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People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may gain clearer communication ability using a new wearable skin sensor. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created the device that is made of silicone film with four piezoelectric sensors which detect movement of the skin where attached. The movement is converted to an electric signal. Users, especially those with neuromuscular conditions that limit verbal communication, can "speak" through a smile or twitch to convey messages such as, "I'm hungry." Facial movements can be categorized into a library of phrases.


Lead researcher Canan Dagdeviren said the wearable sensor can capably decode any facial micromotions (Hastings, 2020). The teams working on development of this device are working on other similar skin-conformable sensors that can detect diseases earlier or serve as part of a treatment regimen, as well as improve functionality such as this sensor that enhances communication (Hastings, 2020).


Hastings C. (2020, October 23). Flexible skin sensor to help ALS patients communicate. Medgadget.[Context Link]



Overwork and lack of time, an unhealthy food culture, and fatigue/lack of sleep were three barriers to self-care that nurses identified in a survey-based study published in Advances in Nursing Science (Ross et al., 2019). The other two most frequently cited barriers were lack of resources/facilities and outside commitments.


Some of these barriers are job-connected: workplaces that lack access to a gym or exercise classes, or to a microwave or refrigerator that would improve healthy eating while at work. Changing shifts and inadequate staff that result in no breaks also push nurses into overwork, with resulting fatigue and inadequate sleep that sap motivation to exercise, socialize, or prepare balanced meals.


However, two elements discovered through the study may facilitate nurses' self-care: supportive coworkers and supervisors who endorse better eating and exercising, and positive nursing role models whose self-care is seen as inspiring.


The study notes that poor health is a primary reason many nurses leave their jobs, as well as battle chronic health conditions.


Ross A., Touchton-Leonard K., Perez A., Wehrlen L., Kazmi N., Gibbons S. (2019). Factors that influence health-promoting self-care in registered nurses: Barriers and facilitators. Advances in Nursing Science, 42(4), 358-373.[Context Link]



Why do some memories fade while others remain vivid? Memory connects us to ourselves. Additionally, it turns out that memories are part of moving forward in spiritual formation. Casey Tygrett explores the power of memories and how we bring them to God for spiritual transformation.


Our identity comes from the stories told by our memories, and those stories-that identity-will shape who we are and how we act. And we often need to be reminded of this.


Renewing our minds means understanding the hidden nature of the way we think, feel, and operate. Naturally, our memories are part of that process. Then we work backward: The script is only present because of the story. The story grows from our memories, which, as you we know, begin as experiences.


Transformation truly begins only when we read Colossians [3:1-3, ESV] while remembering a new story, namely, "If [then] you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [F]or, you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."


God is always present in our memories, but we are often absent. ...It may seem daunting to engage with God regarding our memories because so much of our lives is on a forward trajectory. ...The spiritual practice of remembering-the practice of engaging with God in our memories-is refusing to passively receive our story and script up to this point, and instead actively embracing God's presence and our humanity in the midst of it. ...The journey forward in our formation, our living deeply in the kingdom as apprentices of Jesus, is also a journey backward (Tygrett, 2019, pp. 46-48).


PulseBeats compiled by Karen Schmidt and Cathy Walker.


Tygrett C. (2019). As I recall: Discovering the place of memories in our spiritual life. IVP. [Context Link]