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In news that won't make you ill, there's a new treatment for motion sickness.

Scientists found a new answer to motion sickness. And one day, it could fit in your pocket.

25%-40% of Americans suffer from some degree of motion sickness, and it can be a real buzzkill.

GIF via "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."


It's hard to enjoy your day at a theme park when you're nauseous, dizzy, and not sure you can keep down your corn dog. Medications like Dramamine can dull the symptoms, but those might make you drowsy, too — and the urge to curl up in a corner and sleep is just as likely to ruin your day (not to mention your commute to work).

But scientists just found a surprising new treatment for motion sickness.

In a recent studypublished in the journal Neurology led by Dr. Qadeer Arshad at Imperial College London, volunteers were hooked up to electrodes that sent a mild electrical current to a region of their brains for about 10 minutes. The current simply passed through the scalp to the brain — no scary, invasive stuff. Then the volunteers sat in a rotating motorized chair designed to make them feel sick.

Meet Subject A, one of the guys who underwent this odd-seeming test. Hopefully the set up won't always be this cumbersome. Photo provided by Imperial College London, used with permission.

And get this: Thanks to the electrical current, the participants left the chairs feeling less likely to toss their cookies.

It turns out that you can nix the nausea by slapping some electrodes to your scalp before riding the tilt-a-whirl, and the electrical current won't even make you drowsy.

Here's how it works.

No one is exactly sure what causes motion sickness, but scientists think the inner ear is the culprit.

The inner ear contains a network of nerves that provide information about motion and balance. As the inner ear collects that information, it passes it along to the brain.

Science lesson time! This is a photo of the internal workings of the ear, which affect balance and give you information about motion. Photo via iStock.

The problem is that when you're, say, reading in the car, the inner ear registers that you're moving while your eyes register that the page of the book is not. So the brain receives mixed signals. It freaks out just enough to give you motion sickness.

But when you suppress those signals from the inner ear to the brain (cue the electrical current), you trick your brain into not noticing that your perceptions don't quite add up.

Goodbye, nausea.

Arshad predicts that in five to 10 years, you'll be able to buy a device for treating motion sickness that plugs into your cellphone, too.

Rather than plugging into this airplane chair-turned motion sickness curer, you may be able to plug into your phone. Photo provided by Imperial College London.

The device of the future would use your phone to pass a tiny electrical current through two small electrodes, kind of like earbuds that send electricity to your scalp instead of carrying music to your ears.

With our phones already playing an important role in personal health care (the health app in the iPhone 6 and 6-plus uses a built-in step-tracking sensor to automatically record how much you walk, how far you run, and how many stairs you climb), this seems like a smart solution.

What a dizzyingly awesome discovery.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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