Tag Archives: #stomach

Testosterone May Act As ‘Brake Pedal’ On Immune Response, Protect Men From Stomach Inflammation (Medicine)

Autoimmune diseases have something in common with horses, bachelor’s degrees and daily flossing habits: women are more likely to have them.

One reason for autoimmune diseases’ prevalence in women may be sex-based differences in inflammation. In a new study, West Virginia University researcher Jonathan Busada investigated how sex hormones affect stomach inflammation in males and females. He found that androgens—or male sex hormones—may help to keep stomach inflammation in check. 

“Stomach cancer is primarily caused by rampant inflammation,” said Busada, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and researcher with the Cancer Institute. “The overarching theme of my lab is to understand what’s controlling the balance between a protective immune response, which is just targeting the infection, and a pathogenic immune response, which is like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum and damaging everything. It looks like androgens may be really important in tipping that balance toward a protective response.”

His findings appear in Gastroenterology.

Busada’s study focused on testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.

The study also considered glucocorticoids—steroid hormones that the adrenal glands secrete. Unlike testosterone, glucocorticoids are not sex hormones. Their production doesn’t differ substantially between women and men.

Glucocorticoids are “the chief anti-inflammatory hormones that your body produces,” Busada said. “You can think of them as the brake pedal to the immune system.”

In researching mice without either glucocorticoids or testosterone, Busada, his research partner John Cidlowski—a senior investigator with the National Institutes of Health—and their colleagues observed that males’ stomach inflammation increased as much as the females’ did.

What’s more, when he and his team gave testosterone to the female mice, their inflammation vanished.

“We were able to completely rescue them from their stomach inflammation,” Busada said. “We proved that androgens were the hormones giving male mice that double layer of protection from inflammation. In the females, the only anti-inflammatory hormone was glucocorticoids. In males, it could be either glucocorticoids or androgens. This study potentially explains why women have a much higher incidence of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.”

For instance, celiac disease is two to three times as common in women as in men. Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are three times as common. Thyroid problems? Five to eight times.

“Actually, eight out of 10 individuals with autoimmune disease are women,” Busada said.

Based on these research findings, clinicians may consider if disruptive glucocorticoid or androgen signaling is contributing to their patients’ stomach-inflammatory diseases.

“If someone presents with stomach inflammation, it might be worth it for clinicians to investigate what’s going on with their endocrine system,” Busada said.

And that’s not only the case if the patient is a woman. Even though women are more susceptible to chronic stomach-inflammatory diseases, men are more susceptible to stomach cancer, of which inflammation is the biggest cause. 

Worldwide, stomach cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths.

“Persistent, smoldering inflammation over the course of many, many years is the fertile ground for stomach cancer to grow.” Busada said. “It’s an important, and understudied, human health issue.”

“These findings may help us understand how inflammation promotes cancer development, but we can’t make any direct inferences about stomach cancer from this body of work,” he said. “That’s the direction we’re moving in, though. We’re currently studying how sex affects carcinogenesis using an actual cancer model.”

Featured image: Jonathan Busada—a researcher with the WVU School of Medicine and Cancer Institute—has investigated the role that hormones play in male and female inflammatory responses. In a new animal study, he found that testosterone may protect against stomach inflammation. His findings appear in the journal Gastroenterology. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger)


Title: Glucocorticoids and androgens protect from gastric metaplasia by suppressing group 2 innate lymphoid cell activation DOI: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.04.075 Link: https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(21)00750-2/fulltext#%20

Provided by WVU Today

Your Stomach May Be The Secret to Fighting Obesity (Medicine)

Scientists believe a stomach-specific protein plays a major role in the progression of obesity, according to new research in Scientific Reports. The study co-authored by an Indiana University School of Medicine researcher, could help with development of therapeutics that would help individuals struggling with achieving and maintaining weight loss.

Researchers focused on Gastrokine-1 (GKN1) — a protein produced exclusively and abundantly in the stomach. Previous research has suggested GKN1 is resistant to digestion, allowing it to pass into the intestine and interact with microbes in the gut.

