The Eyeglasses That Could Make The World Look Different

There are so many global problems that we can’t even see. Like the fact that 670 million people lack access to vision correction and around 100 million children don’t have access to basic eyecare. Thankfully, there are people and organizations who not only see but also act to get these problems solved.

Josh Silver is the inventor of the first self-adjustable glasses and the founder and director of Center for Vision in the Developing World (CDVW). Through his Child ViSion initiative he hopes to develop and distribute self-adjustable glasses for children aged 12-18 in the developing world and help 1 billion people see clearly by 2020.

Self-refraction and self-adjustable glasses are an innovative new method of providing low-cost glasses. Self-adjustable glasses allow the user to adjust the lens prescription  themselves until they can see clearly and sidestep the need of an optometrist. This is invaluable in parts of the world (like sub-Saharan Africa) where there is only one optometrist for every 1 million people. Fluid-filled lenses can correct a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and inability to focus. Research shows that children as young as 12 can effectively adjust self-adjustable eyeglasses on their own. 

The original self-adjustable glasses, known as Adspecs, contain special lenses – two clear membranes filled with silicone fluid – that can be adjusted when more or less fluid is pumped between them. They are held between two protective plastic covers. The level of fluid can be changed by using a removable syringe and dial that attach to the glasses' frame. Depending on the amount of fluid, the curvature of the lenses changes, adjusting the strength. 

The good news is that to date, 40,000 pairs of the original Adspecs have already been produced and distributed worldwide. Dow Corning Corporation which is a global leader in silicone-based technology, has committed $3m to the Child ViSion initiative, with the aim of distributing 50,000 of the new children’s glasses through education programmes in the developing world to children aged 12-18. 

Learn more here or make a donation here.

via GOOD

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)

In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.

Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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