Skip to content

Archive for

21
Jan

The Morning After: Weekend Edition


Letter from the Editor

It’s official. Welcome to Trump’s America, everybody.

And while there were plenty of eyes on the president-elect’s questionable cabinet choices this past week, Obama still managed to make some headlines of his own. Among them was his decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s prison term, which shaved 28 years off the original sentence she got for giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Chelsea’s status as a transgender woman at a male prison — and the dangers to her safety that entails — doubtless was a prime motivator for the pardon. Still, the outgoing POTUS may have also hoped that Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, will now make good on his promise to agree to US extradition if Manning was ever granted clemency. If it works out, it’ll be quite the White Housewarming gift from one president to another.

Obama’s handing off a fairly well-oiled economy to Trump, too. You can expect that in a successful consumer economy, companies will utilize increasingly refined forms of advertising. Sean Buckley found himself captivated and entertained by the intricate weaving of product placement and gameplay in Final Fantasy XV. Meanwhile, Jess Conditt wrote about the challenges faced by LiquidSky and its new ad-based free game-streaming service. And finally, Mona Lalwani was focused on another, less commercially sophisticated part of the world, where MasterCard Labs is bringing mobile banking and financial tools to Kenyan farmers.

How can it possibly compete with real life?‘House of Cards’ season five arrives March 30th

download+%2830%29_640.jpg

Earlier this week Netflix announced its longest-running original series wouldn’t arrive until spring, but it saved a little something for inauguration day. A brief teaser brings back some familiar imagery, but for the next couple of months. we’ll have to get our political drama from the things that are actually happening.

Twitter says the issue ‘is being resolved’Unfollowing @POTUS could be difficult right now

download+%2829%29_640.jpg

This transition of power is the first one to happen fully within the era of social media, and the shift has had some unexpected hiccups. The plan is to archive Obama administration @POTUS, @FLOTUS and @VP tweets on new accounts while creating new accounts with those names for Trump administration individuals that retain existing followers. The only problem, however, is that people who unfollowed (or in some cases apparently never followed) those accounts suddenly found themselves dragged (back) in while the process worked itself out.

New Spring Break location?NASA’s Curiosity rover finds new water evidence in possible cracked mud

download+%2831%29_640.jpg

A cracked Martian rock slab may have just provided the first proof of mud found by Curiosity. The rover has already departed from “Old Soaker,” but scientists are still poring over its data to find evidence of ancient lakes.

The Wiimote rides againThe heart of Nintendo’s new console is in your hands

controlers_640.jpg

A docking tablet may form the brain of Nintendo’s new Switch, but as Mat Smith explains, its “peculiar and cool” Joy-Con controllers are the heart that will draw you in. While it may not have the power for super-sharp 4K (or even 1080p) gaming, Nintendo is once again going for a unique motion- and even shape-detecting gaming experience that upgrades the Wii’s nunchucks for two-handed play.

Who needs a robotic mule?The US Army has a hoverbike

download+%2832%29_640.jpg

This idea started out on Kickstarter and recently proved it’s still flying around. The Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV) prototype demonstrated earlier this month is will be a platform for autonomously delivering supplies to the front lines. That’s in the future, though, pending an upgraded hybrid powerplant for increased range and increased payload.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Bad Password: Giuliani as Trump’s cybersecurity adviser is an unfunny joke
  • Net neutrality foe Ajit Pai tapped to take over the FCC
  • President Obama’s final bill is aimed at bringing tech to DC
  • The Engadget Podcast Ep 25: Black Hole Sun
  • DirecTV will show Premier League soccer in 4K today
  • Kickstarter shuts down sketchy Adoptly campaign
  • Samsung will explain the Galaxy Note 7 explosions Sunday night
Advertisements
21
Jan

Apple Exploring Two-Step Touch ID and Facial Recognition System for iPhone 8


Noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research report today in which he outlined further expectations for Apple’s 2017 iPhone, including new biometric identification technology as well as the necessity of a new design to provide better structural support for a flexible OLED display with 3D Touch capability.

Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.

Kuo also believes Apple is developing a new Touch ID technology for its next iPhone “to complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design and to enhance transactions security”. According to Kuo, the existing “under glass” design of fingerprint recognition doesn’t meet the requirements of full-screen form factor designs, therefore an “under panel” placement is required.

