Scientists figured out how to hide a shot inside a pea-sized pill — creating a swallowable gadget, inspired by a tortoise shell, that can inject medicines like insulin from inside the stomach.
Patients usually prefer oral treatment, and comply with it better, but many compounds, including insulin for diabetes, can’t survive the harsh trip through the digestive system.
The new invention, reported by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led research team, has been tested only in animals so far. But if it pans out, it might offer a work-around to make not just insulin but a variety of usually injected medicines a little easier to take.
“It’s like a miniaturized rocket launcher” for insulin, said Willem Mulder of Mount Sinai’s Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, who wasn’t involved in the new research.
Carrie Lemay says having a diabetes alert dog, trained to detect and alert her to low blood sugar, will help give her peace of mind. Lemay and five other people with Type 1 diabetes met their new canine companions this week in Oakville, Ontario.
Scientists have spent decades trying to develop oral insulin and replace at least some of the daily shots that many people with diabetes require. Attempts include ways to protect insulin from digestive breakdown and then help it be absorbed through the intestine into the bloodstream. So far none has reached the market, although some closely watched candidates are being tested.
An ingestible injection could bypass the hazards of that journey — letting insulin absorb through the wall of the stomach, said Dr. Giovanni Traverso, a gastroenterologist at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a senior author of the study.
“The way this works is it travels down the esophagus in seconds, it’s in the stomach within a few minutes, and then you get the drug,” said Traverso, who worked with a team from the lab of MIT inventor Robert Langer and insulin maker Novo Nordisk.
The first challenge: How to make sure the device lands where it can poke into the right spot, even if someone’s moving around. Researchers looked to nature for ideas.
A certain tortoise, the leopard tortoise from Africa, can right itself if flipped onto its back thanks to the steep curve of its shell. Researchers crafted a miniature capsule with a similar shape and a weighted bottom, so that once it reaches the stomach it automatically rolls in the right direction to latch on, Traverso explained.
Next the team designed a micro-injector, like a needle only made of dried insulin compressed into a sharp point. To power it, researchers bound a tiny spring to a hardened sugar disk.
Stomach acid gradually dissolves the sugar until the spring pops, shooting the insulin into the stomach wall.
In pigs, the ingestible injection lowered blood sugar to levels comparable to standard shots, according to the study published Thursday in the journal Science.
Once the insulin was absorbed, the capsule, made of stainless steel and a biodegradable material, floated free and was excreted.
“It’s a very clever idea, that is meant to solve a very long-standing problem,” said University of Pittsburgh chemical engineering chairman Steven Little, who also wasn’t part of the research. Because the gadget passes through, “the only thing administered to the body is this little injector.”
One hurdle: It works on an empty stomach, with nothing to get in the way of the device latching on. Traverso said that means it might one day replace morning insulin shots but not post-meal doses.
If poking into the stomach wall sounds worrisome, Traverso said gastroenterologists have long used bigger needles to deliver medicines during certain gastric procedures and their patients fare well. The stomach muscle is thick enough not to worry about a micro-injection piercing all the way through, and the animal studies found no side effects. But Traverso said more research is needed to see how the stomach handles daily micro-injections over many months.
Additional animal studies are under way, and Traverso hopes human testing can begin within three years.
Canon EOS RP Budget Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Launched, Fujifilm Announces X-T30 APS-C Camera
Canon and Fujifilm have added new cameras to its respective lineups. Canon has officially unveiled the EOS RP, which is its second full-frame mirrorless camera after the EOS R. This budget model will go on sale in March for $1,300 (roughly Rs. 92,400) for just the body or $2,399 (roughly Rs. 1,70,600) with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens.
Meanwhile, Fujifilm has announced a new APS-C camera called the X-T30, which succeeds the X-T20. This will be available in March in black and silver trims at a price of $899 (roughly Rs. 63,900) for the body, $999 (roughly Rs. 71,000) with XC15-45mm lens, and $1,299 (roughly Rs. 92,400) with the XF18-55mm lens. The camera and kit lenses will also be available in a new charcoal silver colour, which will arrive in June 2019.
Canon EOS RP specifications and features
It seems as if the leak we got a week ago about Canon’s EOS RP was pretty much spot on. According to Canon, the EOS RP is designed for amateur and advanced amateur photographers looking to step up from its APS-C models and will sit below its flagship EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera. Canon is emphasising the lightness of the camera, which weighs 490 grams and the body is said to be smaller than Canon’s EOS 800D mid-range APS-C camera. The EOS RP will be compatible with all of Canon’s RF lenses as well as EF and EF-S lenses with the help of adapters.
The EOS RP boasts of a 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and is powered by the company’s DIGIC 8 image processor. The camera also has Dual Pixel autofocus (AF) with 4,779 manually selectable AF points. Using an f/1.2 lens, it is also capable of extreme low-light focusing at up to -5EV. Since its designed for amateurs, the EOS RP also features Canon’s Visual Guide mode, which gives you a graphical representation of how the various shooting modes (Shutter, Aperture, etc) will affect your final picture. This was first introduced with the Canon EOS 77D .
