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New Video Shows Galaxy Tab S4 in All Its Glory

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 is quickly becoming one of the worst-kept secrets in mobile gadgets.

galaxytab s4 render 3310481532698880A video surfaced on YouTube on Thursday (July 26) that purports to show the Galaxy Tab S4 in all its glory. And although it’s only ten seconds long, it goes a long way in shedding light on what we can and cannot expect from Samsung’s tablet.

The Galaxy Tab appears to be on sale in the video where a person is picking them up and showcasing the front and back. The front of the device comes with a black finish and the rear has a white finish.

MORE: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 Leaked: Here’s What to Expect

Seemingly confirming several earlier rumors, the tablet in the video doesn’t come with a physical home button on the front. The move allows Samsung to expand the size of its screen and reduce the size of the bezels around the display. But in an odd twist, the tablet appears to come with a somewhat thick bezel that doesn’t make it feel like the newest and latest slate on the market.

When the person flips over the tablet in the video, it appears to come with a glossy backplate to make it more attractive. There’s also a single-lens camera on the back, confirming rumors that the tablet wouldn’t ship with a dual-lens array.

Aside from that, the video, which was earlier reported on by Slashleaks, sheds no light on what we can expect inside the tablet. It also doesn’t reveal how much the device would cost or when it’ll launch. And since the video wasn’t confirmed by Samsung, we should take it with the proverbial grain of salt.

Still, we know that the Galaxy Tab S4 is launching somewhat soon. The tablet will likely be unveiled at IFA Berlin at the end of August, according to reports. Until then, look for more leaks and rumors.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 alleged case renders leaked

“The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to come with Exynos 9810 SoC in India and few other markets”

In the run-up to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launch, the renders of its cases and covers have now been leaked. The leak comes from the famous tipster – @rolandt from WinFuture. According to the images, the cases come in multiple colours, and each one has the upcoming phablet placed inside.

These cases range from Protective Silicone Cover, Clear View Cover, LED View Cover, and the Silicone Cover. The protective silicone cover is expected to offer military-grade protection to the Galaxy Note 9 and even has a built-in stand that should come in handy while consuming media on the smartphone. The rest of the cases seem very standard, but they do come in multiple colours, as per the images.

Galaxy Note 9 - featured

Further, the tipster has also published the renders of the new S-Pen. The images show the Galaxy Note 9 stylus will come in four colour options of black, purple, brown, grey, and blue. As for the design, from the renders, it looks like the 2018’s S-Pen will be more angular than its predecessor. This year’s stylus is further rumoured to come with Bluetooth connectivity.

Meanwhile, Samsung has been teasing the phablet in the short videos. The Galaxy Note 9 could come with up to 8GB of RAM, 512GB storage space, and more battery life than its predecessor. More details about the handset, including the pricing and availability, will be revealed by the company at its launch event on August 9th. So stay tuned.

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VOOC explained: everything you need to know about OPPO’s fast charging technology [Infographic]

With smartphones becoming more than just a calling-and-messaging device, their battery life has become an important aspect. On the flipside however, while the phone with a large cell will last long, it’ll also take a considerable time to charge. That’s where fast charging comes in… which promises to juice up the phone quickly. And when we are talking about fast charging, OPPO’s VOOC technology is one of the best in business. It claims to charge up to 75 percent of a typical 2,500mAh battery within just 30 minutes, which is nothing short of impressive. But what exactly is VOOC technology and is it safe? This handy infographic aims to answer all your queries.

OPPO's VOOC fast charging tech

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Huawei reportedly planning to launch world’s first smartphone with a foldable screen

“The Chinese brand is reportedly aiming to beat Samsung in the race of launching the world’s first handset with a foldable display”

Several reports in the past have indicated that several major brands like Samsung, LG, OPPO, and Huawei are planning to launch foldable smartphones next year. We have already seen a number of patents trademarked by many of these brands in the past couple of months. Now according to a report by Nikkie Asian Review, the Chinese electronics giant Huawei is planning to beat Samsung to launch the world’s first foldable screen smartphone.

Huawei Foldable smartphone patent

As per the report, the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer Huawei’s top priority is to beat the arch-rival Samsung to the market. Citing analysts and industry sources familiar with the matter, Huawei’s premium foldable smartphone could flaunt a flexible organic lighting-emitting diode display. The foldable screen is said to be manufactured by the Chinese panel supplier BOE (Beijing Oriental Electronics) Technology Group.

The report claims that Huawei is initially planning to manufacture around 20,000 to 30,000 units of its foldable smartphone. Yes, the first batch of the phone will be very small, but the idea for the brand is to beat Samsung to such a claim. With its first foldable offering, Huawei aims to demonstrate its technical capabilities and attract attention from the industry and media. Huawei wants to be the first in the industry to launch such a smartphone, even if the foldable display technology from BOE might not be that ready like the one of Samsung, added the sources.