In the Scientific Reports study, researchers show that inhibiting GKN1 produced significant differences in weight and levels of body fat in comparison to when the protein was expressed.

“While diet and exercise are critical to maintaining a healthy weight, some individuals struggle with weight loss — even in cases of bariatric surgery, maintaining weight loss can be a challenge,” said David Boone, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at IU School of Medicine, an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Notre Dame and a co-author of the study. “These results are an example of how a better understanding of the gut microbiome and the physiological aspects of obesity — how our bodies regulate metabolism and accumulate body fat — could help inform new therapies.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control show adult obesity rates have increased to 42.4 percent in the United States. In addition to increasing an individual’s risk of stroke, diabetes, certain cancers and other health issues, obesity can also increase the risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.

Boone and his team conducted a microbiome analysis of mouse models with and without the GKN1 protein expressed. Researchers measured food intake, caloric extraction, blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels. They used magnetic resonance imagining to monitor body composition. The team also calculated energy expenditure and observed inflammation levels.

Models without GKN1 weighed less and had lower levels of total body fat and higher percentages of lean mass — despite consuming the same amount of food. When put on a high-fat diet, models without GKN1 showed a resistance to weight gain, increased body fat and hepatic inflammation, which can lead to liver disease. Researchers also found no evidence of adverse effects such as cancer, diabetes, loss of appetite, malabsorption or inflammation — and results were consistent in male and female models.

While more research is needed to determine the efficacy of blocking GKN1 to prevent obesity, researchers said if proved as a viable solution, such therapies could reduce the burden on health care systems and help improve quality of life for patients.

Featured image credit: Photographerlondon/Dreamstime.com

Reference: Overstreet, AM.C., Grayson, B.E., Boger, A. et al. Gastrokine-1, an anti-amyloidogenic protein secreted by the stomach, regulates diet-induced obesity. Sci Rep 11, 9477 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88928-8

Provided by Indiana University School of Medicine

Thinking With Your Stomach? The Brain May Have Evolved to Regulate Digestion (Biology)

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba find that sea urchin larvae use light to control digestion

Many life forms use light as an important biological signal, including animals with visual and non-visual systems. But now, researchers from Japan have found that neuronal cells may have initially evolved to regulate digestion according to light information.

In a study published this month in BMC Biology, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have revealed that sea urchins use light to regulate the opening and closing of the pylorus, which is an important component of the digestive tract.

Light-dependent systems often rely on the activity of proteins in the Opsin family, and these are found across the animal kingdom, including in organisms with visual and non-visual systems. Understanding the function of Opsins in animals from different taxonomic groups may provide important clues regarding how visual/non-visual systems evolved in different creatures to use light as an external signal. The function of Opsins in the Ambulacraria groups of animals, which include sea urchins, has not been characterized, something the researchers aimed to address.

A schematic diagram the light ? pylorus signaling pathway in sea urchin larvae. © University of Tsukuba

“The functions of eyes and visual systems have been well-characterized,” says senior author of the study Professor Shunsuke Yaguchi. “However, the way in which light dependent systems were acquired and diversified throughout evolution is unclear especially in deuterostomes because of the lack of data regarding the signaling pathway in the Ambulacraria group.”

To address this, the researchers tested whether light exposure caused changes in digestive tract activity in sea urchins. They then conducted micro-surgical and genetic knockdown experiments to test whether Opsin cells in the sea urchin digestive system mediated the effect of light.

“The results provided new information about the role of Opsins in sea urchins,” explains Professor Yaguchi. “Specifically, we found that stimulation of sea urchin larvae via light caused changes in digestive system function, even in the absence of food stimuli.”

Furthermore, the researchers identified brain serotonergic neurons near the Opsin-expressing cells that were essential for mediating the light-stimulated release of nitric oxide, which acts as a neurotransmitter.

“Our results have important implications for understanding the process of evolution, specifically, that of light-dependent systems controlled via neurotransmitters,” says Professor Yaguchi.

The data indicate that an early function of brain neurons may have been the regulation of the digestive tract in our evolutionary ancestors. Because food consumption and nutrient absorption are critical to survival, the development of a sophisticated brain-gut regulatory system may have been a major step in animal evolution.

