Want the Best Medical Care? Swallow This Pill Covered in Tiny Needles.

When it comes to medicine, most people prefer pills to needles. But many drugs aren’t properly absorbed when taken in pill form. Now, researchers may have solved the problem: a digestible pill, covered with tiny needles, that injects drugs directly into your stomach lining.

The novel drug delivery system is the result of a collaboration between researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital. The concept for the pill is described in the video below, but the gist is as follows: A capsule is coated first with tiny needles, then a pH-sensitive coating. The coating not only makes it possible to swallow the pill, it also dissolves away in the low-pH environment of the stomach. When it does, the needles are exposed. Intestinal contractions carry the pill through the digestive tract while applying pressure to an internal drug reservoir. In this way, the drug is delivered via the needles into the intestinal wall, where it can be absorbed. Such a system could one day replace injections of medications like insulin, which are too big to be absorbed via the stomach, and prone to decomposition by gastrointestinal molecules, to be taken orally:

In the latest issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciencesresearchers led by chemical engineer Carl Schoellhammer document the potential of the new drug delivery system. Using a pig as a model, the team demonstrated that injection into the intestines is an effective method of insulin-delivery. In a second experiment, the team showed that a pill measuring two centimeters long, 1 centimeter across, and coated in five-millimeter stainless-steel needles could pass safely through the digestive tract of a pig. Future versions of the pill could be coated with needles made of degradable polymers and sugars:

BLOOD

apparently Canada doesn’t have a lot of blood in supply right now (it’s critically low, the lowest it’s been since 2008 according to Canadian Blood Services). They might have to postpone medical things and stuff, if you live here and can donate your blood (esp. type O and A) please do (it takes quite a bit of blood to do some surgeries even, plus they need blood for accidents).
source (x) (x) (x)

Here is a clinic finder and the Canadian Blood Services website

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Medical botany :containing a botanical, general, and medical history of medicinal plants indigenous to the United States. Illustrated by coloured engravings, made after drawings from nature on Flickr.

By Barton, William P. C. (William Paul Crillon), 1786-1856 
H.C. Carey & I. Lea (Firm)
Publication info Philadelphia :H.C. Carey & I. Lea—Chesnut Street,1825.
BHL Collections:
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Materia Medica

I didn't bite anyone.

Sometimes, that’s the best you can hope for out of an interaction. 

Today, I had my yearly endocrinology appointment, just to monitor how the testosterone is settling into my system. It seems to be doing lovely, but I need to have a blood test to make sure. One problem: I’m afraid of needles.

Yes, that’s right. Big bad medical kink TeratoMarty is terrified of a little jab. It actually seems to be where the medical kink comes from. Very Freud, I know. So I told the phlebotomist this (about the phobia, not the kink), and asked that she not let me see the needle.

Not only did she whale the needle all around in front of my face, but she couldn’t find the vein worth a damn. She spent a good long time rooting around in the flesh of my forearm while I bit my hand and tried not to hyperventilate.  For some reason, she didn’t want me to bite my hand. I persisted, be cause the alternative was biting HER, and that sort of thing always gets me in trouble.  No Thorazine for me, thanks, I have to go to work later. 

She FINALLY found my goddamn antecubital vein and got me out of there, but that’s gonna leave a mark. I’m trying to focus on the positives: nobody got bit, and I don’t have to do this again for another year. 

Scrutiny in Texas to Detect Whether Ebola Has Spread

Mr. Duncan may have become infected after his landlord’s daughter fell gravely ill. On Sept 15, Mr. Duncan helped his landlord and his landlord’s son carry the stricken woman to the hospital, his neighbors and the woman’s parents said. She died the next day.

Soon, the landlord’s son also became ill, and he died on Wednesday in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Two other residents in the neighborhood who may have had contact with the woman have also died. Their bodies were collected on Wednesday as well.

Health officials in Dallas said Wednesday that they believed Mr. Duncan came in contact with at least 12 to 18 people when he was experiencing symptoms. So far, none has been confirmed infected.

NY Times

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Soft Robotics Toolkit

Education resource developed by the Harvard Biodesign Lab to learn, experiment and develop technology in this field - video embedded below:

The Soft Robotics Toolkit is a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices … The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots. In combination with low material costs and increasingly accessible rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, the toolkit enables soft robotic components to be produced easily and affordably.

More Here

On the morning of Sept. 29, 1982, the parents of 12-year-old Mary Kellerman gave their daughter one extra-strength Tylenol capsule for a standard runny nose and sore throat. Unbeknownst to them, the pill was laced with highly poisonous potassium cyanide, and by 7 a.m., Mary was dead.

Within a week, her death would panic the entire nation, and ultimately change the way we purchase and consume over-the-counter medications.

Learn more.

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