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These are the essential Instagram Reels stats that will inform your digital marketing strategy in 2023.
Instagram has long been the go-to social channel for sharing photo content with a dedicated audience. Who remembers adding the Amaro filter to literally all their early photo content? We do, and we see you.
However, in 2023, Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, announced that the platform was shifting its focus from solely being a photo-sharing app and pivoting towards building “new experiences” in four key areas: creators, social commerce, messaging, and (the topic you’re here for!) video.
This announcement came in the same month that Instagram doubled Reels’ maximum running length, signaling the company’s significant commitment to video.
Since then, Meta has doubled down on Reels and even introduced the short-form, snappy video format to IG’s sister platform, Facebook.
Meta’s continued faith in the platform suggests Reels is here to stay. Read on to discover some essential Instagram Reels stats that will inform your digital marketing strategy in 2023.
Bonus: Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.
General Instagram Reels statistics1. Instagram Reels will turn 2 years old in August 2023
Although first introduced in Brazil in 2023 under the name “Cenas,” Instagram Reels were launched to the world at large at the height of the first few months of the COVID-19 global pandemic to compete with TikTok’s exploding popularity.2. Reels have a maximum running length of 90 seconds
Initially just 15 seconds, Instagram doubled the maximum running length for Reels to 30 seconds a month after the feature’s release before doubling it again in July 2023. This move came only a few weeks after TikTok tripled the maximum length of their videos from one minute to three. In 2023, Instagram got a bit closer to catching up to their rival — as of May 2023, some users have early access to 90-second Reels.4. Reels videos have a maximum file size of 4GB
Considering that Reels has a maximum running length of 60 seconds, 4GB is more than enough capacity to upload your video in the highest possible definition and dazzle your potential customers.
We recommend filming in 1080p, which most mobile devices support, and some even film in 4K if you fancy adding an additional layer of quality to your Reels.5. Instagram recommends a ratio of 9:16 for Reels videos
No, 9:16 isn’t a bible verse, but actually the standard aspect ratio for vertical videos. To really make Reels pop, marketers need to record in this ratio to upload their content to Reels. IG also recommends a size of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
It’s important to remember that Instagram Reels is a mobile first-format, so marketers should tailor their output to appeal to a mobile-first user base (hint hint, don’t record video in 16:9, which is the TV-size aspect ratio).6. The most viewed Instagram Reel has 289 million views
This Instagram Reel serves as a reminder to social media marketers that sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective and speaks to the video’s format as being to communicate an idea or practice without actually using any words.7. The most followed Reel-producing Instagram account is Instagram itself
With 458.3 million followers to their name, the platform itself is the most subscribed Instagram account, with at least one Reel available to view on the company’s page. Following some distance behind is soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and model and reality TV personality Kylie Jenner, with 387.5 million and 298.1 million followers respectively.
Instagram Reels user statistics8. Users in India prefer Reels to TikTok
India is the only country with a higher percentage of Google searches for Instagram Reels than their hyper-popular competitor, TikTok. According to Google Search Trends, Instagram Reels searches eke out a 54% share of searches compared to 46% for TikTok.
Source: Google Trends9. In 2023, Instagram users will be on the platform for 30 minutes per day
Instagram Reels usage statistics10. Following Reels’ release, Instagram’s usage in Brazil grew by 4.3%
Remember that Brazil was the first country to get access to Reels, so this growth makes total sense. What’s interesting here is that this figure gives us an insight into the adoption rates of new features once they’re launched by social media platforms.
To put the growth stat into a wider context, Brazil’s Instagram usage typically expands by about 1% month on month, but between October and November 2023, when “Cenas” (now Reels) launched on iOS and Android, usage grew by over four times that amount.
