Electronic Currents Could be the Future of Cavity Repair
Jun20

Electronic Currents Could be the Future of Cavity Repair

Today, when you have a cavity, the dentist will drill the decay out of your tooth, then fill it in with amalgam or composite resin. Could there ever be a point in time, though, when your tooth can essentially fix itself? According to researchers working at King’s College London, such a future is not only possible, but potentially available as a treatment option within three years. Their technology is known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization, or EAER. The process speeds up the movement of phosphate and calcium into the damaged tooth. As Professor Nigel Pitts, who works with the school’s dental institute, points out, “The way we treat teeth today is not ideal. When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each ‘repair’ fails.” This innovative solution would not only be better for teeth, but it will be as cost-effective as current treatments, according to Pitts. Considering that about 2.3 billion people are estimated to be suffering from tooth decay every year, the technology could have important implications for improving patient health. It’s worth noting that people with teeth or implants live seven to 10 years longer, on average, than those who are missing teeth. Cavities begin with small defects in tooth enamel which allow minerals to seep out. The EAER treatment helps to treat cavities by preparing damaged enamel, and then using tiny, directed electronic currents to draw in the missing minerals. Though this treatment can be used on various stages of tooth decay, it is unlikely to work for teeth that are experiencing advanced decay. “What it won’t do is physically regrow a tooth,” Pitts explains. Interestingly, researchers at Harvard came up with a similar technology earlier this year — they have been using laser lights to trigger teeth into creating new...

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Studies Show Botox is For More Than Just a Hollywood Face
Jun20

Studies Show Botox is For More Than Just a Hollywood Face

Over the years, Botox cosmetics has received a great deal of press in Hollywood and around the country for its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. But recently, Botox’s medical benefits have been highlighted in several studies.One of Botox’s main manufacturers, Allergan, reports that more than half of the Botox it produces is used for non-cosmetic treatments, such as migraines and overactive bladder. Botox, or botulinum toxin A, is a toxin that works to paralyze muscles, stopping them from contracting. The injections essentially freeze the muscles that cause migraines, and can have similar results on bladder muscles.Allergan reports a sales increase of 17% for therapeutic Botox treatments in the last year, compared to only 8% for Botox cosmetics. The study of Botox on overactive bladder was first conducted by director of neuro-urology at Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine in Michigan, Dr. Michael Chancellor. Several overactive bladder patients were given a single Botox injection into a catheter, and Dr. Chancellor found that after a month, these patients experienced a decrease in their urgency to urinate. In addition, another study revealed that patients who underwent surgery to correct their neurogenic bladder, a nerve condition that causes a lack of bladder control, could have been treated with Botox to experience similar relief. Critics of Botox often claim that these injections are costly, and need to be administered several times to be effective. They also assert that healthcare dollars could be better spent on other treatments. But even with the opposition, Allergan’s chief executive offer says that Botox’s uses will continue to expand. Last year, the company spent nearly a quarter of its $1.04 billion development and research budget on discovering various clinical uses of Botox. One dermatologist, Dr. Eric Finzi, found that Botox could also be useful in treating clinical depression. Recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the study found that 50% of the 74 patients injected with Botox reported that at least half of their symptoms were reduced just six weeks after the treatment. While Botox for depression has not yet received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it has been approved for use on migraines, neurogenic bladder, and hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive underarm sweating. For now, Botox will likely remain popular for its cosmetic uses, but could gain repute in medical treatments as more research is conducted. “Compared to many other procedures, Botox oftentimes is the treatment of choice for easy, non-surgical prolonged treatment (up to one year) for excessive sweating of the underarms and palms,” says Dr. Janis P. Campbell, Dermatologist at Laser Rejuvenation Clinic & Spa of Calgary. “We also use Botox to help an...

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McDonald’s Creepy New Mascot Photoshopped Into Classic Horror Movies, Fits Perfectly
Jun20

McDonald’s Creepy New Mascot Photoshopped Into Classic Horror Movies, Fits Perfectly

McDonald’s new mascot has been frightening peoples everywhere for nearly a month now, but food culture site Foodiggity has found a new way for the erroneously named “Happy” to terrify audiences. They’ve photoshopped the unsettling, anthropomorphic happy meal box into scenes from classic horror films, all of which it fits a little too perfectly in. The pictures show Happy replacing a serial killer ominously silhouetted behind a shower curtain from Psycho, a demon in a mirror from The Ring, and a massive shark looming towards a swimmer from Jaws amongst several other great scenes. The joke was seemingly inevitable after the backlash Happy received on social media. According to Bloomberg, the tweet that debuted Happy has gotten such responses as “What the f— is that creature?” “THAT! is scary!” and “I think I’m going to have nightmares.” McDonald’s also posted a video of Happy on its Facebook page, which, in turn, received equal backlash. Some of its comments included “I regret watching this,” “Epic fail,” and “This makes me crave Burger King.” “This is a simple piece of artwork on a clean background – something that could easily be edited, the term ‘meme’ comes to mind,” says Tom Ajello, Founder of Makeable. “Mcdonald’s themselves have even been jumping in on some of the fun – I believe they intended on creating something ‘playable’ that could be passed around and people could have fun with. If McDonald’s had involved more interaction – perhaps a meme generator – they could have taken advantage of this situation more. I hope they still have something up their sleeve.” McDonalds intended for Happy to promote healthier eating habits to children. According to the company, he was supposed to bring more fun and excitement to kids’ meals that included more nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk instead of burgers and soda. So what went wrong with the design though? Why are people so frightened of a box with heavy-lidded, bulging eyes and a cheshire grin full of too human teeth? Perhaps if McDonalds had heard of the Uncanny Valley, they would’ve known to head back to the drawing board. It’s an idea that people won’t necessarily respond positively to things that are more humanlike. Logically, the more humanlike a character is, the more comfortable people should feel about them. Essentially, parts of the brain respond to the humanlike appearance, and think it’s safe, while others recognize it as dangerous. This impasse that the brain comes to is known as the Uncanny Valley (because of how it looks on a graph), and helps explain why things creep us out. It’s as if a clown wasn’t a creepy enough mascot as...

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