The article, “Sea urchin larvae utilize light for regulating the pyloric opening” was published in BMC Biology at DOI:10.1186/s12915-021-00999-1

Featured image: Photoirradiation drives the pyloric opening. Images of five seconds (sec) and 1 min 30 sec © University of Tsukuba

Provided by University of Tsukuba

Quartz Crystals in the Stomach of Fossil Bird Complicates the Mystery of its Diet (Paleontology)

It’s hard to know what prehistoric animals’ lives were like—even answering seemingly simple questions, like what they ate, can be a challenge. Sometimes, paleontologists get lucky, and pristine fossils will preserve an animal’s stomach contents or provide other clues. In a new study in Frontiers in Earth Science, researchers investigating the fossil of a bird that lived alongside the dinosaurs got more questions than answers when they found quartz crystals in the bird’s stomach.

“I would say it’s some kind of bizarre form of soft tissue preservation that we’ve never seen before,” says Jingmai O’Connor, the associate curator of fossil reptiles at Chicago’s Field Museum. “Figuring out what’s in this bird’s stomach can help us understand what it ate and what role it played in its ecosystem.”

“This paper tells us that the Enantiornithes, one important clade of fossil birds, still have no direct stomach traces or evidence,” says Shumin Liu, a student at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the paper’s first author. “I was excited, it is a breakthrough about them.”

The fossil bird the researchers focused on is a specimen of Bohaiornis guoi. “They’re part of an early lineage of birds from the Cretaceous, about 120 million years ago,” says O’Connor, who worked on the paper while at IVPP, where Liu was her Master’s student. “They still retain teeth and claws on their hands, but they’re small, about the size of a pigeon, so they’re not particularly terrifying.” Bohaiornis was part of a group called the enantiornithines that were once the world’s most common birds; thousands of enantiornithine specimens have been found in northeastern China’s Jehol Group deposits.

Despite the vast number of finely preserved enantiornithines, none have been preserved with traces of food in their stomachs that could tell researchers what these birds ate. “We can identify the diet and reconstruct the digestive system for all these other groups of birds found in the deposits that record the Jehol Biota, except the enantiornithines, even though you have more enantiornithines than any other group,” says O’Connor. “For these guys, we have no specimens or preserved evidence of diet, which is really weird.” In the specimen O’Connor and her colleagues examined in this new paper, though, there was a clue: a previous study pointed out the presence of small rocks in its stomach.

Many living birds have an organ called a gizzard—a thick, muscular part of the stomach helps them digest food. They swallow small rocks, called gizzard stones, and these rocks make their way to the gizzard, where they help to crush up tough food. These gizzard stones, called gastroliths, have been found in some dinosaur and bird fossils, providing clues about what those animals ate—they’ve been associated with diets of tough plant materials and seeds.

X-ray image of crystals in the stomach of Bohaiornis guoi. © Liu et al, IVPP.

But rocks in an animal’s stomach aren’t necessarily a sign that it’s using them to crush up food. Some modern birds of prey swallow rocks called rangle to help dislodge matter from their digestive tract to clean it out. And sometimes, rocks have been found near the stomach cavities of dinosaur fossils that the creature swallowed accidentally, or the stones were just coincidentally near the fossil. “You have to make a differentiation between just a gastrolith and a gastrolith that’s used as a gizzard stone,” says O’Connor.

While there’s no clear evidence of gastroliths in the enantiornithine birds, a paper published in 2015 posited that a specimen of Bohaiornis guoi contained rocks in its stomach used as rangle (gastroliths ingested by raptorial birds to clean the stomach, but not to digest food). O’Connor was skeptical; the photos of the rocks didn’t look right. Gastroliths are usually made of different kinds of rock and are slightly different colors and shapes; these rocks were all similar in composition to each other and to the fossilized bone itself. They also didn’t seem to be shaped or grouped quite right—they were too round and too scattered. “I didn’t know what they were, but I was like, they’re not gastroliths,” she says. So, she and her colleagues set out to figure out what these rocks were and compare them with gastroliths from other fossil birds and dinosaurs.

