Vegan Hard-boiled Egg

Nicole Axworthy wrote . . . . . . . . .

Singapore-based vegan food manufacturer OsomeFood has launched a whole vegan hard-boiled egg. The realistic-looking OsomeEgg is made from a fungal protein called mycoprotein—an ingredient that contains many of the essential amino acids found in animal protein—along with carrot juice, almond milk, potato starch, olive oil, wakame, black salt, and nutritional yeast.

The ready-to-eat eggs are available in packages of four for Singapore $14.99 directly through OsomeFood’s website with delivery in Singapore. According to the website, the product is delivered frozen and can be thawed in the fridge overnight or by boiling the eggs in water for 10 to 25 minutes.

OsomeFood aims to create vegan products that are sustainable and high in nutritional value using superfoods such as seaweed, turmeric, burdock, and chia seeds. The company also sells vegan seafood products and high-protein noodles made with mycoprotein.

Source: Veg News

Soft Skin Patch Could Provide Early Warning for Strokes, Heart Attacks

Liezel Labios wrote . . . . . . . . .

Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a soft and stretchy ultrasound patch that can be worn on the skin to monitor blood flow through major arteries and veins deep inside a person’s body.

Knowing how fast and how much blood flows through a patient’s blood vessels is important because it can help clinicians diagnose various cardiovascular conditions, including blood clots; heart valve problems; poor circulation in the limbs; or blockages in the arteries that could lead to strokes or heart attacks.

The new ultrasound patch developed at UC San Diego can continuously monitor blood flow—as well as blood pressure and heart function—in real time. Wearing such a device could make it easier to identify cardiovascular problems early on.

A team led by Sheng Xu, a professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, reported the patch in a paper published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

The patch can be worn on the neck or chest. What’s special about the patch is that it can sense and measure cardiovascular signals as deep as 14 centimeters inside the body in a non-invasive manner. And it can do so with high accuracy.

“This type of wearable device can give you a more comprehensive, more accurate picture of what’s going on in deep tissues and critical organs like the heart and the brain, all from the surface of the skin,” said Xu.

“Sensing signals at such depths is extremely challenging for wearable electronics. Yet, this is where the body’s most critical signals and the central organs are buried,” said Chonghe Wang, a former nanoengineering graduate student in Xu’s lab and co-first author of the study. “We engineered a wearable device that can penetrate such deep tissue depths and sense those vital signals far beneath the skin. This technology can provide new insights for the field of healthcare.”

Another innovative feature of the patch is that the ultrasound beam can be tilted at different angles and steered to areas in the body that are not directly underneath the patch.

This is a first in the field of wearables, explained Xu, because existing wearable sensors typically only monitor areas right below them. “If you want to sense signals at a different position, you have to move the sensor to that location. With this patch, we can probe areas that are wider than the device’s footprint. This can open up a lot of opportunities.”

How It Works

The patch is made up of a thin sheet of flexible, stretchable polymer that adheres to the skin. Embedded on the patch is an array of millimeter-sized ultrasound transducers. Each is individually controlled by a computer—this type of array is known as an ultrasound phased array. It is a key part of the technology because it gives the patch the ability to go deeper and wider.

The phased array offers two main modes of operation. In one mode, all the transducers can be synchronized to transmit ultrasound waves together, which produces a high-intensity ultrasound beam that focuses on one spot as deep as 14 centimeters in the body. In the other mode, the transducers can be programmed to transmit out of sync, which produces ultrasound beams that can be steered to different angles.

“With the phased array technology, we can manipulate the ultrasound beam in the way that we want,” said Muyang Lin, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego who is also a co-first author of the study. “This gives our device multiple capabilities: monitoring central organs as well as blood flow, with high resolution. This would not be possible using just one transducer.”

The phased array consists of a 12 by 12 grid of ultrasound transducers. When electricity flows through the transducers, they vibrate and emit ultrasound waves that travel through the skin and deep into the body. When the ultrasound waves penetrate through a major blood vessel, they encounter movement from red blood cells flowing inside. This movement changes or shifts how the ultrasound waves echo back to the patch—an effect known as Doppler frequency shift. This shift in the reflected signals gets picked up by the patch and is used to create a visual recording of the blood flow. This same mechanism can also be used to create moving images of the heart’s walls.

A Potential Game Changer in the Clinic

For many people, blood flow is not something that is measured during a regular visit to the physician. It is usually assessed after a patient shows some signs of cardiovascular problems, or if a patient is at high risk.

The standard blood flow exam itself can be time consuming and labor intensive. A trained technician presses a handheld ultrasound probe against a patient’s skin and moves it from one area to another until it’s directly above a major blood vessel. This may sound straightforward, but results can vary between tests and technicians.

Since the patch is simple to use, it could solve these problems, said Sai Zhou, a materials science and engineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego and co-author of the study. “Just stick it on the skin, then read the signals. It’s not operator dependent, and it poses no extra work or burden to the technicians, clinicians or patients,” he said. “In the future, patients could wear something like this to do point of care or continuous at-home monitoring.”

In tests, the patch performed as well as a commercial ultrasound probe used in the clinic. It accurately recorded blood flow in major blood vessels such as the carotid artery, which is an artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain. Having the ability to monitor changes in this flow could, for example, help identify if a person is at risk for stroke well before the onset of symptoms.

The researchers point out that the patch still has a long way to go before it is ready for the clinic. Currently, it needs to be connected to a power source and benchtop machine in order to work. Xu’s team is working on integrating all the electronics on the patch to make it wireless.

Source: UC San Diego

In Pictures: Food of Zest by Konishi in Central, Hong Kong

Fine Dining Japanese French Cuisine

The Michelin 1-star Restaurant

A Better Test to Help Spot Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

“Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentially give us an edge in making early diagnoses and better treatment decisions,” said lead researcher Owen Siggs in a news release from Flinders University. Siggs is associate professor at the university, as well as the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Darlinghurst, New South Wales.

The new test analyzes blood or saliva samples and may be able to identify people at high risk for glaucoma before they suffer irreversible vision loss, the authors explained in a study published online in JAMA Ophthalmology.

One U.S. eye expert said the new screening method shows promise.

“Chronic open-angle glaucoma is a painless sight-threatening disease that often goes undetected until extensive visual damage has occurred,” explained Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. However, when detected and “treated early, visual loss can be limited,” he added.

“Genetic testing is not currently used to detect glaucoma on a routine basis,” Fromer said, but it “may be a valuable screening adjunct for the identification of many, but not all, patients with glaucoma. This new test has the potential to change the way we identify patients with glaucoma.”

The new study involved more than 2,500 people in Australia with glaucoma, and more than 411,000 with or without glaucoma in the United Kingdom.

The findings show the potential of the new genetic test in glaucoma screening and management, according to study senior author Jamie Craig, a professor and consulting ophthalmologist who runs a glaucoma research program at Flinders University.

“We’re now in a strong position to start testing this in clinical trials,” Craig said in the news release.

Once glaucoma is diagnosed, there are several treatment options that can slow or halt the progression of vision loss, the study authors explained.

The research team members are forming a company to develop an accredited test for use in clinical trials, and recruitment is expected to begin in 2022.

Source: HealthDay

Sweetfish Fried with River Algae

Ingredients

4 ayu (sweetfish), air-cured overnight, substitute with small trout
8 sheets kawa nori (dried river algae), substitute with ao nori (green nori), minced
vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/3 cup (40 g) katakuri starch (from Japanese dog’s tooth violet), substitute with potato or cornstarch
4 sudachi (small acidic citrus fruit), halved, substitute with lemon wedges

Method

  1. Wash sweetfish thoroughly under running water to remove any sliminess and grit. Wipe gently with a paper towel.
  2. Place on your cutting board lengthwise with the head away from you. Insert the tip of your knife, keeping the blade flat, from the tip of its head and cut along the dorsal fin making a shallow incision.
  3. Continue to make the incision deeper until you can feel the backbone against your knife.
  4. Continue the incision through the head to butterfly cut the head. Remove the gills and entrails by running your blade lightly.
  5. Wash the butterfly filleted fish in lightly salted water.
  6. Dissolve 2 tablespoons natural sea salt in 4 cups water. Soak the filleted fish in the salt water for about 1 hour. Drain and place the filleted sweetfish, skin side down on a flat basket and air-cure overnight in a dry, cool place, preferably with some wind.
  7. Press minced kawa nori evenly on the sweetfish before air-curing.
  8. Pour vegetable oil in a pan until it reaches 6 inches in depth. Heat to 325°F (160°C).
  9. Sift the flour and katakuri (or other) starch together. Coat the sweetfish in the flour mixture, then deep-fry the fish until nicely browned.
  10. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Cut into three pieces and serve with sudachi halves (or lemon wedges).

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Shunju New Japanese Cuisine


Today’s Comic