Saturday October 20, 2018
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From Radio Signals A Pill Could Tell About Gut Health And Help Doctors

Scientists developed a swallowable capsule to detect bleeding in the digestive tract.

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MIT engineers have designed an ingestable sensor with bacteria programmed to sense environmental conditions and relay the information to an electronic circuit.
MIT engineers have designed an ingestable sensor with bacteria programmed to sense environmental conditions and relay the information to an electronic circuit. VOA
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A pill could soon radio signals from inside your gut to help doctors diagnose diseases from ulcers to cancer to inflammation, according to a new study.

Scientists have developed a small, swallowable capsule that mixes synthetic biology and electronics to detect bleeding in the digestive tract.

The system can be adapted for a wide range of medical, environmental and other uses, the researchers say.

The biological part of the pill uses bacteria engineered to glow when exposed to heme, the iron-containing molecule in blood.

The electronic side includes a tiny light detector, computer, chip, battery, and a transmitter that sends data to a cell phone or computer.

“A major challenge for sensing in the GI tract is, the space available for a device is very limited,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology electrical engineer Phillip Nadeau.

Using very low-power electronics they designed, Nadeau and colleagues fit all the components into a capsule about 3 centimeters long by 1 centimeter wide.

A Microbiologist scientist
A Microbiologist scientist, Pixabay

It’s still a bit big to swallow. But Nadeau says with engineering work it can likely be made about a third that size.

The engineered bacteria are contained in chambers covered by a membrane that lets small molecules in but does not let the organisms out. The researchers say the bacteria can be engineered to die if they accidentally leak from the capsule. Or future models may just use the key enzymes, rather than whole bacteria.

In laboratory tests, the pill successfully distinguished pigs fed small amounts of blood from those not given blood. The capsule has not yet been tested on humans. The team aims to do so in the next year or two.

Since the components are all fairly cheap to manufacture, the researchers speculate that the cost would be in the range of tens to hundreds of dollars.

And they say the same platform could be used to detect markers of a range of illnesses. Or, it could be used to sense chemicals in the environment.

“It’s really exciting, and I think it’s got a lot of legs,” said Rice University bioengineer Jeff Tabor, who was not part of the research team.

But Tabor notes that the sensors may need to be much more sensitive than what was used in the pig tests. He says there may be much less blood in the guts of actual patients than what the pigs were given. Other conditions may have the same limitations.

Also read: One shot Nanoparticle Vaccine polio

“For many actual diseases, you might have far less of the molecule that you need to sense available to you,” he added. (VOA)

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Samsung Launches Galaxy S4 Tab

Samsung also announced several offers for those who want to buy the flagship tablet.

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Samsung India set to launch Galaxy Tab S4 this week for Rs 60,000. Flickr

Samsung on Thursday launched in India its flagship tablet, Galaxy Tab S4, a new two-in-one Android tablet that comes equipped with Samsung Dex and S Pen for Rs 57,900.

Galaxy Tab S4 sports narrower bezels to fit a 10.5-inch display with Super AMOLED technology, as well as a 16:10 screen ratio.

Powered by a 7,300mAh battery, Galaxy Tab S4 also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology.

 

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The redesigned S Pen offers an authentic handwriting experience – suitable for drawing, taking notes, and messaging.

 

“Paired with Samsung Dex and S Pen, Galaxy Tab S4 is designed for those who need something portable like a tablet yet capable like a PC,” Aditya Babbar, General Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India, told reporters here.

Samsung DeX optimises the user experience for work situations and gives what they want from a PC experience — a big screen, a full-size keyboard and a mouse.

In Standalone mode, one can enjoy a PC-like interface even without a monitor or the “Book Cover” Keyboard, Samsung India said.

In Dual mode, users can connect the tablet to a bigger monitor with an HDMI adapter.

The redesigned S Pen offers an authentic handwriting experience – suitable for drawing, taking notes, and messaging.

galaxy samsung
Powered by a 7,300mAh battery, Galaxy Tab S4 also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology.

Galaxy Tab S4 will be available from Thursday onwards in black and grey colours on Samsung Online Shop and leading offline retail stores, the South Korean tech giant said, adding that it will also be available on Amazon from October 20 onwards.

Samsung also announced several offers for those who want to buy the flagship tablet.

Those with HDFC Bank credit cards will be able to avail an introductory offer that lets consumers get Rs 5,000 cashback on purchase of Galaxy Tab S4.

Also Read: Honor 8X Launches In India

Moreover, Galaxy Tab S4 customers on Jio 4G, would be entitled to get instant cashback of Rs 2,750 on recharging with Rs 198 or Rs 299 plan.

They would also get double data benefits on every recharge for the next four recharges, Samsung India said. (IANS)