Will China Follow In Venezuela’s Footsteps?

Grind for May 7th, 2018

“Toil without song is like a weary journey without an end.” – HP Lovecraft


The Headline

Australian researchers develop “smart pill” that can track digestive health

The Grind

A team of researchers in Melbourne, Australia is working on a “smart pill” that sends real-time data from your gut straight to your smartphone.

The ingestible sensor, which is about the size of a typical vitamin, measures the gases, liquids, and microbiome activity in your gut. In the past, such data could only be collected through surgery or fecal samples.

The pill’s inventors, Dr. Kyle Berean and Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, believe the device could eliminate the need to conduct colonoscopies and other uncomfortable procedures.

“Our ingestible sensors offer a potential diagnostic tool for many disorders of the gut from food nutrient malabsorption to colon cancer. It is good news that a less invasive procedure will now be an option for so many people in the future,” explains Kalantar-zadeh.

The Implication

The team’s first human trial confirmed the sensor’s safety and its ability to measure gases inside the body.

“Smart pills are harmless and there is no risk of capsule retention,” says Dr. Berean. In other words, the pill will pass normally through a patient’s digestive system and there is no chance it will get lost or stuck inside the body.

The trial also revealed a previously unknown immune reaction inside the stomach.

“We found that the stomach releases oxidizing chemicals to break down and beat foreign compounds that are staying in the stomach for longer than usual,” says Kalantar-zadeh. In this case, that “foreign compound” was the sensor.

Kalantar-zadeh and his team hope the pill will improve doctors’ ability to diagnose, prevent, and learn more about gastrointestinal disorders like IBS. The pill could also “help us better understand how debilitating disease like colon cancer occur.”

The team is gearing up to begin Phase II human trials and has already established a new company, called Atmo Biosciences, in anticipation of bringing the sensor to consumers.

Happy Birthday

The Headline

Chinese president celebrates Karl Marx’s birthday

The Grind

Karl Marx is “the greatest thinker of modern times,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping last Friday during a speech in Beijing.

The speech was among a number of events honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx – the German philosopher whose political ideas inspired communism.

Xi in February celebrated the 170th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto and urged party members to view Marxist theory as a “way of life” and a “spiritual pursuit.”

The Implication

Xi’s celebration of Karl Marx hearkens back to former leaders like Mao Zedong, the communist revolutionary who founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and is a way to prop up the CPC and distinguish China from Western capitalism.

The celebration of Marx is also a way for Xi to defend himself against those who view his consolidation of power with suspicion.

“Marx and Lenin…are useful for Xi Jinping because their teachings justify what he is doing – namely, concentrating all powers in the Communist Party and concentrating all powers in the top leader himself,” says Chinese policy expert Willy Lam.

Xi’s fervent support for Karl Marx is a shift from China’s three previous leaders, who eschewed the ideals of communism in favor of “opening up.”

“Writing Marxism onto the flag of the Chinese Communist Party was totally correct,” said Xi, adding that “socialism” is necessary in order to achieve the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

China’s adherence to socialism is dangerous because it is unsustainable.

In recent years we have watched the total economic collapse in socialist Venezuela – a country of about 31 million. Just think of the global ramifications should this same catastrophe occur in China – a country of more than 1 billion.

Did you know… Europe is the only continent without a desert.

April grew up in the Midwest, where she developed a passion for writing and storytelling at a young age. She transformed that passion into a degree at Indiana University (2008-2012), after which she promptly moved to South Florida to escape the cold.

Since then, April has worked as a content writer, editor, proofreader, blogger, tour guide, scriptwriter, and - I’ll admit it - bartender. Her favorite topics on which to write include health, politics, science & nature, and space exploration (anything but sports, really).

April is an amateur artist who enjoys spending time outdoors and inventing new cocktails. She currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida

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