Today’s Headlines: Batteries in Your Ear, Smartphone Health Apps, and a Sickle Cell Breakthrough

Experts Warn Consumers to Beware Benefit of Health-Related Smartphone Apps: With the rush of health-related apps on the market, 247 million mobile phone users are expected to download a health app. According to the Washington Post, “Both the iTunes store and the Google Play store are riddled with health apps that experts say do not work and in some cases could even endanger people.” The Post also said that “in an examination of 1,500 health apps that cost money and have been available since June 2011, the center found that more than one out of five claims to treat or cure medical problems.” (Washington Post)

Bone Marrow Transplant May Cure Sickle Cell: Researchers report that giving people with sickle cell anemia a bone marrow transplant with “half-match donors,” like a sibling, may be able to cure sickle cell by “replacing defective stem cells that produce sickle-shaped cells with normal stem cells that churn out plump, pliable blood cells.” The New York Times reporters mentioned that this procedure may be able to treat 90% of those with the debilitating disease. (The New York Times)

Scientists Discover How to Harness Electric Current in the Inner Ear: By being able to harness electric current in a person’s inner ear, researchers would be able to “pull electricity from the [inner ear] and use it to drive electronics.” These devices may include hearing aids, visors, or sensing devices that could be implanted in the ear, temporal lobe of the brain, the facial nerve, or the carotid artery. (The Los Angeles Times)