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The smart skin can "sweat" like human skin and also self-heal.
26 June, 2020
- Scientists have recently created a robotic skin that can be made to release stored liquid on demand.
- The skin could one day be used to apply medicine as needed to wounds or to keep surfaces at a precise level of dryness.
- More work is needed before it comes to a bandage near you.
<p>When you think about it, our skin is kind of weird. It not only protects what lies underneath it, but emits secretions to cool, strengthen, and odorize itself. Other creatures have skin that can change color or secrete mucus to reduce friction with the water.</p><p>The ability for parts of our bodies to interact with the environment and respond to changes is something that "smart" materials seek to emulate. To that end, a team of scientists at the Eindhoven University of Technology has created an <a href="https://techxplore.com/news/2020-06-artificial-skin-wounds-robots.html" target="_blank">artificial skin</a> that can secrete liquids on <a href="https://www.cell.com/matter/pdf/S2590-2385(20)30248-4.pdf?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2590238520302484%3Fshowall%3Dtrue" target="_blank">demand</a>. </p>
Robotic Skin? Next stop, Westworld!<p>The skin, made of liquid crystal molecules, is solid and features many very tiny pores. These pores store a liquid of the scientists' choosing.</p><p>Liquid crystal molecules, which are also used to make LCD television screens, react to environmental stimuli. Of importance in this case is that they can be made to respond and move when bombarded with radio waves. When the radio waves are produced, the particles that make up the membrane start to move and the liquid comes out of the pores. </p><p>Lead author Danqing Liu described the mechanism to <a href="https://www.tue.nl/en/news/news-overview/24-06-2020-artificial-skin-heals-wounds-and-makes-robots-sweat/" target="_blank">Eindhoven News</a>, "When the radio waves are turned on, the liquid crystal molecules move direction and therefore wring the liquid out of the pores. The coating even sweats more as the radio signal becomes stronger."</p><p>When the waves are stopped, the liquid can be reabsorbed. This allows for a measure of control as to how wet or dry the material becomes. </p>
Why use radio waves?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="MPDgBr40" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="b8f0802eb8023ac84f4d4d6c70a85d49"> <div id="botr_MPDgBr40_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MPDgBr40-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/MPDgBr40-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MPDgBr40-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Liu explains why radio was used as a trigger rather than electricity: "The high frequency we use was invented for the electrical car. It cannot penetrate the body, and therefore it is completely safe to touch. It is already a common frequency in the health care industry, for example in electrical therapies." If this skin is ever used to deliver medicine directly to a wound, being safe to the touch is a big deal. </p>
What possible applications will this have?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="HsqK5wIJ" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="310c05dc9c3a23683ddec62e25095f5d"> <div id="botr_HsqK5wIJ_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/HsqK5wIJ-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/HsqK5wIJ-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/HsqK5wIJ-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The authors of the study speculate that possible applications include "robotic handling of reactions, medicine release, and transfer of chemicals" and the "alteration of tribological properties of surfaces or removal of unwanted species."</p><p>Imagine it. One day you might wear a robotic bandage that secretes medicine to your wounds automatically, scientists might use tiny robots to deliver chemicals to hard to reach areas to begin reactions, and dangerous chemical spills may be neutralized by solutions brought in and emitted by machines. Further study areas include trying to make this work with sunlight and determining if a second agent can be reabsorbed.</p><p>If these obstacles can be cleared, the number of applications will go even higher.<br> <br> Don't count on getting any of this tomorrow, though. Liu warns that the next steps will likely take years to accomplish. Oh well, I guess my plan to become a cyborg might have to wait a little while longer. </p>
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The takeaway: limit sugar and dairy if you want better skin.
26 June, 2020
Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP via Getty Images)
- University of Paris researchers found that the consumption of fatty and sugary products, sugary beverages, and milk seems to increase adult acne.
- The team used data from over 24,000 participants in a famous French study.
- Roughly 50 percent of adults in Western countries over age 25 suffer from acne.
<p>The bane of adolescence can be a lifetime recurrence with the wrong diet. According to a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2767075?guestAccessKey=f891d961-35bd-4ccc-b8bc-b2351c84eda3&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=061020" target="_blank">new study</a>, published in JAMA Dermatology, the Western diet is associated with an increased likelihood of adult acne.</p><p>Acne is the result of dead skin cells and oil clogging hair follicles. This is the stuff of teenage nightmares: blackheads, oily skin, pimples, whiteheads, and even scarring. While the face is often the victim, acne affects other regions with a high number of oil glands, including the upper chest and back. </p><p>Acne is purportedly the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease in the world. While it mostly occurs between the ages of 15 and 17, studies show that roughly 50 percent of adults over age 25 continue to suffer from acne, whether intermittently or chronically. That group is predominantly female, and, more relevant to this study, they are from Western countries. </p><p>Acne psychologically stunts teenagers, resulting in low self-esteem, social isolation, and depression. These psychological conditions continue into adulthood. As the researchers of this study, led by a team from Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale at the University of Paris write, acne "is reported to have the same emotional, social, and psychological consequences as chronic diseases, such as asthma, arthrosis, epilepsy, and diabetes."</p><p>Diet is not the only factor in chronic and persistent acne. Endocrine disorders and genetic predispositions play a role. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as exposure to pollution, cosmetic products, and tobacco use also contribute. Dietary behavior is also a major factor—perhaps <em>the</em> major factor. </p><p>The treatments for acne range from azelaic and salicylic acid to antibiotics and retinoids. The team in Paris suggests a simpler method: eat less high-fat and high-sugar foods and beverages and consume less dairy. </p>
Optimize Your Brain: The Science of Smarter Eating | Dr. Drew Ramsey | Big Think<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a5fc406dabd4e2acb818f68be3378bb5"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J8BnvIku0kw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Using data from over 24,000 participants from the French <a href="https://info.etude-nutrinet-sante.fr/en/node/2" target="_blank">NutriNet-Santé study</a>, the researchers assessed a dozen food groups, including milk and dark chocolate, refined cereals, vegetables, meat, and sugary beverages. They then classed participants by age, body mass index (BMI), educational status, smoking status, sex, medical history, and physical activity.</p><p>The results were clear: there appears to be a link between adult acne and the consumption of fatty and sugary products, sugary beverages, and milk, all major components of the "Western diet." </p><p>While proving causation will take time, the researchers offer a few hypotheses as to why these dietary groups could be behind adult acne. </p><ul><li>High-glycemic diets elevate levels of Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin, which ultimately increases levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. </li><li>Increased IGF-1 stimulates the production of androgens, producing higher levels of sebum, a yellowish, oily substance related to acne. </li><li>Milk consumption increases IGF-1 production by the liver; drinking milk has similar effects as eating a high-glycemic meal. </li></ul><p>As with many post-study analyses, the team noted a number of limitations, including the fact that acne levels were self-reported in the initial study (therefore open to interpretation and personal biases), and the French population was skewed toward women, healthier dietary habits, and higher educational levels, which is not reflective of the entire planet. </p><p>Still, given the high prevalence of acne in the Western world and the well-known negative effects of the Western diet, their conclusion seems to stand on solid ground. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The consumption of fatty and sugary products, sugary beverages, and milk appears to be associated with current acne. Our results may support the hypothesis that the Western diet (rich in animal products and fatty and sugary foods) is associated with the presence of acne in adulthood."</p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
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