The pricing and launch date details of the Huawei’s foldable smartphone are still not clear at the moment. The launch date will depend on the development and durability of the foldable OLED display panels from BOE Technology. Some analysts suggested that Huawei could launch the phone at some point in early 2019. Notably, Samsung is also said to be planning to launch its first foldable offering around the same time. 

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Alleged OPPO R17 spotted on TENAA, specs and live images leaked

“The OPPO R17 is reportedly coming with a massive 10GB of RAM”

The OPPO R17 has been the subject of many leaks and rumours lately. Most recently, a tipster on Weibo suggested that the company will be launching the R17 smartphone with 10GB of RAM. Now, the alleged OPPO R17 has surfaced on the Chinese certification agency TENAA, revealing handset’s key specifications and images.


As per the TENAA listing, the alleged OPPO R17 comes with model number PBCM00/ PBCT00. The phone flaunts a 6.3-inch display on the front and is backed by 3,415mAh battery. The Android version is unspecified at the moment but we do know that the phone measures 156.7 x 74 x 7.9mm.

Further, the OPPO R17 leaked images suggest a dual-camera at the rear panel with LED flash, volume buttons on the left edge, and the power button on the right.  Notably, the phone seems to be missing out on the capacitative fingerprint sensor. It is hard to tell right now whether the phone will have an end-to-end display like the Find X or a notched display.

As of now, there is no official word on the launch timing for the R17 but we will let you know as soon as it’s officially confirmed by the company, so stay tuned.

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Bile acids from the gut could help to treat cocaine abuse

Bile acids that aid fat digestion are also found to reduce the rewarding properties of cocaine use, according to a study publishing on July 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by India Reddy, Nicholas Smith, and Robb Flynn of Vanderbilt University, Aurelio Galli of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues. The results point to potential new strategies for treatment of cocaine abuse.

The study builds on evidence that bile acids influence the brain’s reward system. Bile acids are normally released from the gall bladder into the upper part of the small intestine, where they emulsify fats for absorption, before being recycled further down the small intestine. In bile diversion surgery, an experimental treatment for weight loss, bile is released at the end of the small intestine, increasing the amount of bile acids that enter the general circulation. Mice treated with this surgery have less appetite for high-fat foods, which suggests that bile acids affect brain reward pathways.

To test this hypothesis, the authors first showed that surgery produced an elevation of bile acids in the brain, resulting in a reduction in dopamine release in response to cocaine. Mice receiving the surgery also showed less preference for the cocaine-associated chamber, indicating that cocaine was probably less rewarding.

The authors next administered a drug, called OCA, that mimics the effect of bile at its receptor in the brain, called TGR5. They found that OCA mimicked the cocaine-related results of surgery in untreated mice, strengthening the case that the effects of surgery were due to elevated levels of bile acids. Knocking out TGR5 from the brain’s nucleus accumbens, a central reward region, prevented bile acids from reducing cocaine’s effects, confirming that signaling through this receptor was responsible for the cocaine-related results of bile acid elevation.

“These findings redefine the physiological significance of bile acid signaling and highlight the importance of determining whether bile acid analogues represent a viable pharmacological treatment for cocaine abuse,” Galli said. OCA, the compound that activated the bile acid receptor in this study, is approved for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis (Intercept Pharmaceuticals) offering fast translational opportunities for pharmacotherapies. This study also contributes to a greater understanding of how gut-based signaling influences higher order central functions such as reward.

The gut-to-brain axis regulates diverse behavioral phenotypes. The authors reveal that a new gut-based bariatric surgical approach chronically elevates systemic bile acids and reduces cocaine reward. These findings redefine the physiological significance of bile acid signaling and highlight the importance of determining whether bile acid analogues represent a viable pharmacological treatment for cocaine abuse.

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Mosquito screening useful in monitoring lymphatic filariasis re-emergence

To ensure elimination of the Wuchereria bancrofti, a parasitic roundworm that causes lymphatic filariasis, public health workers must follow up mass drug administration with careful monitoring for recurrence. To that end, a study published this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases analyzes the effectiveness of mosquito screening as a tool to gauge parasite presence.

The parasitic nematode worm W. bancrofti, spread by mosquitos, is the major cause of lymphatic filariasis (LF), which can cause elephantiasis — severe swelling of the extremities. Since 2000, the World Health Organization has undertaken a global program to eliminate LF, which revolves around mass drug administrations to treat entire populations for the parasite. Currently, monitoring efforts post-drug administration include regular testing for the presence of antibodies among adult humans.

