranteed.’

 
Kiwi fruits with a sticker reading
Spanish company Laser Food has created a machine that is able to apply laser logos to fruits. Tattoos in the form of barcodes, logos, or QR codes can be used to mark the fresh produce?and 54,000 fruits can be branded within an hour.
 On the top, kiwifruit with the commonly-used stickers, and below, kiwi branded with lasers by Spanish company Laser Food
 

According to the ruling, the technology will be used on fruits which are usually peeled and the skin discarded:

‘[The chemicals] are to be used in small quantities and only on the external part of fruit and are not expected to migrate significantly into the internal part. For that reason, the treatment of fruit of which the peels are not commonly consumed is not liable to have an effect on human health. It is therefore appropriate only to allow…for marking of citrus fruit, melons and pomegranates…’ says the report.

The report also notes that the new technology will save on environmental costs of paper and glue needed for sticky labels.

The system will open up marketing opportunities for retailers too, who will be able to brand fruit with various motifs and logos.

Attribution: Alex Greig, Mail Online

Crack an Egg

 

For many cooks, separating an egg yolk from the white is a messy business. As you juggle the yolk back and forth between the halves of the egg, your fingers get stickier and stickier as the white drains away.

Then, more often than not, you have to pick stray bits of shell out of the bowl.

Now one entrepreneur has come up with a device which he believes will do away with all that.

 

An entrepreneur from New Zealand has created the Yolkr - an egg separator that looks like a giant pipette and can hygienically suck the yolk from an egg white without any mess
An entrepreneur from New Zealand has created the Yolkr – an egg separator that looks like a giant pipette and can hygienically suck the yolk from an egg white without any mess

 

 
The contraption is made from plastic which has been approved by the Food Standards Agency.
The contraption is made from plastic which has been approved by the Food Standards Agency.  The Yolkr was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in January and raised more than three times the target amount

 

 

1 Gently squeeze again to place the yolk where you want it.

 
 
HOW DOES THE YOLKR WORK?
 
          Crack an egg gently into a bowl – multiple eggs can be cracked into the same bowl as long as they don’t split.

Hold the Yolkr above an egg yolk so it is just touching the surface – be careful not to put too much pressure on and cause the yolk to split.

Squeeze the colored flexible plastic part of the Yolkr to such the yolk from the white.

The yolk will sit in the plastic holder at the bottom of the gadget.

Place the Yolkr over the mixing bowl or plate where you want the yolk to go and squeeze the Yolkr again to release the yolk.

After the egg has been cracked into a bowl the gadget, which works like a pipette, sucks up the yolk into a wide-mouthed plastic nozzle when the rubber top is squeezed.

It then holds the yolk safely until the cook is ready to use it, when with another squeeze of the top it plops it back out in one piece.

Hamish Dobbie, a mechanical engineer, came up with the idea last year after watching a friend painstakingly trying to split eggs – and failing.

‘After making a real mess, and having to dig egg shells out of the bowl, she said that there must be a better way of doing it,’ said Mr Dobbie, 30, from Auckland, New Zealand. ‘I did a little bit of research and came up with a very basic idea for a tool that sucks the yolk out of the white.

‘I thought if I could make something that worked well and looked good I could be on to something.’

Ten months later the device, known as the YOLKR, is about to appear on the shelves in Britain, costing £18.

Mr Dobbie added: ‘The trick was getting the shape of the nozzle right so it didn’t break the yolk when it was sucked up.

‘There were many, many eggs of all shapes and sizes broken in the testing stages, but we got there in the end.

‘The benefits are the cleanliness and the hygiene. The traditional ways of splitting eggs involve the yolks and the whites touching hands or the outsides of the shells. YOLKR eliminates that. It is a lot quicker and you don’t run the risk of breaking the yolk.’

Recipes calling for yolks to be separated from whites include meringue, mousse, souffle and creme brulee.

Yolks are used to make mayonnaise, custard and sponge cakes.

 
Dobbie claims the Yolkr is so easy to use he successfully tested it on his 90-year-old grandfather.
Dobbie claims the Yolkr is so easy to use he successfully tested it on his 90-year-old grandfather. To suck the egg yolk from the white, hold the Yolkr above it and squeeze the coloured plastic top. The yolk will be sucked into the plastic case. Squeeze the Yolkr again to release the yolk
 

 

 
Not only can the yolk be removed from the white without leaving any residue, it can also be popped back out of the device in one piece.
Not only can the yolk be removed from the white without leaving any residue, it can also be popped back out of the device in one piece.

Attribution: Victoria Woollaston, Mail  Online