The researchers extracted a sample of the rocks in Bohaiornis’s stomach and examined them under a scanning electron microscope. They then exposed the rocks to X-rays to determine which wavelengths the rocks absorbed. Since each mineral absorbs different wavelengths, this helped the researchers narrow down what these rocks were made of.

“We found that those pieces of rock that had been called gastroliths were chalcedony crystals,” says O’Connor. “Chalcedony is basically quartz crystals that grow in sedimentary rocks. There hasn’t been any evidence of this in the Jehol but there’s plenty of evidence of it within the fossil record where chalcedony crystals will form within a clamshell, or sometimes chalcedony will replace the minerals making up the bones in a fossil.” What’s more, the chalcedony was all interconnected in one thin sheet of crystal, rather than separate rocks that the bird had swallowed.

The fossil specimen of Bohaiornis with crystals in its stomach. © Liu et al, IVPP.

The amount of chalcedony present was wrong, too, if it were used to help with digestion. Scientific literature suggests that the rocks that birds consume as rangle account for about 3% of their body mass; since Bohaiornis was likely about 300 grams, the team would be looking for up to 9 grams worth of rangle. O’Connor says, “We weren’t able to extract the entire sample and figure out how much it weighed, but Shumin was really clever, and she took a piece of chalcedony that weighed 3 grams, and it was huge” —way bigger than the combined size of the bits of chalcedony in Bohaiornis’s stomach.

The combined evidence suggests that Bohaiornis didn’t have gastroliths for helping crush food or rangle to help clean out its stomach after all. Or, at least, this specimen of Bohaiornis doesn’t contain those gastroliths.

“We just have this absence of evidence, and paleontologists always say absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But I always counter with, whoever came up with that adage never imagined having thousands of specimens that are complete and articulated, some preserving soft tissue,” says O’Connor. If Early Cretaceous enantiornithines did employ gastroliths, it’s awfully strange that none of the thousands of fossils show them.

O’Connor notes that while none of the enantiornithine birds from the Jehol Formation show evidence of stomach contents, there’s one from Spain with bits of freshwater shellfish in its stomach. But the mystery of what Bohaiornis ate, and why none of the Jehol enantiornithines have anything in their stomachs, remains.

“This study is important because this fossil is the one and only fossil record of Enantiornithes containing possible gastroliths, even possible real stomach traces in the Jehol. What’s more, only this clade of fossil birds don’t have stomach traces so far, whereas most other clades have these traces,” says Liu.

“We’re always trying to find some evidence, and the specimens that have been suggested to fill this gap just unfortunately don’t do it,” says O’Connor. “It’s just part of the paleo game, part of science—constantly correcting. I’m happy when we don’t understand things, because it means there’s research to do, it’s exciting.”

Featured image: A reconstruction of the bohaiornithid Sulcavis, a close relative of Bohaiornis guoi, hunting an insect. © S. Abramowicz, Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Reference: Shumin Liu, Zhiheng Li, Alida M. Bailleul, Min Wang and Jingmai O’Connor, “Investigating Possible Gastroliths in a Referred Specimen of Bohaiornis guoi (Aves: Enantiornithes)”, Front. Earth Sci., 19 February 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2021.635727

Provided by Field Museum

Popular Weight-loss Surgery in Teenagers Weakens Bones (Medicine)

“Childhood obesity is a major public health issue that has increased over the last 10 years,” said lead investigator Miriam A. Bredella, M.D., professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and vice chair of the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Sleeve gastrectomy is the most common bariatric surgery procedure performed in children and adults.”

CT in a 17-year-old female prior to sleeve gastrectomy. Volumetric bone mineral density pre-surgery was 183 mg/cm³. ©Radiological Society of North America

In a sleeve gastrectomy, approximately 75% of the stomach is removed to restrict food intake and induce weight loss. It results in a typically round stomach taking on the shape of a tube or sleeve. The number of sleeve gastrectomy procedures performed on adolescents increased 100-fold from 2005 to 2014.

“In adults, bariatric surgery can have long-term effects on bone, leading to higher fracture risk,” Dr. Bredella said. “We wanted to determine the effects of sleeve gastrectomy performed on adolescents during the crucial years when bone mass is being accrued.”

