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Scientists Claim They’ve Developed a Male Birth Control Pill — Again

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Certain breakthroughs always seem just out of scientists’ reach.

Warp drive. Scalable fusion reactors.

And, of course, a male birth control pill.

This week, yet another team of researchers raised the hopes of reproductively responsible men everywhere claiming they’d developed a safe and effective once-a-day male birth control pill.

However, guys shouldn’t toss their condoms just yet. While this drug seems promising, it’s still a long way from the local pharmacy.

Stephanie Page, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, presented her team’s research into the male birth control pill, called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in Chicago.

male birth control pill
Image Credit: frolicsomepl / Pixabay

Once a day, for 28 days, each of the 100 men between age 18 and 50 ingested either a placebo or DMAU in one of three doses. On the first and last days of the study, each man gave blood samples so the researchers could determine his hormone and cholesterol levels.

According to the study, the men who took the highest dose, 400 mg, showed a “marked suppression” of testosterone levels, as well as the levels of two hormones needed to produce sperm. The researchers claim these hormone responses are “consistent with effective contraception.” That is, it would probably work as birth control.

Every subject in the trial passed all safety tests, and very few reported any symptoms traditionally linked to too much or too little testosterone, Page said in a press release. They had problems with sexual function and no mood changes, either, she noted during the presentation.

However, each man taking DMAU did gain weight and had lower levels of HDL cholesterol (that’s the “good” kind).

This isn’t the first experimental male contraceptive to have these side effects. Typically, drugs like these have two major problems: the oral testosterone they contain damages the liver, and the drugs leave the body too quickly — men would need to take the pills at least twice a day for them to be effective.

DMAU actually addresses those issues. To the first point: the dimethandrolone in DMAU is a testosterone modified to eliminate liver toxicity. And the second: the long-chain fatty acid undecanoate ensures the drug stays in the user’s system for a full 24 hours.

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is this was a super small study. 100 men, reduced to 83 by the end of the brief 28 days of the study, is hardly grounds for an FDA approval. Still, Page claims the team is currently conducting longer-term DMAU studies.

Even more reason to take the findings with a grain of salt: the team’s research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Until other members of the scientific community have a chance to pick apart the study and verify its methods and conclusions, DMAU will remain just another in the long list of potential male birth control pills.

The post Scientists Claim They’ve Developed a Male Birth Control Pill — Again appeared first on Futurism.

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New Pill Kills the Flu Virus in 24 Hours

This year’s flu season is said to the most widespread on record, causing more than 17,000 hospitalizations since October 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Now, a Japanese drugmaker claims to have developed a pill capable of killing of the virus in just one day.

Japanese and American flu patients who took part in the recent trial of the Shionogi & Co. pill are said to have had the virus wiped out from their bodies in about 24 hours. For comparison, the popular Tamiflu medicine produced by the Roche group was found to take three times as long.

The Shionogi compound and Tamiflu take around the same time to entirely contain flu symptoms, but the former provides immediate relief more quickly. What’s more, its producers say, it only requires a single dose to be effective, whereas Tamiflu has to be taken twice a day for five days.

The Japanese company built upon its anti-HIV medicine to produce a drug that’s different to other flu medications. The virus works by hijacking human cells and forcing them to produce viral material rather than proteins, which would normally spread the virus across the body.
While currently available treatments stop the virus from exiting the infected cell and spreading, Shionogi’s method prevents the viral material from being produced in the first place.

Research into methods of fighting the influenza virus typically concentrate on improving upon existing vaccines, rather then developing new treatments. However, this project could be a key step forward in the ongoing fight against the flu, as killing the virus as quickly as possible could reduce the risk of infected individuals spreading it around.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Shionogi says that Japan’s regulatory authority for drugs is fast-tracking approval for the medication, and the company could have permission to move forward as early as March. An application for US approval will be submitted over the summer, although a response isn’t expected until 2019.

The post New Pill Kills the Flu Virus in 24 Hours appeared first on Futurism.

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Tech Deals: 45% Off Beats Pill+, $10 Off Fire TV Stick For Kodi, $200 Off MacBook Air Starter Bundle, More

The weekend would simply not be the weekend without being able to simply browse through a collection of hand-picked, wonderfully selected, price reduced deals. Yes, that’s right, this is yet another installment of our daily technology deals, which are all in place to let you get new products and accessories in your life without having to pay full price.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Speaker in White Discounted to $116 at Target and Amazon

The Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker has received a notable discount today at two retailers, with the White model specifically getting marked down to one of the lowest price points seen for the device. At both Target and Amazon you can get the Beats Pill+ in White for $116.99, which is over $30 lower than the speaker’s more common sale price of $150. When it first launched in 2015, Apple sold the Beats Pill+ for $230.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The only other color that appears slightly lowered in price as well is Black, but on Target the color has sold out at the time of writing, and on Amazon every other color option is $149.00 and above (you’ll have to add the speakers to your cart to see how much they are). Elsewhere at retailers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart, and Newegg the speaker sits at around a similar $149.00 price point, while Apple still sells it for $179.95.

In other Beats sales, Newegg’s official eBay store has the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones for $197.00, down from $299.00. Colors available include Gloss Black, Gloss White, Rose Gold, and Gold, and there is a limit to three headphones per customer.


The next best prices can be found at Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, which all have the headphones for about $219.99. Like the Beats Pill+ deal, discounts on the Beats Solo3 headphones at these retailers are mostly focused on one color of the device, this time in Black.

For more discounts on Beats and other products — including a UE Megaboom sale going on right now at Best Buy — be sure to visit our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Getting a fecal transplant in a pill might be just as effective as a colonoscopy

Getting a fecal transplant in a pill might be just as effective as getting one with a colonoscopy, according to new research. This could be very good news for people with a painful bowel infection, since taking a capsule by mouth is far less unpleasant than undergoing surgery.

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The FDA has approved the first digital pill

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first digital pill for the US which tracks if patients have taken their medication. The pill called Abilify MyCite, is fitted with a tiny ingestible sensor that communicates with a patch worn by the patient — the patch then transmits medication data to a smartphone app which the patient can voluntarily upload to a database for their doctor and other authorized persons to see. Abilify is a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and is an add-on treatment for depression.

The Abilify MyCite features a sensor the size of a grain of sand made of silicon, copper, and magnesium. An electrical signal is activated by the sensor when it comes into contact with stomach acid — the sensor…

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