As a result, Kuo says Apple aims to switch from the current capacitive-type to an optical-type system. Despite the technology still being in the early stages of development and the fact that OLED panel makers will have to provide bespoke designs for the system to work, Kuo believes Apple has the bargaining power to request the customizations.

Notably, Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will “ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system” for enhanced security. “However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution.”

Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security.

Assuming the technological challenges are not too great and adoption this year isn’t too soon, Kuo suggests Apple’s new system will usher in a “paradigm shift” for the application of biometric identification in smartphones.

Kuo’s latest report builds on previous predictions regarding this year’s “10th anniversary” iPhone, which is expected to feature a radical redesign with an embedded home button in an edge-to-edge display, a glass body, and potentially wireless charging. Previous rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning have pointed to the possibility that they could also power augmented reality camera functions.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors-All?d=6W8y8wAjSf4 MacRumors-All?d=qj6IDK7rITs

21
Jan

Qualcomm Calls Apple’s Claims ‘Baseless’ in Response to $1 Billion Lawsuit


Following news yesterday that Apple has filed suit against LTE modem supplier Qualcomm for engaging in anticompetitive licensing practices, the chipmaker hit back on Sunday by calling Apple’s claims “baseless” and accusing it of “encouraging regulatory attacks”.

Apple shared a statement with several news sites on Friday announcing the lawsuit, which argued that Qualcomm used its position as the sole supplier of a key iPhone component to drive up patent licensing fees. This morning Qualcomm responded in a statement on its website in which it claimed that Apple “intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations”.

“While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple’s claims are baseless. Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program. Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel, Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm was the sole supplier of LTE modems used in iPhones up until 2016, when Intel also began providing the component with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple claims Qualcomm forced it to use the LTE chips and pay back a percentage of the selling price of the phone in return for access to its patents.

Apple wants $1 billion in rebate payments, which were withheld by Qualcomm after Apple became involved in an antitrust investigation against the company in South Korea.

Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors-All?d=6W8y8wAjSf4 MacRumors-All?d=qj6IDK7rITs

21
Jan

CBS and Paramount settle lawsuit with ‘Star Trek’ fan film


It’s been a wild ride for the folks behind the Axanar Star Trek fan film, but it’s finally over — the fan production group has settled its lawsuit with CBS and Paramount. The terms of the agreement aren’t completely clear, but both parties have announced that the deal will allow Axanar productions to finish and release its fan film for free as long as a certain number of undisclosed “substantial changes” are made. Even better? According to Ars Technica, the settlement doesn’t require the fan group to pay damages, either.

“Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios and our willingness to make necessary changes,” Axanar Productions has stated. “We are now able to do exactly that.” Although the full list of changes hasn’t been made public yet, it has been announced that the film will need to abide by at least some of the official fan film guidelines. Specifically, the production can only be 30 minutes long in total, and even then it has to be split into two parts. The Axanar film also can’t have “Star Trek” in the title, cannot use public crowd-funding and may not compensate any of the professional talent for their work.

Still, there’s a silver lining: Axanar productions may not be able to compensate its professional cast, but it’s still allowed to film with that cast — including actors reprising their role form official Star Trek productions. In other words, Gary Graham will be allowed to reprise his role as Sovel from Star Trek: Enterprise. That exception won’t apply to future, projects however. If Axanar productions makes more films in the future, it’ll have to follow all of CBS’ fan film rules. That means no professional actors or reprised roles. It also could make production more difficult, as those rules stipulate that props, costumes and accessories used in fan films “must be official merchandise.”

Axanar Productions says it’s still working to resolve some lingering legal issues and needs to address some pre-production issues before it can start filming — but in the meantime, fans will still be able to watch Prelude to Axanar, the film that provoked CBS and Paramount to kick off the lawsuit in the first place. So long as ‘Prelude’ remains commercial-free on YouTube (and is never shown at an official Star Trek convention), it won’t be taken down.

Source: Ars Technica, Hollywood Reporter, Axanar Productions

21
Jan

‘Inside’ team teases its next project following company turmoil


It’s been quite the week for Playdead fans. First came some explanation for why the typically lock-jawed studio behind Limbo and Inside lost one of its cofounders last July. Then, the team tweeted out a teaser image for its next project. Absolutely nothing is known about the game other than it might have something to do with a comet and that its protagonist might be an astronaut of sorts. Oh, and it’s using a subdued color palette and stylized visual motif. Par for the course here, really.