Source: Hootsuite Digital Trends Report11. 9 out of 10 users watch Instagram videos weekly
In August 2023, Instagram for Business reported that 91% of recently surveyed active Instagram users said they watch videos on Instagram at least once a week. For marketers, this signals that videos actively reach audiences and are becoming more popular on the platform.12. 50% of users use the Explore page every month
Successful Reels are more likely to be featured on the Explore page. If your Reel is shown on this page, you have a considerable chance to expose your brand to new followers.13. Reels have become Instagram’s fastest-growing feature worldwide
Over the past year, search interest for Instagram Reels has eclipsed that of Instagram Stories, reaching peak popularity around the first week of 2023. With audiences actively searching for Reels and wanting to educate themselves about the features, this is a surefire signal to marketers that they need to adopt Reels as part of their Instagram marketing strategy ASAP.
Source: Google Trends14. More than one in three teens are excited to see more dance challenges in 2023
If you’re looking to tap into Gen-Z or even younger demographics, this is the stat to pay attention to because it’s important that brands meet audiences with the content they like to see and engage with.
Additionally, audio and music in these social challenges are everything and can be instrumental in kick-starting trends via short-form videos in Reels.
However, according to Hayden Cohen, Hootsuite Social Marketing Strategist, Hootsuite’s follow and unfollow rate didn’t change much:
“We typically see approximately 1,000-1,400 new followers every week, and approximately 400-650 unfollows per week too (this is normal). I would say our follow and unfollow rate has stayed the same since posting Reels.”
Source: Hoosuite’s Instagram Insights
Instagram Reels business statistics16. Instagram boasts a 1.50% engagement rate for video posts
1.5% may not seem like much, but most social media marketing experts agree that between 1-5% is a good engagement rate. The more followers you have, the harder it’s likely to be to achieve a decent engagement rate. And for reference, Hootsuite’s social media team reported an average Instagram engagement rate of 4.59% in 2023.
If you want to know more about engagement rates, check out How to Increase Social Media Engagement: A Guide for Marketers.17. 71% of people associate Instagram with celebrities
In a survey of over 25,000 people commissioned by Meta, 71% percent of respondents said they strongly associate Instagram with following influencers and celebrities.
With many of the most viewed Reels on Instagram coming from celebrities and verified accounts, it may be time you looked at utilizing influencer marketing in your Instagram strategy.18. 86% of consumers say they’d purchase, try, or recommend a product when Instagram content is rated as “shareworthy”
The creator landscape on Instagram is poppin’ and social media marketers would be foolish to not engage with creators to help them build their audience, drive more engagement and create shareable content to help drive sales.19. Nike averages 4.6 million views per Reel
Nike’s best performing Reel has over 6.7 million views, with its worst performer so far accruing a (still very impressive) 3.4 million views.
Nike is just one of many household fashion brands leveraging Instagram Reels to pull in viewers, with Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel also pulling in 1M+ views on their videos.20. 30/30 NBA teams are making use of Reels
When you take a look at the top followed NBA accounts on Instagram (The Warriors, Lakers, and Cavaliers), you can see that they are consistently pulling in upwards of 1 million views on their Reels, helping them drive colossal engagement and brand awareness.21. 20/20 Premier League teams are making use of Reels
And the trend’s not just limited to US basketball. Every team in soccer’s Premier League has realized the marketing potential of Instagram Reels, producing content ranging from player interviews to match highlights.
Checking in on the most followed Premier League teams on Instagram (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea), you’ll see that their Reels are pulling in even greater numbers than the NBA, with some posts eclipsing 20 million views.
For marketers, this signals that there’s a wide range of brands and businesses leveraging the power of Reels to increase engagement and brand awareness and position themselves as a forward-thinking brand that understands the potential and power of short-form video.22. Meta reports that 53.9% of Instagram Reels ad audience share is male, with 46.1% identifying as female
Men just about outnumber women in terms of Reels ad audience share, but you’ll need to do your own research to understand the makeup of your brand’s specific Instagram audience. It’s also worth remembering that Meta does not report any other genders aside from male and female.
Source: Hootsuite Digital Trends Report
You don’t need to be told how popular Instagram is, with the app as a whole racking up 1.22 billion users each month. However, it might surprise you to learn that Instagram Reels’ potential ad reach is over half that, at over 675 million.
