Google has launched Project Loon, an unconventional attempt to expand global Internet access by connecting a test bed of 50 users to the Internet via 30 balloons that were released in New Zealand, the company announced on its blog. "We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below," Google said, adding that speeds would be similar to those of 3G wireless networks. Google conceded that the technology was experimental but insisted the science behind the idea was sound.
Physicians in Minnesota are trying to stabilize a state trooper with acute necrosis of his pancreas, including using endoscopic techniques to place stents in his stomach and liver to drain fluid. Only about 20% of Scott Wendt's pancreas is functioning, and family and friends are rallying to help him and his family deal with the life-threatening diagnosis.
The NIH on Thursday outlined a plan to combat obesity in the U.S., including a shift from laboratory work to real-world research on ways to achieve a healthy weight and a better understanding of the biological processes that influence weight, obesity and related health problems. "This plan is a bold blueprint that will encourage the research community to examine the epidemic of obesity from diverse perspectives," said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
Liver X receptors that regulate cholesterol, fat and inflammatory genes may be able to suppress hepatic stellate cells that cause liver fibrosis, University of California, Los Angeles, researchers reported. Their study, done with mice, showed greater liver fibrosis in animals that did not have liver X receptors.
Florida-based CardioCommand hopes to address deaths caused by uncontrolled hemorrhage with a balloon-based device that can be placed into the wound and expanded with a hand pump or syringe in less than 90 seconds. CEO Maynard Ramsey hopes to work with the military to further test the device, which adjusts to the wound's shape and size.