The thing is, given the studio’s history, it could be all we see of the game for a few years. Games typically take between two to four years to develop, but Playdead’s seem to have bigger gaps between them precisely because the studio operates in silence for extended periods of time. And even during the launch window, the studio rarely does any sort of press. Founded in 2006, the Danish team has only released two games since — Limbo in 2010 and Inside in 2016. With the latter, it debuted in 2014 during Microsoft’s E3 keynote and then wasn’t heard of again until last year’s Xbox E3 keynote.

That release schedule coupled with IP ownership was purported to have caused a rift between co-founder and former employee Dino Patti and creative director Arnt Jensen, a claim Patti swiftly dismissed to GamesIndustry.biz. “However, [Patti] did confirm that the conflict lead to Jensen submitting a letter of resignation, and that the nature of that letter is what lead to the irreconcilable differences resulting in Patti’s departure.”

Thanks for your warm reception of INSIDE. Since release, Playdead founder Arnt Jensen and the team have been working on the next adventure. pic.twitter.com/RfejnH39mR

— Playdead (@Playdead) January 20, 2017

Neither party has gone into further details on the matter. As far as Patti goes it doesn’t sound like he’s leaving video games behind, though. He told GamesIndustry that he might have something to share later this year about the “different opportunities” he was exploring.

What’s more, he even retweeted Playdead’s announcement about its next project and has been doing the same for accolades that Inside rightfully garnered late last year. It scored a few from the Engadget gaming crew, with Associate Editor Nick Summers naming it his favorite game from 2016.

Speaking directly of the ending, Summers said “it elevates and already beautiful puzzle platformer into something quite extraordinary.” With the game available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there aren’t many excuses left if you haven’t played it yet.

Source: Playdead (Twitter)

21
Jan

Google Home tips and tricks


Google Home isn’t just a speaker with built-in Google Search.

With it, you can control your smart home devices, cue up a movie on your TV, replace your desktop speakers, and more. To get the most out of your Goole Home, you really need to do a deep-dive into the Home app or just play around the device for a while. Luckily for you, we’ve done both, and we’ve rounded up a selection of the top tips and tricks to help you master the voice-activated speaker in no time.

  • Google Home review: Better than Amazon Echo?

Google Home Assistant tips and tricks

Pocket-lint

Google Assistant is Google’s iteration of a personal assistant. It’s considered an upgrade or an extension of Google Now, as well as an expansion of Google’s existing “OK Google” voice controls. It’s conversational, too. You can ask a question and follow-up questions, and Assistant will track the conversation, determine context, and audibly respond with the right information.

Google Assistant is a stand-out feature in the Google Home speaker. You can use it to control Google Home, Pixel devices, as well as third-party services and devices. To help you figure out everything Assistant can do, we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks, which you can find here. However, if you want to learn tips and tricks unique, exclusive or specific to Google Home, read on.

  • What is Google Assistant, how does it work, and when can you use it?

Google Home tips and tricks

Pocket-lint

Remember to use a wake word

Google Assistant responds to two ‘wake words’: “Ok Google” and “Hey Google”. Unfortunately, you can’t change it from these two phrases. Also, you need to say one every single time you wish to engage with Google Home (say the phrase, followed by a question or command).

Adjust settings and preferences

In the Google Home app, slide out the menu drawer from the left side of the screen, and tap on More Settings.

If you want, you can tap your name after selecting More Settings and add your home address for specific weather and traffic reports. Also, from the Personal info menu in settings, you can set a nickname that Assistant will use for you. Under Preferences, you can choose a preferred temperature unit. In the News and My Day sections, you pick various news sources, while with My Day you can select which details are included when you prompt Google Home to tell you about your day. Examples include weather, commute time, reminders, etc.

Another way you can get to settings: Open the hamburger menu (the three lines in the upper corner) and look for the Devices option. You’ll see your Google Home listed. From there, open its menu by tapping the three dots in the upper left corner and choose Settings. Everything you need to adjust or change about you’re Google Home is there.

Give Google Home a new name

Under settings, go to Name, and from there, you can rename your Google Home whenever and how often you like.