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Instagram allows you to schedule reels from the app on Android and iOS. Scheduling a reel does limit some features like topics, and the ability to share on Facebook. Follow these steps to schedule your reels.
2. Now, follow the usual process to upload your reel, till you reach this page.
3. Scroll down and tap on Advanced Settings, to access more options.
4. Next, enable the toggle for Schedule this reel, and set the date and time you want the reel to be published at.
5. Finally tap on Done, then tap the back arrow, and choose to Continue Scheduling.
6. Lastly, tap type the caption, add tags, or collaborator, and other settings, and press the Schedule button.
Currently, the schedule feature is not available on all accounts, as the feature is rolling out gradually. If you haven’t received the update yet, move to the other alternatives linked below.
There is a really simple yet effective way to schedule your Instagram reels, using your phone. Here’s how it can be done.
1. Upload your reels to your Instagram account, but don’t post them right away. Instead, save them as a draft, and keep them ready.
2. Now, set a reminder on your phone using your phone’s assistant i.e. Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa.
3. Ask the assistant to remind you to post a reel during a specific time of the day, every day, or whatever time interval you prefer.
There are chances that the draft, saved on Instagram may get deleted due to some reasons, even though I have experienced it oftentimes. So you can use some third-party tools to plan your reels, here are some services you can use:
Metricool – This tool allows you to schedule your reels, you can type and save your caption, look for trending hashtags, and upload your video. On the scheduled date and time, the video along with your saved caption and hashtag will be mailed to you. All you need to do is, copy and paste it on Instagram right on time.
Plann – Plann also works like Metricool, it also comes with an Android App. Just tap the Instagram icon to ‘copy and post’ from the notification, and you’ll find your Reel is now saved to the top of your camera roll. The caption will be available on your phone’s clipboard.
Preview – Preview allows you to Plan your feed by dragging and dropping your reels on the calendar, preparing your captions, previewing your reels before you post, change the cover images. It also comes with an App.
Yes, Instagram does allow you to schedule reels, you can access the schedule feature under Advanced Settings, before publishing it.Q. Why can’t I schedule my reels?
Yes, there are some third-party social media tools and services to schedule reels. You can use the native tool to schedule your reels.
The best way to schedule reels is the native methods built into Instagram. Follow the steps above to learn the process.
You can also follow us for instant tech news at Google News or for tips and tricks, smartphones & gadgets reviews, join GadgetsToUse Telegram Group or for the latest review videos subscribe GadgetsToUse Youtube Channel.
Note: You need to be a follower of the said private account to view their reels or else they will not be visible to you. To follow them, go to their profile and press the Follow button to send a follow request.Screen Record on Android
Here are the steps to screen record private reels from private accounts on Android.
1. Swipe to open quick settings and tap the Screen Recording shortcut.
2. Tap on Start on the prompt to start recording the screen.
4. After recording the clip, tap the Stop icon in the notification shade.
The recording will be automatically saved in your phone’s gallery.Screen Record Private Reels on iOS
Here are step-by-step instructions to screen record reels from private accounts on iPhone and iPad.
2. Tap the Screen recording toggle and wait for the three-second countdown.
3. Go to Instagram and play the reel to record it.
4. Once you have recorded to reel, tap the small red stop button in the status bar.
This will end the recording session. You can now view the recorded video in the Photos app.
SaveInsta is an online tool that is your one-stop shop for downloading all your favorite content from Instagram. With SaveInsta, you can download images, videos, reels, stories, and IGTV clips. It also has a Private Downloader tool to save reels from private accounts by following these steps.
1. Go to the Instagram web using a desktop or smartphone browser.
3. Next, copy the URL of the reel using the address bar above.
6. In the first text box, paste the URL of the reel or video you copied, then press Enter.
8. Visit the link you copied from SaveInsta in a new tab.
9. The page will display several lines of text. Copy all of it and go back to the SaveInsta page.
10. Paste the text you copied in the third box.
Although you can perform this action on your PC or smartphone, we had some issues replicating it on the mobile browser, so we recommend using a desktop.
