4 Teeny Life-Changing Innovations
Little things can do a lot.
Photo: Courtesy of Le Whif
One-Calorie Chocolate Bender
Le Whif, a lipstick-shaped inhaler, imparts a sweet high from just a few tiny particles of chocolate. "When you inhale, the particles immediately react with your taste buds, so you get this intense taste for less than one calorie," says Harvard University biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, PhD, who worked with a team of students and a chef to develop Le Whif (which also comes in mint and raspberry).
$14 for six Whifs (each containing four to five "puffs"); LeWhif.com
Photo: PUR Purifier of Water
Tea-Bag-Size Water Filtration Plant
More than 4,000 children die each day in developing countries because of a lack of clean drinking water. One solution: PUR Purifier of Water packets, developed by Procter & Gamble with the Canadian company Reliance Products. Pour a four-gram powder packet into ten liters of water, stir for five minutes, let it stand for another five minutes, then filter through any cloth (a T-shirt will do); wait 20 minutes and you're set to sip. PUR kills bacteria and viruses, removes parasites—and makes muddy water look and taste pristine. So far, the packets have cleaned up 1.63 billion liters of H2
O in developing countries; they're also perfect for emergency preparedness kits or hiking packs. Visit PURPurifierofWater.com for retailers; $15 for six packets
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
Medical Lab in a Chip
Often doctors can't detect a cancer until after it has spread, and that may be too late. But doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and researchers at MIT have developed a new business-card-size silicon chip that detects the cells that indicate cancer may be spreading, called circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The chip is covered with an antibody agent that attracts the tumor cells, so when a blood sample is pumped through, healthy cells and platelets skip on by while CTCs stick. According to Mehmet Toner, PhD, director of Mass General's BioMEMS Resource Center, 10,000 chips will be used in clinical trials next year at four major cancer hospitals. Ultimately, they could lead to fast, inexpensive cancer screening.
Photo: Courtesy of WowWee
Take your boardroom presentations, movies, and photos mobile with WowWee's Cinemin Swivel microprojector. The size of a candy bar, it contains about two hours of life on a single charge, can create an image up to six and a half feet across, and is compatible with your iPod and laptop. Soon microprojectors will be integrated into everything from phones to digital cameras.More from:
The 15 Tiny Changes that
Can Change Your Life