Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Kodak IM5 is the first smartphone to bear the iconic photography brand and it was announced all the way back at CES in January. Reports then led us to expect a UK launch in March or April, but the phone never made it to store shelves.

Well, over five months after the announcement, the phone is finally available to purchase, but not in the UK, but in the Netherlands instead. The smartphone retails for €280 free of contract, and can be purchased today, we're not talking about a pre-order. Obviously a host of contract options are also offered on either of the country's three carriers.

That serious sum of money for a SIM-free purchase gets you a rather modestly equipped smartphone. There's a 5-inch 720p display, a Mediatek MT6592 chipset with 1.7GHZ octa-core processor and only a single gig of RAM. Internal storage is rather low at 8GB, expandable by up to 32GB, while battery capacity is 2,100mAh.

The Kodak IM5 comes with a 13MP primary camera with little manual control and focus on easy sharing and printing. All this runs on a heavily customized Android KitKat build, with large icons aiming for ease of use. A Lollipop update is promised, though we don't see an overly bright future for the smartphone, priced as it is.

Kodak IM5 smartphone finally launched in the Netherlands

 Cynthia Goldsmith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu Virion

This negative-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts the ultrastructural details of an influenza virus particle, or virion.

Dying from the flu can be a lot like drowning. As it progresses, the influenza virus affects the cellular barrier between the circulatory and respiratory systems, allowing other bodily fluids to leak into the lungs and causing them to fail. In the past, flu-fighting drugs have targeted the virus itself. But a new drug called Vasculotide reinforces the cellular barrier in the lungs, giving the body more time to rid itself of the virus. Astudy about the new drug was published recently in Scientific Reports.

Flu shots contain cells of the flu strain that researchers anticipate to be the one going around that year. When they’re right, vaccines work pretty well, provided that enough people get them well before they contract the virus. But if researchers are wrong, the vaccines could lead to viral resistance, maybe even resulting in a more virulent strain that could have devastating effects on the population. Since Vasculotide just treats the flu’s most life-threatening symptom, it doesn’t increase viral resistance.

Plus, Vasculotide works, at least in initial studies done in mice. The researchers infected two species of mice with lethal doses of three strains of the flu. After 48-72 hours, they weren’t looking so good—their body weight declined and they showed signs of hypothermia, all typical for having the flu—the researchers gave them Vasculotide. And it worked: 70 percent of the mice that received the drug after 72 hours survived.

Vasculotide is inexpensive to produce and is chemically stable, the researchers note. But a big part of the drug’s draw, as Michael Byrne notes in a piece for Motherboard, is that it doesn’t affect or “boost” the immune system. It merely buys the body some time to rid itself of the flu. And that could make all the difference.

New Flu Drug Gives Your Body More Time To Defend Itself

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