FINGERTIP SCIENCE: An app has been developed by US scientists that enables smartphone users to check for anaemia simply by snapping a picture of their fingernails. The software records levels of haemoglobin, the oxygencarrying protein in red blood cells, by measuring the paleness of the fingernail bed. Scientists believe the app will ultimately replace the need for invasive blood tests to monitor blood count. A commercial version of the “anaemia app” is expected to be available for public download as early as next spring. Anaemia, caused by low numbers of red blood cells or insufficient haemoglobin, affects two billion people worldwide. Symptoms include pallor, tiredness, and, in severe cases, heart problems. POWER PLAY: Muscle training and protein supplements may be the key to reversing frailty, a new study published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests. Researchers from Dublin conducted a systematic review on studies on frailty interventions. The authors found that interventions with muscle strength training and protein supplementation were consistently considered to be the best for effectiveness and ease of implementation. The authors suggested that GPs should recommend to their patients including: 20 to 25 minutes of activity, four days per week at home comprising 15 exercises to strengthen arms and legs and to improve balance and coordination. There should be dietary emphasis on daily milk, eggs, tuna or chicken or, if preferred, formula protein with meals, the authors added. SLEEP RISK: The amount of time a person sleeps has been linked to their risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. The research, published in the European Heart Journal found that people who slept longer than eight hours had a higher risk of dying or developing diseases of the heart or blood vessels in the brain compared to those who slept for between six and eight hours. When compared to people who slept six to eight hours, those who slept a total of eight to nine hours a day had a 5% increased risk.