Published: Friday 31 March 1995

NESS Ltd, the Israel-based electronic goods manufacturer, has ushered in glad tidings for the handicapped, especially those unable to function with their hands. It has designed the Handmaster, a noninvasive neuromuscular stimulation device, which will help them drink from a glass, shave with an electric razor and perform other daily activities. And unlike the devices launched in the market previously, this simple gadget does not require the assistance of a therapist. The patient himself can "handle" it. Fitted with electrodes which transmit pulses, this $3,000 worth American gadget exercises the muscles and restores some function to the hands.

Jean-Marc Bollag and Jerzy Dec, 2 soil biochemists from Pennsylvania, USA, are now using horseradish to clean water. An enzyme found in horseradish was known to remove pollutants called phenols from water. But the purification process was considered too expensive. The 2 chemists now claim that the job can be done at a lesser expense by mixing minced horseradish with hydrogen peroxide. The radish-peroxide mix can treat 66,000 gallons of water at a cost of about US $920.

Tilework will no longer be a messy job. No longer will there be heaps of broaken tiles on the ground each time cutting is done, the Sonicut company based in the USA insists.
The company has come up with a new pistol shaped tile-cutter that employs ultrasound technology for cutting. A disposable tungsten-carbide tip that vibrates at high frequency is used to generate small cracks in the tile. As the tip is drawn over the surface, the tile splits along the line marked out, even allowing tiles to be contoured to fit irregular spaces.

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