One-Legged Flamingo Mechanics

Flamingos are a majestic anomaly of bipedicular balance. Turns out, they probably stand on one leg passively without any muscle activity. Professor Young-Hui Chang and Lena H. Ting prove this and more in a series of experiments recently published in Biology Letters. “By contrast, the cadaveric flamingo could not be stably held in a two-legged pose, suggesting a greater necessity for active muscle force to stabilize two-legged versus one-legged postures,” they wrote. Researchers collected ground reaction components and reference video on subjects as they stood on a force plate. This appears to be the first functional investigation of one-legged standing in flamingos with respect to orthopedic anatomy and behavior.

Cranberries Are Not Medical Devices

The European Commission decided that cranberry products are not medical devices, according to a recent article published by Regulatory Affairs Professional Society. While this seems to state the obvious, products containing cranberry or cranberry extract are sometimes marketed as medical devices across the EU. Their mechanism of action involves proanthocyanidins (PAC), a class of polyphenols known to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. The committee’s decision applies to products that rely primarily on PAC to accomplish intended outcomes and will likely come into effect later this summer.

Powered Exoskeletons for Spinal Cord Injury

Impaired walking is a devastating consequence of spinal cord injury (SCI), affecting about 300,000 people in the U.S. alone according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. Individuals of decreased mobility are predicted to live shorter and lesser-quality lives.

One emerging technology offers relief: The “powered exoskeleton” is a broad category of wearable devices designed to increase limb strength and endurance, a concept established frequently in science fiction (think Iron Man).

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