Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

brain work: Scientists have developed a device to determine which side of the brain -- the left or the right -- is working when performing a particular task by measuring the ear temperature. The device uses highly sensitive infrared detectors, say psychologists Nicolas Cherbuin and Cobie Brinkman of the Australian National University.

"If an area of the brain is more active it needs more blood, which flows up the carotid artery on either side of the neck," Cherbuin said. "This blood is shared between the brain and the inner ear, so by measuring the ear temperature we can work out the side of the brain that's more active."

tea pill: Indian scientists claim to have developed a "tea pill" which when chewed produces the same refreshing effect as a hot cup of tea. The pill will be available commercially in about six months.

The pill can also be used to make a hot cup of tea and is absolutely safe, claims Mridul Hazarika, director of Assam-based Tocklai Experimental Station, which is the world's biggest facility for tea research.

sugar eyes: US scientists have developed contact lenses that change their appearance according to the wearer's blood-sugar level. Diabetics generally have weak eyesight because of damage to retina blood vessels, says Chris Geddes, associate director of the Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy at the University of Maryland, who led the research. A chemical is added to disposable contact lenses. Moisture from the tear ducts containing glucose binds with the molecules of the chemical. There is a reaction that causes fluorescence, which can be measured with a handheld device, letting the users know their blood-glucose level.

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