Connect third-party services

Google Home relies on third-party services to provide you with a richer experience. Think of these services as apps that you can access on the speaker. At launch, Google Home’s services were limited to Uber. Now, the full list of services ranges from WebMD to an animal quiz. To find a full list of supported services, open More Settings > Services. From there, tap on the service you want to connect to your Google Home.

Keep in mind Google Home doesn’t hold a candle to Amazon Alexa in terms of connected apps – not yet anyway. But it does play well with Pandora, TuneIn, Google Music, Spotify, YouTube, and even Netflix and Uber. You can also use it to control smart home products from Nest, Philips Hue lights, and Smart Things. It also supports Cast, so you can use it in conjunction with Chromecast to send content to your TV.

Use the Google ecosystemTo get the most out of Google Home, use Google’s other products. It’s designed to work with products many people frequently use, such as Google Calendar and Google Keep. When combined with Google Home, you can make Assistant a true personal assistant. It can check your schedule, set reminders, add items to your shopping lists, and more — and all with a simple voice command.

Reset Google Home

To conduct a factory reset and restore your Google to a good-as-new state, hold the microphone button for about 15 seconds. From there, you can link it to a different Google account using the Google Home app. Remember, it doesn’t allow you to set up multiple user profiles.

Reboot Google Home

What do you do when some gadget stops working? You restart it, or “reboot” it. So, of course Google included this in the Home app. Just open the Home app and then select Devices > Menu > Reboot. That’s it.

Touch your way through things

Aside from your voice, you can control Google Home with your touch. Tap the top of the speaker once to awaken your Google Home or to pause and play a broadcast. You can also slide your finger along the centered circle at the top to change volume.

Mute the mic

If you want to stop Google Home from “always-listening”, look for the button on the back of the speaker. It’s the only button, and it has a microphone on it. Press it and Home will turn off the microphone (four amber lights will light up on top). Press it again, and it’ll tell you the microphone is on. When it’s on, Google Home is in the always-listening mode and will listen for and respond to your commands.

You can Google thatGoogle Home is basically Google.com.

Want to find a grocery store in Sacramento? Need to convert ounces to cups? Curious how old Donald Trump is? Ever wonder what the capital of Florida is? Google Home can be your assistant and set an appointments, but it also doubles as a search engine. Remember, you can also ask follow-up questions. Google Assistant will always remember the topic or subject in your string of questions.

Check your activity

Under More Settings, scroll to the bottom and tap the My Activity option. A website will open with everything Google Home (and Assistant on your phone) has recorded. You can sort by date and time, play back exactly what Home heard, get details, and delete them.

Set up Guest ModeYou can set up a guest mode to let anyone connect to your Google Home once they enter a four-digit PIN provided by the app.

Cast movies or audio to a TV

If you have a Chromecast device, go to More Settings in the Google Home app, tap on TVs and Speakers, and then tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the screen. The Google Home app will search for voice-supported TVs on the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home. From there, you can ask Google Home to play Netflix movies and TV show or even YouTube videos.

You must connect third-party services — like Netflix — to your Google account using the Google Home app (Settings > More Settings > Videos and Photos). After doing this, you can simply say things like “Okay Google, play House of Cars from Netflix on TV”. You can even also Google Home to pause playback or rewind a minute to something you might’ve missed.

Cast photos to your TV

Google Home can’t just control Netflix or YouTube on your TV, it can also control Google Photos, Google’s free cloud photo storage service. Just link up your account in the Google Home app under settings, and then say “Okay Google, show me photos of my pets on TV”. The service is able to tag and recognise people, things, and places, so it’s able to smartly serve up whatever you ask for.

Ditch your desktop speakersGoogle Cast is built directly into the Chrome browser. So, when you click the cast button in the corner of Chrome, you can look for your Home device, select it, and then cast audio from your computer to/through Google Home.

Set your music source

Google Home can play music from several sources, such as Play Music, Pandora, Spotify or YouTube Music. To set your default source, head got to More Settings in the Home app, then choose Music (or choose Music from the sidebar), and link an account and select it as the main source

Manage a family shopping list

You can automatically add things to your shopping list, which means it’ll be added to a note in the Google Keep app for iOS or Android, just by saying something like: “Okay Google, add coffee to my shopping list”. The list can only be associated with the primary account holder.

You can add collaborators to this list so they can access it though; simply select the three-dots button in the right corner of the list, select “collaborator,” and invite other family members to the list.

