New 'swallowable needles' could deliver insulin as a pill

Diabetics have to endure constant injections on a daily basis, but this new device could make staying alive easier.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
  • Insulin breaks down in the stomach, so diabetics haven't had the option of taking insulin in a pill.
  • A new device whose design is inspired by tortoises can be swallowed and inject diabetics with insulin from the inside.
  • Though it's still a prototype, the device is an exciting development for delivering insulin and other drugs.
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Scientists may have found a way to kill cancer cells without chemotherapy

Chemo is our best response to cancer so far. A novel new therapy could render it obsolete.

A nurse is working in a room where patients undergo chemotherapy treatment, on February 6, 2013, at the Oscar Lambret Center in Lille, northern France, a regional medical unit specializing in cancer treatment, which is part of Lille regional hospital. (Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Researchers at Northwestern have discovered a genetic "kill code" that might enable the destruction of cancer cells.
  • This novel new therapy "downstream" of chemo might destroy cancer cells without affecting the body's immune system.
  • While no animal trials have been conducted, this potential therapy could signal the demise of chemotherapy.
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Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria

Microbes screened with a new microfluidic process might be used in power generation or environmental cleanup.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
January 11, 2019

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn't involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity.

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Do emoji have a place in serious 🔬 ✍️?

They're fun, so why not? Well, maybe because they're often inscrutable.

(Big Think)
  • A new paper looks at the 👍️ and 👎️ of using emojis in biomedical documentation.
  • It's the return of pictographs, millennia later.
  • Do your thumbs even know how to avoid them?
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Lab-grown meat's steady march to your plate

As costs go down and the benefits become more clear, can we afford not to eat lab-grown meat?

Shutterstock
  • Just a few years ago, the price of a lab-grown hamburger had five figures.
  • Today, that price has gone down to just $11.
  • Even if it's cheap, tastes the same, and preserves the environment, will people actually eat meat grown in a lab?
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