In the new work, Seth Irish, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues collected mosquitos from 180 traps sites in each of two areas of Bangladesh — one which was previously endemic for LF and the other non-endemic. Using real-time PCR, they conducted molecular xenomonitoring (MX) on the insects to detect any W. bancrofti DNA.

A total of 24,436 mosquitos were collected, and 10,344 (41%) were Culex quinquefasciatus, the mosquito which transmits W. bancrofti in Bangladesh. None of the 594 pools of mosquitos collected during the study period tested positive for W. bancrofti DNA, correlating with the results of surveys that had been carried out in the human population to track any reemergence of LF.

“The practical application of xenomonitoring activities is worthy of discussion,” the researchers say. “Further operational research and information sharing about how to programmatically simplify and standardize MX evaluations will also make these evaluations more accessible to a larger number of LF endemic countries entering the post-elimination validation period.”

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Gut bacteria byproduct protects against Salmonella, study finds

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a molecule that serves as natural protection against one of the most common intestinal pathogens.

Propionate, a byproduct of metabolism by a group of bacteria called the Bacteroides, inhibits the growth of Salmonella in the intestinal tract of mice, according to the researchers. The finding may help to explain why some people are better able to fight infection by Salmonella and other intestinal pathogens and lead to the development of better treatment strategies.

A paper describing the work will be published July 26 in Cell Host and Microbe.

The researchers determined that propionate doesn’t trigger the immune response to thwart the pathogen. Instead, the molecule prolongs the time it takes the pathogen to start dividing by increasing its internal acidity.

Salmonella infections often cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within four to seven days. However, the illness may be severe enough to require hospitalization for some patients.

Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths nationwide each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases are caused by contaminated food.

Different responses to exposure

“Humans differ in their response to exposure to bacterial infections. Some people get infected and some don’t, some get sick and others stay healthy, and some spread the infection while others clear it,” said Denise Monack, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology and the senior author of the paper. “It has been a real mystery to understand why we see these differences among people. Our finding may shed some light on this phenomenon.”

For years, scientists have been using different strains of mice to determine how various genes might influence susceptibility to infection by intestinal pathogens. But this is the first time that researchers have looked at how the variability of gut bacteria in these mice might contribute to their different responses to pathogens.

“The gut microbiota is an incredibly complex ecosystem. Trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi form complex interactions with the host and each other in a densely packed, heterogeneous environment,” said Amanda Jacobson, the paper’s lead author and a graduate student in microbiology and immunology. “Because of this, it is very difficult to identify the unique molecules from specific bacteria in the gut that are responsible for specific characteristics like resistance to pathogens.”

From mice to men

The scientists started with an observation that has been recognized in the field for years: Two inbred strains of mice harbor different levels of Salmonella in their guts after being infected with the pathogen. “The biggest challenge was to determine why this was happening,” Jacobson said.

First, they determined that the differences in Salmonella growth could be attributed to the natural composition of bacteria in the intestines of each mouse strain. They did this by performing fecal transplants, which involved giving mice antibiotics to kill off their usual composition of gut bacteria and then replacing the microbial community with the feces of other mice, some of whom were resistant to Salmonella infection. Then, the researchers determined which microbes were responsible for increased resistance to Salmonella infection by using machine-learning tools to identify which groups of bacteria were different between the strains.

They identified a specific group of bacteria, the Bacteroides, which was more abundant in mice transplanted with the microbiota that was protective against Salmonella. Bacteroides produce short-chain fatty acids such as formate, acetate, butyrate and propionate during metabolism, and levels of propionate were threefold higher in mice that were protected against Salmonella growth. Then, the researchers sought to figure out whether propionate protected against Salmonella by boosting the immune system like other short-chain fatty acids do.

The scientists examined their Salmonella model for the potential impact of propionate on the immune system but found that the molecule had a more direct effect on the growth of Salmonella. Propionate acts on Salmonella by dramatically decreasing its intracellular pH and thus increasing the time it takes for the bacterium to start dividing and growing, the study found.

“Collectively, our results show that when concentrations of propionate, which is produced by Bacteroides, in the gut are high, Salmonella are unable to raise their internal pH to facilitate cellular functions required for growth,” Jacobson said. “Of course, we would want to know how translatable this is to humans.”

Reducing the impact of salmonella

“The next steps will include determining the basic biology of the small molecule propionate and how it works on a molecular level,” Jacobson said. In addition, the researchers will work to identify additional molecules made by intestinal microbes that affect the ability of bacterial pathogens like Salmonella to infect and “bloom” in the gut. They are also trying to determine how various diets affect the ability of these bacterial pathogens to infect and grow in the gut and then shed into the environment. “These findings will have a big impact on controlling disease transmission,” Monack said.