The study examined 52 adolescents with moderate to severe obesity, 26 of whom underwent sleeve gastrectomy. The other 26 were in the control group. Mean age was 17.5 years, and mean body mass index (BMI) was 45. BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. Thirty-eight of study participants were girls. Before and 12 months after sleeve gastrectomy (or no surgery), the patients underwent quantitative CT of the lumbar spine, to quantify volumetric bone mineral density. Quantitative CT is a highly accurate technique for detecting changes in volumetric bone mineral density after extreme weight loss.

Recent studies have shown that bone marrow fat responds to changes in nutrition and may serve as a biomarker for bone quality. Therefore, patients underwent proton MR spectroscopy to quantify bone marrow fat of the lumbar spine.

One year following surgery, the adolescents who underwent sleeve gastrectomy lost 34 (+/-13) kg, or 75 (+/-28) pounds, while there was no significant change in weight in the control group. Compared to the controls, sleeve gastrectomy patients had a significant increase in bone marrow fat and a decrease in bone density in the lumbar spine.

“Adolescents who underwent sleeve gastrectomy had bone loss and an increase in bone marrow fat, despite marked loss of body fat,” Dr. Bredella said. “While weight-loss surgery is successful for weight loss and improving metabolic disorders, it has negative effects on bone.”

Dr. Bredella said the loss of bone density following sleeve gastrectomy was expected because greater weight-bearing strengthens bones. In addition to a loss of bone density, other effects of weight-loss surgery include a disruption of hormones and nutrients important for bone health.

“We need to identify mechanisms that will help prevent bone loss in these patients and to make adolescents with obesity more aware of bone health,” she said. “Adolescence is the critical time for bone mass accrual, and any process that interferes with bone accrual during this time can have dire consequences later in life.”

Provided by RSNA

Saving Lives Through Early Detection Of Gastric Cancer Cells (Oncology / Medicine)

A new method for identifying gastric cancer cells within minutes and more accurately than by using traditional methods is underway at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Professor Li Wen Jung ©CityU

Led by Professor Li Wen Jung of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Provost (Institutional Initiatives), with collaborators from the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and First Hospital of China Medical University (FHCMU), the research has recently been published in Science Advances.

“The aim is to reduce the number of deaths due to gastric cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide,” said Professor Li, a co-contact author on the publication titled “Detection and isolation of free cancer cells from ascites and peritoneal lavages using optically induced electrokinetics (OEK)”.

The first author of the paper is Ms Zhang Yuzhao, Professor Li’s student at the SIA, a collaborating institution on the project, and where Professor Li is also an Affiliated Professor. He first set up the OEK system in CityU in 2012. With the support of the CAS-Croucher Funding Scheme, he later replicated the system at the Joint Laboratory co-established by CityU and SIA in Shenyang, where the experiments of this study were formed.

Around 800,000 deaths a year are recorded worldwide from gastric cancer, the third highest rate among cancer deaths. The novel procedure developed by the joint team uses a new kind of OEK microfluidic method to isolate cancer cells from the stomach area.

The OEK method is a new technique that can identify gastric cancer cells within minutes and more accurately. ©CityU

Gastric cancer is often hard to diagnose because current approaches are not sensitive enough to spot malignant cells.

However, the OEK method is a new technique that could be integrated with “lab-on-a-chip” systems that offers researchers opportunities to manipulate objects within a micro- and nanoscale bioengineering environment.

The rationale for applying OEK to gastric cancer is that these cells are not the same size and, crucially, possess different electrical characteristics to other cells in the peritoneal region.

“When compared to traditional methods for spotting gastric cancer cells, our OEK microfluidic method is more sensitive when looking at electrical characteristics. Using this technique, we have been able to separate gastric cancer cells from other cells in six patients with ascites [abnormal buildup of abdominal fluid] with a purity of over 70%,” he said.

The new method is appealing because it is quick and non-invasive. In fact, within five minutes, it can separate out the gastric cancer cells on the OEK microfluidic chip.

