A Temporary Tattoo That Lets Athletes Know When To Take A Break

University of California-San Diego researchers have created a wearable biosensor that measures lactate levels in sweat in real time. Future iterations could transmit data to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

What's the Latest Development?

Joseph Wang and colleagues at the University of California-San Diego have created a biosensor that sticks onto the skin -- much like a temporary tattoo -- and measures the amount of lactate in the wearer's sweat in order to determine when they are about to "hit the wall" during vigorous exercise. It works by using an enzyme to oxidize the lactate, releasing a small amount of electrical current. The more lactate present, the larger the current. A device attached to the sensor measured the current during tests, but Wang says that in the future they hope to transmit the data wirelessly using Bluetooth.

What's the Big Idea?

Rising lactate levels are an early sign that a body's energy stores are waning, and precede the sudden fatigue often associated with hitting the wall. Often, lactate levels are measured via blood tests. A wearable biosensor that doesn't slide off during exercise is much more convenient, and tests showed that its readings were just as accurate as those taken by scraping sweat off test subjects and analyzing it in a lab. 

Radu Razvan / Shutterstock.com

Read it at New Scientist

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less