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Hydrogels can gather information on your menstrual cycle, emotions, and nutrient levels.

Hydrogels do not have such qualities. They are simply highly-absorbent polymers with many everyday applications.

Carrie Madej, an osteopath who recently appeared in a viral video rife with misinformation, has made a number of dubious claims — one of which centers on something called hydrogels. Hydrogels are water-absorbing polymers. They are found in a diverse range of products, from contact lenses, diapers, hair products, and soil hydration products.

Hydrogels might be useful, but they do not have the magical properties that Madej talks about. According to the osteopath, hydrogel “can gather data like your blood sugar your oxygen your blood pressure.” Madej goes further, stating that hydrogel can measure people’s emotions, menstrual cycle, nutrient levels, and detect the presence of illicit drugs. Madej concludes by saying that hydrogel has “the potential to see almost anything that goes on in your body.” These claims are baseless.

Madej also claims that hydrogel was invented by DARPA, the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency. This is not true. DARPA was founded in 1958. It is a government agency that researches and develops technologies with potential military applications. It is known for its advancements in the fields of computer science and telecommunication.

Though DARPA seems to have used hydrogels in its research and development, It did not invent or discover hydrogels. In 1960, two chemists called Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lím reported the first hydrogel while working at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague.

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