The Wonderfully Weird and Wildly Versatile Togo Sofa

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The Togo sofa (a creation of Ligne Roset) is a design that’s always fascinated me. It is by far the most attractive piece of furniture I’ve ever seen that kind of looks like a larvae. Despite (or perhaps because of?) its insectoid qualities, it has a weird versatility and constantly crops up in a huge a variety of rooms. It works for slouchy Bohemian interiors or minimal, arty-rich ones: it’s equally at home with traditional pieces or equally modern ones. And thanks to the leather version, it can even pass in a hunting lodge.

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‘Artificial gills’ maker relaunches Indiegogo campaign amidst controversy

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Last month, Triton, a start-up claiming to have created "artificial gills" that let divers breathe for up to 45 minutes underwater, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, and amassed nearly $1 million in funding. Three days ago, it fully refunded all of its backers, canceled that campaign, issued an update and proof of concept video, and then launched a new campaign. The issue? It seems Triton’s claims that its simplistic-looking "rebreather" could filter out enough oxygen from water using filtration alone were shaky at best and came under scrutiny from scientists who dismissed the highly desirable tech as fictitious. According to one researcher, in order for the Triton to properly work and extract gaseous oxygen, it’d need to have an inbuilt pump push a large amount of water through its filters. That’s not something swimming alone could achieve.

Triton’s since responded by somewhat clarifying how its diving tech works, saying only that it relies on a combination of the microporous hollow fiber filters in its "gills" and replaceable liquid oxygen cylinders to deliver breathable oxygen. The start-up’s holding back any further specifics of how its tech works due to intellectual property concerns. And while that certainly doesn’t clear up any of the confusion or skepticism surrounding the project, it definitely hasn’t slowed enthusiasm from backers. To date, the relaunched campaign has raised just under $250,000, blowing past its modest $50,000 goal. The "gills," which are priced at $299 for backers and are set to hit retail at $399, are currently slated to ship this December. Just don’t hold your breath.

Source: Ars Technica, Indiegogo

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Vestly lets you win cash for picking stocks

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vestly-image-2 For some, the stock market can be a tricky and seemingly dangerous place. Even with apps like Robinhood, that make buying and selling stock super simple, users still have skin in the game. With Vestly, incubated by Foundermark, you get the same fun of playing the stock market without putting up any money. Here’s how it works: Users log on to the platform and give up some basic… Read More

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A safer alternative to a once-daily HIV pill just got approved — here’s what you need to know about it (GILD)

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Descovy HIV

The FDA just approved a new treatment for HIV.

Descovy, a combination drug that only has to be taken once a day, is the third in a series of HIV medicine updates to get the FDA’s green light.

Developed by Gilead Sciences Inc., it works by interfering with a special protein necessary for the virus to multiply. 

Keeping the amount of HIV in the blood low is key for suppressing symptoms of the virus, but it isn’t a cure.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Descovy is a combo of the drugs emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide, or TAF. Only TAF is new, and it’s been used in other new HIV medications such as Genvoya and Odefsey. It’s an update to Truvada, which has emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.
  • The goal with the update from tenofovir disproxil fumarate to TAF is so that the medications are less harsh on the body, and can be used in smaller doses.
  • In a late-stage trial, a combination using TAF called Genvoya proved just as effective as Stribild, one of Gilead’s combination pills that was approved in 2012 and that contained tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.
  • Compared with Stribild, Genvoya had better long-term safety in trials. It is also less toxic to kidneys and has less of a negative impact on bone density.
  • In the case of Genvoya, that includes possible lactic acid buildup in the blood and severe liver problems, which can both be life-threatening.
  • Analysts forecast Descovy to make $2 billion by 2020.

Essentially, the new-and-improved drugs ares set up to be a safer alternatives for HIV treatment. Having new once-daily pills with lessened effects to bones and kidneys could be good news for the estimated 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV.

RELATED: A pill designed to prevent HIV is working even better than people thought

SEE ALSO: Two new studies suggest this tiny device could help prevent HIV — with one major caveat

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