Companies spend a lot of money on research and design but Mother Nature has been doing it for billions of years and her "findings" are free. Engineers are catching on and embracing the field of biomimicry - using nature's designs to solve human problems. If you think about it, almost every challenge faced by humans has been solved by nature. Shelter, transportation, communication, energy.
Now submarines could start taking cues from fish.
We've come a long way since the inventor of Velcro was inspired by a bur. Like the bur these ideas really stick.
Researchers in Spain are making progress in the battle against postpartum depression, which is a more serious condition than the "Baby Blues." They've developed a way to identify women who are suffering, making it easier to treat them.
They say 13 percent of new moms suffer from postpartum depression.
As for preventing it, they discovered an interesting relationship:
"They also discovered two protection factors that reduce the risk of depression -- age (the older the woman the lower her chance of depression), and whether or not a woman has worked during pregnancy (which reduces the risk)."
We can imagine the relief that correlation might inspire among women who work more and wait longer to have kids. Of course the researchers say on that matter...more research is needed.
Swine Flu fears are growing. Flu shots are coming. Parents are watching their children's' temperatures. Public health officials are bracing for a wicked flu season. The nation is on alert for the invisible threat of flu viruses. We've reported on the risk and benefit of microbes before (link) but there's a lot more to say. For starters, they're more sophisticated than anyone realized, which is why they're such survivors. For generations we've battled them with antibiotics and other drugs. But growing antibiotic resistance means we need to get smarter about fighting the oldest surviving species on Earth. A microbial geneticist at Princeton University is learning to speak the language of bacteria - hoping she can understand just enough to surprise them with a sneak attack. Link: http://bit.ly/layk0
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