At-home Sperm Test

Yet another reason to blush while at the drugstore checkout. UVA researcher John C. Herr proved that his invention, SpermCheck Vasectomy, accurately tests male fertility. “It’s designed to confirm that postvasectomy sperm concentrations have reached infertile levels,” Herr says. The device, which has been approved by the FDA, resembles a woman’s home pregnancy test and will be commercially available by the end of 2009.

Remember Gingko?

Keep forgetting to take your herbal supplements? Steven DeKosky, dean of the University’s medical school, found that gingko biloba does not prevent memory loss or other symptoms of mental decline. In his study, older adults who took the supplement—on which Americans spend more than $100 million annually—developed both dementia and Alzheimer’s at the same rate as a placebo group.

Virus Vectors

If a family member is sick, beware of the TV remote, the fridge door and especially the bathroom faucet. UVA’s J. Owen Handley discovered cold virus on all these surfaces in a recent study. He determined that regular use of common household objects can easily transmit the cold virus from person to person via their fingertips. To keep healthy, wash your hands frequently.