New Study Highlights 3D Printing on Skin

3D Printing on SkinOne of the biggest technological advancements made recently has been the 3D printer. The creation of the 3D printer has opened up almost limitless possibilities, including the use of 3D printing technology to print electronics onto a human hand.

3D Printing on Skin

University of Minnesota researchers were recently able to print electronics on a human hand for the first time using a basic 3D printer that cost less than $400, but the printer was slightly customized. The results were recently published in the academic journal Advanced Materials.

In addition to successfully printing electronics onto a hand, the team was also able to print biological cells onto the skin cell of a mouse. Another innovation made by the team in customizing their printer is the ability to accommodate minor movements made by the body during the printing process. They were able to prevent these movements from disturbing the printing process by putting temporary markers on the skin and then scanning the skin, allowing the printer’s computer vision to adjust to any movements in real time.

The way in which electronics were printed on a hand is quite innovative. A specialized ink consisting of silver flakes was used that could cure and conduct at room temperature, thereby preventing potential burns. Once printed, the electronic device could simply be peeled off.

The Potential of 3D Printing on Skin

This new breakthrough in 3D printing has a ton of potential! For example, soldiers could print chemical sensors onto their hands in the middle of the battlefield using a portable 3D printer. The technique could also be used to print cells onto the skin of patients who are suffering from skin diseases.

3D printing technology continues to advance at a rapid pace as new innovations are revealed every year. Find out more about how 3D printing can impact your life by keeping up with the latest health news at The Benefits Store today.

Firework Safety: Keeping It Safe and Fun

Firework SafetyOne of the biggest American holidays in the summer is the Fourth of July. It’s a day when families all over the U.S. get together, hold barbecues and go to a nearby firework show. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of injuries on this day because people mishandle fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, roughly 40 percent of all fires that occur on the Fourth of July are the result of firework mishaps. Here are a few important firework safety tips that you should follow Fourth of July 2018:

  • Supervise children – Obviously, you should never allow kids to play with fireworks. However, it’s not uncommon for children to play with sparklers. While they seem relatively harmless, sparklers can injure youngsters. Make sure there are adults present to supervise when children handle sparklers.
  • Only use legal fireworks – Although fireworks can be legally purchased in California, they must have a state fire marshal-registered seal.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby – If you’re lighting fireworks, make sure you have a bucket full of water or a water hose nearby. If a fire breaks out, you should be able to immediately douse it.
  • Be careful lighting fireworks – When lighting fireworks’ fuses, make sure you are not standing above other fireworks. Once lit, retreat to a safe distance. When lighting fireworks, also ensure there is nothing flammable nearby, like woodpiles.
  • Don’t relight fireworks – Any fireworks that didn’t torch the first time shouldn’t be relit. It means they are malfunctioning and relighting could be dangerous.
  • Douse used fireworks – Once your fireworks have burned out, douse them completely in water before you throw them away. If you don’t, they could catch fire in your trash.

These are important firework safety tips that you should follow this Fourth of July. For more advice on staying safe this summer, visit The Benefits Store today.

Staying Safe in Extreme Heat

extreme heatAlthough there’s nothing quite like enjoying a warm summer afternoon, it’s important you watch out for extreme heat warnings. When temperatures get too high, they can be dangerous to your health. Extreme heat can cause heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or stroke. This occurs due to the body’s inability to properly cool itself. Younger children and older adults are generally the most vulnerable to extreme heat. Keeping this in mind, the following are a few tips for staying safe in the heat this summer:

