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Chloe Rutzerveld(NEW YORK) -- Most people don’t associate high-tech, 3-D printed food with health or taste. Dutch food designer Chloé Rutzerveld hopes to change that perception.

Rutzerveld said her new Edible Growth project, which imagines 3-D printing an elegant yet healthy and natural hors d'oeuvre, is truly “food for thought.”

“[It’s] an example of high-tech but fully natural, healthy, and sustainable food made possible by combining aspects of nature, science, technology and design,” she explained.

The basket shapes will be printed using a gelatin-like, vegan-friendly protein known as agar. As it comes out of the printer, the center will be stuffed with seeds, spores and yeast. After a few days the baskets will sprout a tasty crop of seedlings and mushrooms. It is the consumer’s choice at which stage they choose to eat them, Rutzerveld said.

As the appetizers roll out the printer, Rutzerveld said, it is easy to see the straight lines of technology.

"But as it develops, you can see organic shapes. You can see the stages of growth and the development of taste and flavor," she said.

Right now Edible Growth is just a concept. Rutzerveld said 3-D printing is not sophisticated enough yet to produce something quite so complex. She said it will be some time before printed food moves beyond using anything more complicated than sugar, dough or chocolate.

“It seems as if it's easy,” she told ABC News, “but it's not, actually.”


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(LOS ANGELES) -- The manufacturer of the scopes that spread a drug-resistant "superbug" to seven California patients had tweaked the scopes' design and was selling them without federal permission to do so, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Seven people have become infected with the drug-resistant "superbug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures, and CRE may have played a role in two of those patients' deaths, hospital officials said in February, adding that 179 people were exposed to the germ at UCLA.

The scopes -- called duodenoscopes, which are inserted by mouth to access patients' small intestine, the pancreas and the liver -- were new and had only been in use since June, health officials said last month. Officials added that the scopes were cleaned in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. The hospital said it traced the bacteria back to two endoscopes manufactured by Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Olympus had tweaked the design of its duodenoscopes and sold them without seeking clearance from the FDA to do so. Manufacturers are supposed to notify the FDA of design changes 90 days before marketing an altered device, according to the FDA website.

It was not immediately clear what Olympus changed about the scopes' design or whether that change could have made the scopes more likely to harbor bacteria or more difficult to clean and sanitize -- and the FDA was not immediately able to clarify.

In March 2014, the FDA notified Olympus that it needed the additional clearance before selling the altered devices, but the manufacturer did not submit the request for clearance until October, the FDA told ABC News. The submission is still "pending" because the FDA asked for more data.

The FDA noted two other companies make duodenoscopes, and FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley told ABC News, "It's important to understand that we have received reports of infections associated with the duodenoscopes manufactured by all three device companies."

The Food and Drug Administration told ABC News last month that it has been aware of cleaning issues and bacterial transmissions associated with duodenoscopes for more than a year.

"The CDC first alerted the FDA to a potential association of multi-drug resistant bacteria and duodenoscopes in fall 2013," an agency spokesperson told ABC News. "The FDA has been actively working with federal partners, manufacturers and other stakeholders to better understand the issues that contribute to the infections and what can be done to mitigate them."

The FDA issued a safety communication about the duodenoscopes following the UCLA CRE cases, explaining that duodenoscopes are used in about 500,000 procedures a year, but meticulous cleaning and disinfecting "may not entirely eliminate" the risk of transmitting infection. From January 2012 through December 2014, the FDA received reports of 135 patients suspected of contracting germs from reprocessed duodenoscopes, the agency said.

According to the CDC, almost every state has had a confirmed case of CRE, but state health departments are not required to notify the CDC about CRE infections. Duodenoscope-related CRE outbreaks similar to the one at UCLA have occurred recently in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Olympus did not respond to repeated requests for comments about the FDA's assertion that the scopes lacked FDA clearance, but the company said in a statement to ABC News last month that it was aware of reports involving its duodenoscopes, and was working with the FDA, medical organizations and customers to address concerns. It was also making supplemental educational materials available to customers.