The camera also has a native ISO range of 100-25,600, a 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), a fully articulating touchscreen, burst shooting of up to 5fps, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 4K video recording at 24fps, and 1080p recording at 60fps. Canon has also officially announced that it’s currently developing six new lenses for its RF full-frame mount. These will be available sometime later in 2019 and will include:
RF 85mm F1.2 L USM RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
Fujifilm X-T30 specifications and features
Switching companies, we now come to Fujifilm’s announcement, which has added the X-T30 to its APS-C camera lineup. The follow-up to the X-T20 features an improved 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor with the X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU for image processing. Other features include a hybrid AF system with 425 phase detection autofocus (PDAF) points, which cover 100 percent of the entire frame, EyeAF, and a new Face Selection option. Further, you will get a 2.36 million dot resolution OLED EVF, a 3-inch tilting touchscreen display, 4K recording up to 30fps or 1080p recoding up to 120fps, a single SD card slot, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Fujifilm also announced a new lens for its X series cameras called the FUJINON XF16mmF2.8 R WR. This lens features a stepping motor for quieter AF and goes on sale in March for $400 (roughly Rs. 28,400). There’s good news for Fujifilm X-T3 owners as come April, Fujifilm will be releasing a new firmware (v3.0), which is said bring improvements to face and eye detection AF, a new Face Select function that debuted with the X-T30, improved AF speed, and additional settings to the cameras interface. The company will also release a new firmware for the X-T100 and X-A5, which adds a new ‘Bright Mode’, ‘Portrait Enhancer’ mode, and a new ‘Night+’ setting.
Mi 9 to Sport a Triple Rear Camera, Explorer Edition May Have Quad Camera
Xiaomi is set to launch its latest flagship smartphone, the Mi 9, on February 20 in China. With its launch in the build-up to Mobile World Congress 2019, the Chinese smartphone maker will be among the first manufacturers to unveil its flagship for the year, even as other manufacturers will be preparing for summer launches. Thanks to some official images posted on Weibo, we now have an early look at the new device, while the images also give away some key features of the new phone. Separately, a blogger has posted a leaked image of what is claimed to be the Xiaomi Mi 9 Explorer Edition.
A handful of images and a short video have been posted to Chinese social media website Weibo by the verified account of Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, thereby lending legitimacy to the renders. The images give us a good look at what to expect from the new phone; of particular note is the triple camera setup at the rear. The front of the phone isn’t shown in the renders, and the rear shows an interesting gradient blue and green colour, with the rough translation from the post reading as ‘holographic illusion blue’. The post further describes a “nano-scale laser holography process, plus double layer coating” as responsible for the “rainbow colours” and “faintly […] metallic lustre”.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is set to be launched on February 20, which is the same day as the launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series. According to rumours, the Mi 9 Explorer Edition could also be launched on the same day. This variant of the phone is said to sport a quad-camera setup at the rear. An unofficial render of this has surfaced as well, but we’ll wait till the official launch before confirming this.
The phone is likely to be powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, and is also rumoured to come with 27W fast charging. The Xiaomi Mi 9 could come with MIUI 10 out of the box, based on Android 9 Pie. The primary camera at the rear is likely to be a 48-megapixel shooter, while a second 12-megapixel camera and third ToF 3D sensor will also be part of the setup.
Coming to the Xiaomi Mi 9 Explorer Edition’s leaked image, posted on Weibo by a blogger, we see a quad rear camera, and a ‘transparent’ back panel like its predecessor. The post adds that the smartphone will have more memory than the Xiaomi Mi 9, though it’s uncertain if both RAM and storage are being referred to. The Mi 9 Explorer Edition price is said to range between CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 36,900) to CNY 4,999 (roughly Rs. 52,600).
Energizer Power Max P18K Pop With 18,000mAh Battery, Dual Pop-Up Selfie Cameras to Launch at MWC 2019
Avenir Telecom, the licensing partner of Energizer Mobile, is set to launch as many as 26 new phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. One of these upcoming smartphones is the Power Max P18K Pop, the company on Thursday revealed. The smartphone will feature a huge 18,000mAh battery, dual-selfie pop-up cameras, triple rear cameras, and will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 processor. Avenir will officially unveil the phone at MWC 2019. The company says that it will take orders at the show for delivery sometime in summer this year.
The Energizer Power Max P18K Pop will be introduced at MWC 2019, and the company has announced that the smartphone will sport a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display. It will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 SoC and pack 6GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage.
Among other specifications, the smartphone will sport five cameras in total, with dual front sensors that will pop-up from the top. The two front cameras will sport 16-megapixel and 2-megapixel senses. There’s also a triple camera setup at the back aligned vertically with 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel, and 2-megapixel sensors.
The most interesting bit about the phone is its whopping 18,000mAh battery. The company claims that this massive battery will enable the phone to make up to 90 hours of calls, listen to 100 hours of music and watch around 2 days of video on a single charge. In the standby mode, the battery is said to last up to 50 days.
In its ‘Ultimate series, the company is also expected to launch the Energizer Ultimate U620S Pop and the Energizer Ultimate U630S Pop at MWC 2019. Both phones feature dual pop-up selfie cameras. The company will also unveil the Energizer Ultimate U650S, Energizer Ultimate U620S, and the Energizer Ultimate U570S, with all three featuring a teardrop notch with a V-shaped and U-shaped design.
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