The findings could also influence treatment strategies. Treating Salmonella infections sometimes require the use of antibiotics, which may make Salmonella-induced illness or food poisoning worse since they also kill off the “good” bacteria that keep the intestine healthy, according to Monack. Using propionate to treat these infections could overcome this limitation. “Reducing the use of antibiotics is an added benefit because overuse of antibiotics leads to increased incidence of antibiotic-resistant microbes,” Monack said.

Other Stanford co-authors of the paper are postdoctoral scholar Manohary Rajendram, PhD; graduate students Lilian Lam, Fiona Tamburini, Will Van Treuren, Kali Pruss, Jared Honeycutt and Kyler Lugo; Trung Pham, MD, instructor of pediatrics and infectious diseases; life science researcher Russel Stabler; Donna Bouley, DVM, PhD, professor emeritus of comparative medicine; José Vilches-Moure, PhD, assistant professor of comparative medicine; senior research scientist Mark Smith, PhD; Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology; Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and of genetics; and KC Huang, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering and of microbiology and immunology.

Bhatt, Huang, Monack, Sonnenburg and Vilches-Moure are members of Stanford Bio-X. Bhatt, Huang, Monack and Sonnenburg are faculty fellows at Stanford ChEM-H. Bhatt, Bouley and Vilches-Moure are members of the Stanford Cancer Institute. Bhatt and Monack are members of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute. Vilches-Moure is a member of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. Bouley is an affiliate of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Sonnenburg and Huang are Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01DK085025, T32GM007276, R01AI116059 and F32AI133917), the Paul Allen Stanford Discovery Center on Systems Modeling of Infection and the National Science Foundation.

Stanford’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology also supported the work.

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Fat production and burning are synchronized in livers of mice with obesity

Mice fed a fattening diet develop new liver circadian rhythms that impact the way fat is accumulated and simultaneously burned, according to a new study published in Cell by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The team found that as liver fat production increases, surprisingly, so does the body’s ability to burn fat. These opposing physiological processes reach their peak activity each day around 5 p.m., illustrating an unexpected connection between overeating, circadian rhythms, and fat accumulation in the liver.

“We know that obesity leads to accumulation of fat in the liver, which can cause inflammation and possibly hepatitis, liver failure, and even liver cancer,” said senior author Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, director of Penn’s Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, and chief of the division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. “This is rapidly becoming a huge problem, as these conditions can lead to an increased need for liver transplantation, and worse, can be deadly.”

While one billion people worldwide are adversely affected by malnutrition, there are another billion who experience excess calorie intake, or “overnutrition,” which leads to obesity and other metabolic disorders including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, hypertension, and cancer. “Studying the harmful effects of overnutrition is a top priority, especially in the United States where metabolic disorders have reached epidemic proportions,” Lazar said.

The circadian rhythms that fat creation and burning follow are physiological processes that occur with about every 24 hours. At the molecular level, these cycles involve feedback loops of core clock proteins expressed in virtually every cell of the body. This internal timekeeper functions to integrate environmental stimuli and genetic information to control rhythmic gene expression in a tissue-specific way.

A misalignment of this schedule is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for metabolic disorders. For example, night shift workers and individuals with sleep disorders have an increased risk of metabolic diseases. Understanding the mechanisms that impact the relationship between circadian rhythms and metabolic disorders are necessary for the development of meaningful therapeutic strategies for treating obesity-related diseases.

“We speculate that the diet-induced synchronization of these opposing liver fat metabolic processes is a response to an environment of overnutrition, leading to fat burning outpacing fat accumulation in the liver,” said first author Dongyin Guan, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Lazar’s lab.

The 24-hour clock aspect of this physiology informs the practice of chronotherapy, which involves administering drugs at times when they are most impactful and tolerated in order to enhance effectiveness and reduce toxicity. The team discovered that the rhythm of fat burning is controlled by a protein called PPAR-alpha, which is the target of drugs called fibrates, which are already used to lower lipids in the blood. The amount of PPAR-alpha in the liver also peaked around 5 p.m.

From this coordination, Lazar’s team asked whether there would be a benefit to giving short-acting PPAR-alpha drugs at the specific time of day when PPAR-alpha is at its highest level. The researchers observed that a short-acting PPAR-alpha drug reduced liver fat more when it was given in the afternoon than when it was given in the morning.

Similar to how statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) are prescribed to be taken at bedtime, “our results support that due to the rhythmicity of PPAR-alpha, drugs that lower liver and blood lipid levels could be more effective at specific times of day,” Lazar said. “Following this principle more closely to treat liver metabolic disease may indeed benefit patients, as recent studies have shown that PPAR-alpha expression oscillates in the human liver.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01-DK045586, R01-HL54926, R01-DK098542, F32DK116519), the JPB Foundation and an American Diabetes Association Training Grant (1-17-PDF-076, 1-18-PDF-132).