“The study has benefited from working with doctors and patients at the FHCMU in Shenyang where medical staff have been impressed with the results,” Professor Li said. The principal collaborator from the FHCMU is Professor Wang Zhenning, who is also a co-contact author on the publication.

“Our hope is that our research will speed up the diagnosis of gastric cancer and save lives.”

References: Yuzhao Zhang,, Junhua Zhao,, Haibo Yu, Pan Li, Wenfeng Liang, Zhu Liu, Gwo-Bin Lee, Lianqing Liu, Wen Jung Li and Zhenning Wang, “Detection and isolation of free cancer cells from ascites and peritoneal lavages using optically induced electrokinetics (OEK)”, Science Advances, 2020, Vol. 6, no. 32, eaba9628 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba9628 link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/32/eaba9628/

Provided by City University Of Hong Kong

Men With Larger Waists More Likely To die Of Prostate Cancer (Medicine / Oncology)

Dr. Perez-Cornago and colleagues suggested that men who store fat around their midriff are in greater danger of dying from prostate cancer.

A man with 40inch (103cm) waist or above has a 35 per cent higher risk of dying from the disease than one who wears a 35inch (90cm) or lower trouser size.

The Oxford University study, looking at more than 200,000 men, did not find an increased risk in people with higher overall body fat if it was spread around the body.

This suggests it is the specific location of the fat that makes males more prone to the killer disease.

Fat stored in the belly is considered the most dangerous type because it coats vital organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.

This may interfere with their normal function and promote the growth of cancerous cells, the researchers said.

The latest research, presented at this year’s European and International Conference on Obesity (ECOICO), looked at 218,225 cancer-free men in the UK, whose medical data is stored in the UK Biobank.

Scientists monitored them for 10 years, looking at their body mass index (BMI), total body fat percentage, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio.

Men in the top 25 per cent for waist circumference, they found, were 35 per cent more likely to die of prostate cancer than men in the bottom 25 per cent.

The largest group included those whose waists measured more than 40 inches (100cm). The waist does not include the hip bones but is the soft section between the pelvis and the ribs, level with the belly button.

This Ingestible Device Treat Stomach Ailments (Medicine / Gastroenterology)

Alex Abramson and colleagues created an ingestible device that affixes itself to the stomach wall and treats ailments by delivering electrical pulses. In their paper, they described problems with current devices used to treat certain stomach ailments and how they overcame them to develop a device that they believe will help treat a wide variety of stomach and bowel problems.

Self-Orienting Technology for Injection and electrical Micro-Stimulation (STIMS) Capsule. Credit: Alex Abramson

Over the past several decades, medical scientists have learned that the gastrointestinal tract does a lot more than just digest our food—it is also involved in chemical processes that regulate critical parts of day-to-day living. There is even some evidence that problems in the gut could be behind such conditions as Alzheimer’s, Hirschsprung’s and Parkinson’s. Because of that, scientists have been working to cure or treat conditions that disrupt the GI process, many of which are antagonistic to stomach digestion by interfering with the contraction process—a critical part of breakdown. Unfortunately, treating such conditions has proven to be problematic. The current approach involves surgery to implant devices that send electrical pulses to the stomach wall, inciting them to contract. Surgery on the stomach is considered risky, however, which has led to efforts aimed at surgery-free solutions. In this new effort, the researchers say they have developed an ingestible capsule that latches onto the stomach wall and emits electrical signals.

Capsule schematic and timeline. Credit: Alex Abramson

The new device is slightly larger than medicinal capsules, but it has three properties that allow it to adhere properly to the stomach wall. The first is a bottom weight to ensure that it will be situated right side up when it reaches the stomach. The second is its shape overall; the team designed it to conform to the shape of the wall of the stomach. The final property involves a payload of sharp, tiny hooks modeled on those of a tapeworm. They allow the device to grab hold of the stomach and to stay in place as digestion takes place.

Thus far, the device has worked as intended in test pigs. The researchers plan to continue their work by ensuring it does not produce unwanted side effects in humans.

References: Alex Abramson et al., “Ingestible transiently anchoring electronics for microstimulation and conductive signaling”, Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 35, eaaz0127
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0127 (2020). Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/35/eaaz0127