"While all endoscopes, including duodenoscopes, require thorough reprocessing after patient use in order to be safe, the Olympus TJF-Q180V requires careful attention to cleaning and reprocessing steps, including meticulous manual cleaning, to ensure effective reprocessing," the company said.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Everybody's Gone Biking USA

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Believe it or not, pretty soon it’ll be nice enough in most areas of the country to get outside and do things that don’t involve shivering and shoveling.

One of America’s favorite outdoor pastimes, according to a study commissioned for the nonprofit PeopleForBikes, happens to be bicycling.

Contrary to other reports that indicated participation is far lower, PeopleForBikes says that just over a third of Americans ages three and up rode a bike at least once last year.

PeopleForBikes’ President Tim Blumenthal says its U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report is comprehensive whereas other studies seem to focus on single aspects of bicycling. Blumenthal says his study covers recreational biking, transportation riding and other uses for bikes.

But even though 57 percent of people who biked in 2014 did so for recreation, the study found that 48 percent of Americans don’t have access to bikes and 52 percent are concerned about the danger of getting into an accident with a vehicle.

However, Blumenthal says he sees plenty of potential in reaching millions of people who otherwise might not think biking is in their spring and summer plans.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For many women, sensible, comfortable flats are a wardrobe staple.

Despite the shoes’ popularity, however, some experts have a warning. They say some types of flats can lead to a host of potential health problems, including toe infection, that could even require surgery.

The damage is caused when tight, pointy-toed flats put pressure on toenails, causing them to bend and become ingrown. In some cases, if the situation is left untreated it could lead to bone infection.

It happened to 17-year-old Hannah Butler. The Illinois teen had to resort to surgery to remove an ingrown toenail caused by repeated use of the wrong flats.

“I brought my shoes in to my doctor…he figured that that was causing the multiple ingrown toenails,” she said.

Experts say the problem happens because most women are unaware of what some flats are really doing to their feet.

“It's funny because so many women think they're better off wearing flats than heels but in reality…flats can be worse than heels 100 times over,” Dr. Marlene Reid, a podiatrist and spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, said.

But you don’t have to get rid of flats altogether from your wardrobe. Experts say you should wear flats with rounded or squared-shapes toes. It gives toes wiggle room and alleviates pressure on the big toe.

Reid said there are many different styles of flat shoes available.

“Flats come in all different styles, all different types, all different construction,” Reid said. “There are flats that are more flimsy than what we consider regular flats.”

“You have to look at the shoe itself to determine if it's the right shoe for you,” she said.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cutting bread from your diet could potentially save you some bread on your taxes, financial experts say.

While diet gurus debate the health merits for the average person of avoiding the gluten protein found in wheat, rye and barley grains, no one disputes the extra cost. On average, the gluten-free versions of many foods were 242 percent pricier than the regular products in one National Institutes of Health study.

But Mark Luscombe, a principal federal tax analyst for the tax publisher CCH, said some of the additional expense of going gluten-free may be a legitimate tax write-off.

“If you have a recognized disease where gluten-free foods help manage the condition and you have a certification from your doctor, you may be able to take a deduction," Luscombe said.

This could be good news for the 1 percent of the population with celiac disease, a diagnosed intolerance to gluten that causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms and increases the risk of some cancers. They should be able to write off the extra cost of buying gluten-free items plus the cost of shipping if they buy them online. Foods that contain xanthan gum and sorghum flour can be fully deducted because they have no gluten-filled alternative.

As for the other 30 percent of Americans who, according to the consumer research group NDP, avoid gluten because they believe they have some sort of insensitivity to it? Luscombe said he doubted such a write-off would fly.

Even someone with celiac will have to work hard for the tax break, Luscombe said. They will need a note from their doctor and they will have to keep meticulous track of how much more they spend on gluten-free products than on other similar products, he added.

That means saving all receipts and making notes of price differences. In addition, to get any deduction, all medical expenses must exceed 10 percent of gross adjusted income or 7.5 percent for people older than 65, Luscombe said.

For those who can clear all those hurdles, using medically sanctioned dietary restrictions as a tax write off does have the support of the Internal Revenue Service, Luscombe said. IRS Information Letter 2011-0035 states: "The excess cost of specially prepared foods designed to treat a medical condition over the cost of ordinary foods which would have been consumed but for the condition is an expense for medical care."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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