  • Wear light clothing – Wear clothing that’s lightweight and loose-fitting to give your body a chance to breathe.
  • Stay indoors – When it’s particularly hot out, make sure to stay indoors where it’s air-conditioned. If you’re outside and you begin feeling unwell because of how hot it is, duck into a place that has AC, such as a nearby store.
  • Dont leave anyone in the car – The car can get incredibly hot inside when the air conditioning’s turned off. Do not leave pets, kids, or older adults in the car, even if you’re only leaving temporarily.
  • Stay hydrated – Drink lots of water. Your body needs water to keep itself cool and to prevent overheating.
  • Check daily weather forecasts – You can avoid extreme heat by regularly checking local weather forecasts. Limit the activities you do outside to times it won’t be as hot, such as mornings or in the evenings.
  • If you or someone you’re with suffers from a stroke as a result of the heat, call 911 immediately and move him/her to a cool place. Do not him/her anything to drink. Use cool, moist cloths to try to lower their temperature. If they have symptoms of heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, fast/weak pulse, dizziness, and/or nausea), move them to a cool place and help him/her sip water. Get medical help if he or she vomits or faints.

Keep these tips in mind in case of extreme heat this summer and visit us at The Benefits Store today for more summer safety tips!

The Golden State Killer: DNA Testing & Tracking

DNA TestingAdvancements in DNA testing is continuing to have a big impact on society as evidenced by the recent capture of the Golden State Killer. While the infamous serial killer was finally brought to justice via DNA testing, some are voicing concern about the method in which he was tracked down.

Could DNA Testing Be Problematic?

DNA testing services have gained popularity recently as people are attempting to trace their genetic history and/or find long-lost relatives. However, it’s gotten so advanced police detectives can now mine DNA data in order to assist in criminal cases.

Joseph James DeAngelo, who is 72 years old, was recently arrested as a suspect in the Golden State Killer case. The Golden State Killer has been linked with over 50 rapes and 12 murders over the course of a decade, from 1976 to 1986. But the case went cold decades ago.

DeAngelo was found after detectives used a public genealogy database and everyone applauds his capture after decades of crime; his arrest allows victims’ family members closure. However, concerns have been raised concerning privacy and ethics.

The DNA of the Golden State Killer was found from a sample left at one of the crime scenes. Police were able to find a match by using GEDmatch, a popular genealogy website.

The way GEDmatch works: Customers can upload their DNA profiles to find a match, and customers have to certify the DNA they are submitting is their own. The matches found in the Golden State Killer case were relatives of the suspect, but the manner in which DeAngelo was finally tracked down is still under debate.

DNA testing can be very effective at helping police solve crimes, but some people have ethical concerns about the methodology. To keep up with all the latest health-related news or to find out more about DNA testing, visit The Benefits Store.


Disability Insurance: What and Why

Disability InsuranceA minor injury or illness that leaves you temporarily disabled may not seem like a big deal, but it can be; especially if you are forced to miss work. A lot of people assume they are covered by their health insurance, worker’s compensation, or workplace disability insurance, but they aren’t. That’s why you should strongly consider purchasing disability insurance.

Why You Should Consider Disability Insurance

Around 50 percent of American workers have disability coverage included in their employee benefits. However, the other half must purchase coverage individually or through a voluntary benefits plan in the workplace.

Regular health insurance may cover your medical bills, but Social Security disability benefits are only for long-term incapacities. Additionally, workers’ compensation will only help if you were injured or became ill at work. It’s estimated that around six percent of American workers experience short-term disabilities which can include injuries, illnesses, and pregnancies. According to a report published by Bankrate last year, more than 60 percent of Americans can’t even afford an unexpected bill of $500, which means that without a job, few people would likely be able to afford the basic costs of living.

What is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance can help protect you financially if you miss work due to ill health or injury. A short-term disability insurance plan will protect workers’ incomes if they miss work between three days and six months as a result of a disability. Long-term disability insurance plans will cover periods of time between 2-10 years (or until retirement age).

Most short-term disability insurance plans will cover around 60% to 70% of your income, while long-term plans cover 40-70 percent. However, you should be aware that most plans have waiting periods, which means that a certain time could lapse before you are paid.

Disability insurance can help protect you financially in case you’re forced to miss work for an extended time due to illness, injury or pregnancy. For help finding the right disability insurance plan, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.