Play podcasts

All you have to do to hear podcasts is ask. Say “Okay Google, Play This American Life” to hear the most recent episode of the show. If you should pause it, the next time you ask for that podcast, Google Home will pick up where you left off.

Find your misplaced phone

Can’t find your home? Google Home can locate the device — if you link it with a service called IFTTT. Use this recipe (requires an IFTTT account) so that you can automatically call your number when you say “Okay Google, find my phone.”

Turn off the lights

Google Home can control internet-connected appliances around your home, such as lightbulbs like Philips Hue. You can not only turn those on and off, but also say things like “Okay Google, turn the living room purple” to change their colour. But Google Home is a voice-controlled hub for all your smart devices. You can also leverage IFTTT recipes to get the most out of Home and your devices, but that’s not required.

Set an alarm

This might seem obvious but… Google Home can replace your alarm clock. Say “OK Google, set an alarm for 5 minutes” or whenever, and you’ll hear a nice tune and see a circle of lights on the top of Google Home when the alarm goes off.Hear about your day

You can ask Google Home “tell me about my day” to get an audio report of your calendar, your morning traffic commute, the weather, and any reminders. You can also customise your report to exclude certain things, such as the weather. At the end, you’ll get a news briefing. But first, to do any of this, you’ll must connect services like your Google Calendar using settings in the Google Home app.

Google Home Easter eggs

Pocket-lint

Looking for some fun things to do with Google Home? While these are technically Google Assistant easter eggs, you’ll find that they really give your Google Home some personality:

  • Say “I’m feeling lucky” to start up a multiplayer game show.
  • Say “Give me a random number between (x) and (y)” to hear a random number between the two – with beeping sounds to boot.
  • Ask it to “Roll (insert number)-sided dice”: It’ll give you a random number, complete with sound effects.
  • Say “(Contact name) is my (relationship)” to ask Assistant to associate certain relationship information with a contact for future reference.
  • Say “Good morning” to hear a rundown of your day’s agenda, along with the current weather and news.
  • Say “Send a message to (Contact name) on (messaging service like WhatsApp)” to dictate a message to a contact.
  • Say “Wubba lubba dub dub” to get Assistant to respond with: “Are you in pain? How can I help?” or “Sorry, I don’t speak Birdperson” (a reference to the show Rick and Morty).
  • Say “Beatbox” to hear a clip of someone beat-boxing.
  • Say “sing a song” to hear a horrible, brief song.
  • Say “Read a poem” to hear a random poem from Google search.
  • Say “Tell me a joke” to hear an age-appropriate joke from Pixar.
  • Say “F*** you” to submit a bug report.
21
Jan

Samsung can’t use in-box warranty to kill Galaxy S4 lawsuit


Oh Samsung. When the company isn’t busy recalling cellphones and washing machines for being safety hazards, it’s busy fighting its customers in court. In 2015, Daniel Norcia contended that he was misled by Samsung about the capabilities of his Galaxy S4. Specifically, its speed, performance and memory capacity, according to Consumerist.

The long and short of it is that Samsung didn’t want to go to court and instead wanted to force the claim into private arbitration — essentially, a non-public dispute resolution.

The Korean company says (PDF) that the warranty sheet in the phone’s box stripped Norcia’s right to a trial, stating that said sheet forbids class action lawsuits and requires “all disputes with Samsung arising in any way from this limited warranty or the sale, condition or performance of the products shall be resolved exclusively through final and binding arbitration, and not by court or jury.”

An appeals board basically pointed and laughed at the Korean tech juggernaut saying that customers don’t need to opt-in to a warranty because they aren’t the ones selling the device. As Consumerist notes, at this point it’s a matter of contract law because Norcia’s dispute involves the handset’s advertised performance.

For every possible defense Samsung had, the court hit back with a counter-argument. It’s entirely possible that the case could reach class-action status and everyone who had similar S4 complaints could receive compensation. On the other hand, Samsung could file an appeal of its own should such a case reach the Supreme Court. We’ve reached out to Samsung for more information and will update this post should it arrive.

Source: Consumerist (1) (PDF), (2)

21
Jan

Unfollowing @POTUS could be difficult right now


While we just learned of the detailed transition plan for Obama Administration social media accounts, things aren’t going quite as many users expected. Currently, many people have reported that despite unfollowing (or, in some cases, apparently never following) the @POTUS account on Twitter, they checked their accounts and are suddenly following it. According to company CEO Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets, what’s happening is an automated process plotted out by the Obama team.

