Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Breath Sensor Predicts an Asthma Attack

A HANDHELD breath sensor can warn someone with asthma that an attack is imminent, buying them time to take preventive medication, perhaps as much as 24 hours.

The breath sensor, developed by Siemens, measures telltale rise in levels of nitrogen monoxide. NO is produced naturally in the body, and can signal the beginnings of inflammation in the bronchial tubes. If unchecked, the inflammation will constrict the airways and trigger an asthma attack.

"Nitrogen monoxide (in the breath) indicates that the bronchial system is inflamed," says Siemens's Maximilian Fleischer, who helped develop the sensor. "This means there is danger of an upcoming asthma attack."

The sensor can detect levels of NO in the breath as low as 1 part per billion, but the higher the level the more severe the impending attack may be.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Is it time for smart helmets in the Super Bowl?

Fans love American football for its bone-crunching hits. But after a 2010-2011 season filled with violent collisions that saw several players sustain severe concussions - including stars from both teams playing in this weekend's Super Bowl - the risk of brain injury for anyone who plays the game is front and centre.

National Football League (NFL) football commissioner Roger Goodell has issued repeated statements assuring players and fans alike that the organisation is committed to protecting all players, not just professionals. Meanwhile, the players themselves are split between respecting and openly mocking rules changes designed to prevent head injuries.

The real solution is likely to come in the form of a new crop of "smart" helmets. While not expected to take the field until next season at the earliest, these new rigs come lined with sensors that can detect dangerous impacts, send warnings to sideline coaches, or even upload data to medical centres for real-time analysis.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Swimming Complete Instructional Software

Is now available for review and/or purchase.

You can review it at:

Or purchase at

It is listed under instructional software.

This program includes task cards in English and Spanish, video clips, instructional (interactive software) for face-to-face physical education as well as online physical education. Additionally, it includes an electronic portfolio and quiz software with over 100 questions.

The software is aligned with our standards-based middle and high school physical education curriculum, as well as all state and national standards!

Check it out -----

Using Technolog in Physical Education Newsletter

The February edition has been posted at

If you like to subscribe - go to

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Self-Cleaning Gym Gear Targets Bacteris, Sweat

Wired has reported the following:

Sanitization at the gym has moved beyond wiping down the bench or bike with a towel and disinfectant. It's gravitating toward self-cleaning equipment that wipes sweat away and keeps people protected from harmful bacteria.

A Pittsburgh-based company is making sure gym-goers have that kind of access to the equipment on which they might sweat the most. SilverSport, a brand derived from Eco Product Group, offers a workout towel, a Pilates roller and a yoga mat with what it calls its Silver Clean Zone. Each product represents one of those zones by using Terra Silver to eliminate more than 650 types of surface-borne, odor-causing bacteria.

Thomas Davis, president of Eco Product Group, told that nanosilver particles - up to 20,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair - are to thank for the equipment's odor-killing prowess.

"The material [in the products] is silver," Davis said. "Silver happens to be a natural anti-microbial. It fights bacteria naturally."

When activated by moisture - in this case, sweat - the nanosilver particles bind to the surface to rid the product of bacteria. That's why even though the towel doesn't technically have to be washed, its functionality is enhanced by running it through the washer. "Hypothetically, you don't need to wash the towel" for it to eliminate bacteria, Davis said, before pointing out that people will understandably want to wash it regularly to eliminate surface dirt.

In testing the products, we found the towel (which retails for $35) to be surprisingly thin yet effective. The non-graphic side is as soft as one can hope for in a towel, although the graphic portion - covered in the SilverSport logo - is slightly rough against the skin. Unlike conventional towels, it didn't stink after being thoroughly used during a drenching workout, and it held up quite well after a pair of washings.

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