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26 Jan

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BMW unveiled the HoloActive Touch system, which behaves like a virtual touchscreen, with a floating display that obeys finger gestures and provides what feels like tactile confirmation of same to the driver.

The virtual touchscreen is part of the company's i Inside Future Study, which provided CES visitors a better idea of the mobility experience that's poised to be offered down the road by autonomously operated cars which are seamlessly connected.

The new development merges the best parts of the BMW Head-Up Display, direct touchscreen operation, and BMW gesture control; a few new features have been added to all of that to make for a user interface that's all its own.

According to a BMW press release, "For the first time, the functions can be controlled without any physical contact with materials, but the technology still enables the visible and tangible driver-vehicle interaction familiar from conventional touchscreens."

24 Jan

Boston scientists are developing a subdural implant that could provide daily protection against infection from the HIV virus which causes AIDS.

The device, about the size of a matchstick, would last for as long as 12 months before needing to be replaced, which would spare patients from needing to take daily doses of preventive medicine.

Late last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it would provide $140 million USD to Intarcia Therapeutics -- $50 million in initial funding, with another $90 million to come later -- to bankroll a preventive HIV treatment based on the company's so-called mini-pump technology, known as the Medici Drug Delivery System, that's currently being used to treat type 2 diabetes.

In a statementGates foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann said, “There’s a vital need for an HIV/AIDS intervention that allows those at risk to incorporate prevention more easily into their daily lives. We feel optimistic about our partnership with Intarcia and the prospect of an implantable prophylactic device that could make a world of difference for people most in need.

22 Jan

More than 36 million people were infected with HIV at the end of 2015, yet medical science seems to have turned its attention to other health issues in recent decades. For Bill Gates, however, the 1.1 million who died from AIDS-related issues in 2015 is a pressing problem, and it’s one he plans to do something about.

According to recent reports, the billionaire Microsoft founder has invested $140 million in a medical company called Intarcia Therapeutics. Intarcia is perhaps best known for its type-2 diabetes pump that can deliver medicine to the body on a consistent basis. A similar pump could be developed to deliver HIV prevention by delivering medicines like PrEP, which keeps sexually-active adults from contracting the disease. According to the Wall Street Journal, one implant could hold a six- to 12-month supply of medicine, preventing HIV throughout that time period. The device could be implanted in those in areas like sub-Saharan Africa.

20 Jan

One of the biggest challenges to living on Mars is housing. The planet lacks the natural materials necessary to build traditional houses and transporting those materials from Earth would be tricky. But a new research team has come up with a solution that might enable Mars travelers to create communities on the Red Planet.

The structure would use ice on the surface of the planet to build what has been dubbed the “Mars Ice Home.” Researchers noted the large amount of ice found just beneath the planet’s surface, which can be used to build structures that both block radiation and scale to meet evolving needs.

18 Jan

In recent decades, consumers have been more aware than ever of the risk of sun exposure. Americans seem much more conscientious about the dangers of excessive UV radiation, choosing sunscreen and sunless tanners over baking in the sun or using tanning beds.

However, new information released in the journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that melanoma incidents are on the increase. The most disturbing thing about the new information is that experts seem to lack a reason for the rise.

The increase isn’t a substantial one, but experts found that from 2009 to 2016, the incidence rate of melanoma jumped from 22.6 per 100,000 people to 23.6. A person’s risk of developing melanoma rose from 1 in 58 to 1 in 54.

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