What should be happening, according to @Jack, is that Twitter is replaying a series of actions from a snapshot it took at 9AM, transferring @POTUS followers to the new @POTUS44 account where Barack Obama’s history is archived and the new, fresh @POTUS as well. This was mentioned in the transition plans back in October, explaining that both accounts would end up with the (then 11 million or so) followers. The problem is that if you’ve unfollowed (or even blocked) since, it will apparently take time to catch up, and hasn’t completed yet.

@kristapley @keithcalder investigating. Script was to move POTUS to POTUS44 and new POTUS. Shouldn’t follow if there was never a follow

— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017

@taradublinrocks @3LWTV @SteveScalise @POTUS @WhiteHouse looking into this. We timestamped at 9a as planned (per post)

— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017

It’s unclear if everything is working exactly as planned, but it’s apparently still occurring right now. As it stands, if you’d like to follow or unfollow @POTUS, @FLOTUS or any of the other top-level White House accounts and took action on that within the last day or so, it may be better to wait until tomorrow and see where things stand. Or, you could keep flipping the switch and see what happens. Either way, this is the first transition of the social media era, and it doesn’t appear to be living up to user expectations. We’ll see if things are done in a similar way the next time there’s a change in the Oval Office.

@GlennF @edbott @POTUS if you unfollowed it will replay. Just taking time.

— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017

Source: Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

21
Jan

Researchers use ultrasound to push helpful RNA inside cells


Scientists at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have been able to push strands of RNA (ribonucleic acid) into colon cells using bursts of ultrasound waves. The treatment, thanks to how RNA can reprogram the production of proteins, dramatically reduced levels of a protein that’s found only in colon cells during inflammatory bowel diseases. It caused inflammation inside mice test subjects to almost disappear — and without any side effects.

Carl Schoellhammer, the study’s lead author, said that the team “saw tremendous knockdown of those proteins.” Parts of RNA, short-interfering RNA, can turn off specific genes. Typically, these treatments don’t work inside the gut as RNA gets broken up into molecules on its way to the affected area. Using ultrasound as a delivery method means this doesn’t happen, as it gets inside cells so quickly.

At low frequencies, ultrasound waves make tiny bubbles in a solution which later burst, pushing drugs and/or RNA into cells. During the group’s tests on mice, those that received RNA through ultrasound saw a sevenfold to tenfold reduction in inflammatory protein levels, with inflammation nearly disappearing. The researchers noted no adverse side-effects, while RNA delivered without an ultrasound-powered nudge had no effect on the mice. This technique could be used to treat both other gastrointestinal disorders as well as diseases in other parts of the body. RNA treatment could be used to reprogram protein production in cancerous cells, for example.

The researchers have formed a company called Suono Bio to develop the tech, and are planning to develop a treatment method for inflammatory bowel disease in humans– if it passes the requisite clinical trials. The team is also working on miniaturized devices that would carry drugs or RNA, as well as emit its own ultrasound waves, for delivery to the stomach or other parts of the GI tract. “Eventually we think we will get to a fully ingestible capsule for the oral delivery of almost anything,” added Schoellhammer.

Source: MIT

21
Jan

The Vine Archive will keep the videos looping forever


Vine won’t be going away after all. The six-second video service that gave the world “on fleek” and an enthusiastic community of homegrown celebrities will live on in the Vine Archive, a time capsule dedicated to the site’s all-too-brief four year lifespan.

The Vine Archive takes over the Vine.co URL, but with a handy index page to help you navigate the millions of archived video loops. If you’re just here to browse, Vine has helpfully broken things out by categories like Sports, Animals, Art and Comedy, but the real news here is that Yeet never has to stop dancing and we’ll always be back at it again at the Krispy Kreme.

Unfortunately, there’s no longer an easy way to embed a Vine, so they’re more or less frozen in six seconds of amber on their individual archive pages. Videos embedded in old pages will still play “while the archive is available,” but the loop counts, likes and re-vines are all stuck in time as well. If you’re a fan of the format, you can still shoot loops with the Vine Camera app, but you’ll have to post them straight to Twitter. And if you’d rather not have your clips live on in perpetuity, you can still delete your account.

Via: Vine on Medium

%d bloggers like this: