A color-changing bandage may just change how we treat infections.

In the United States, more than 300 kids end up in the hospital for burn injuries every day.

Antibiotics are often part of routine burn treatment — even if the kids don't need them. We've all had experiences like this. It can take up to two days for a doctor to diagnose an infection, so we're given antibiotics as a "just to be safe" measure ... even if our injury isn't infected.

As a result, antibiotic resistance is now considered one of the biggest health threats we face today. Our overuse of antibiotics is leading to record high levels of antibiotic resistance, and infections and injuries that have been treatable for a long time may once again become difficult to get rid of.


But! Fear not! There's a brilliant new bandage out there that promises to help doctors cut down on doling out unnecessary antibiotics.

It's all about what turns neon green.

Developed by scientists at the University of Bath, this bandage-of-the-future is a special medical dressing that can determine if a wound becomes infected and get results faster than anything else out there today.

The so-called "best bandage ever" uses UV light to provide the answers people need ... fast.

These bandages contain nanocapsules that contain a dye that bursts open in the presence of disease-causing bacteria. Bright green = infection.


The test on the right is screaming, "Infection!"

As I mentioned before, it can take doctors up to two days to determine if a burn wound is infected. For young kids and their weak immune systems, two days untreated can become a dangerous situation when dealing with infection — or not.

"Children are at particular risk of serious infection from even a small burn," explained Dr. Amber Young. "However, with current methods clinicians can't tell whether a sick child might have a raised temperature due to a serious bacterial burn wound infection, or just from a simple cough or cold.

So it's understandable why antibiotics have been prescribed as precautionary measures for so long.

But with the arrival of these nanocapsule bandages, the future is now; an infection diagnosis is possible within just a few hours, giving doctors the green light to act fast and know exactly what steps are necessary.

This breakthrough can help put families at ease, cut down on hospital costs, and limit the use of unnecessary antibiotics – which has turned into a serious problem.

There's a reason the World Health Organization has launched its first-ever World Antibiotic Resistance Week. If we're not careful, common infections that have been easily treatable in the past will come back to cause some major problems.

This bandage saves the day in two amazing ways: speedy and more accurate diagnoses for infections and fewer unnecessary antibiotics.

For anyone who's been severely burned or injured, you know there's nothing you want more than fast solutions and less hospital time. A diagnosis in two days versus a diagnosis in a few hours is huge!

Nanocapsules to the rescue! Glow on (but preferably don't!), my tiny friends.

See them in action here:

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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