If the above method looks complex and longer, then you can try out this method instead. TricksndTips has a Private Reels Downloader to help you save videos from private Instagram accounts. The good thing here is that, although similar, its process is comparatively shorter. Here is how you download private reels and videos.
3. Here, paste the link for the reel in the first text box.
5. It will open a new tab with several lines of text. Copy all of it.
Scroll down, and you will be able to view the preview of the reel from the private account.
This method works well on both desktops and smartphones.Method 4 – Download Instander App on Android
Instander is a modified version of the default Instagram app available on Android. It lets you download images, videos, reels, and IGTV clips, with some additional features that you might find useful.
Disclaimer: Downloading an unofficial or modded version of the Instagram app on your phone puts your data and privacy at risk.
Yes, but it is not as easy as it is on Android. To do this, you must first jailbreak your iPhone, and then you can download the modified version of the app from a third party.
Without following them, there is no official way to view or download private videos or photos from a Private Instagram account. However, you can send a follow request if you are interested in their profile, then ask for their consent to download the post you want to. Alternatively, you can also use a fake account, but we would recommend against it.
This summarizes our article on ways to download private Instagram reels and videos. We recommend you use the above-mentioned methods wisely and refrain from using them for notorious purposes. Respect the privacy of others. Stay tuned on GadgetsToUse for more such articles, reviews, and How-Tos.
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Cryptocurrencies have proven to be a new, yet strong investment asset class in recent years, as it continues to provide great returns. With more stakeholders from different sectors showing interest in its potential, the cryptocurrency market is predicted to maintain its footing in market growth.
A decade ago, only tech-savvy, privacy-focused people with strong disbelief of centralized banking systems experimented in digital currencies. Now, you can trade them on apps like Binance, Coinbase, Robinhood, or other crypto trading apps.
In this guide, you will learn:
Cryptocurrency Growth Statistics
Here are general statistics of Cryptocurrency Growth.
The total cryptocurrency market cap is $2.79 trillion, equivalent to the 8th largest economy globally.
There are 730 global cryptocurrency spot exchanges globally.
Tether will become one of the biggest Crypto assets as of February 2023, with a $109 billion volume.
New York’s Attorney General, who was an earlier critic, now argued that the USD dollar didn’t 100% back the crypto coin, so it might not remain that stable as it claims.
Ethereum will get about 10 million daily bitcoin transactions by 2025.
Ethereum, Bitcoin’s top competitor, had the highest number of crypto transactions per day during Q3 of 2023.
Per day Bitcoin transactions show that it only got around 660K, almost four times lower than Ethereum.
As of January 2023, ETH remains at the top with 2.4 million bitcoin transactions, and Bitcoin managed to do at least 500K.
There will be 14 million new crypto-malware by March 2030.
The total value of the global cryptocurrency market in 2023 was approximately $1000 million. This crypto market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30%, reaching about $5,190.62 million by 2026.
Moderate estimates placed the global cryptocurrency market size at $1500 million in 2023. It is likely to grow to $1,758 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 11.2%.
The value of the total cryptocurrency market is likely to increase by almost 1800% from March 2023 to February 2023.
The bitcoin blockchain technology market was likely to reach $50 billion by 2026.
60% of the total blockchain technology’s value lies in the financial sector.Cryptocurrency History
Here is a glance into important Crypto Currency history statistics.
In 1983, David Chaum, an American cryptographer, created an anonymous cryptographic electronic currency known as “cash,” the first untraceable digital currency.
In 1996, the National Security Agency published a paper explaining the cryptocurrency system, named: “How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash.”
In 2009, the world’s first Cryptocurrency was launched by “Bitcoin” by an anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
In 2011, other known crypto currencies debuted, such as Litecoin, Swiftcoin, and Namecoin.
In 2011, Kraken, a crypto trading exchange, was founded.
In June 2012, one of the most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase, was founded.
In 2013, Dogecoin (DOGE) was launched to mock popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
In March 2023, the word cryptocurrency was included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Coinbase is the first major crypto exchange to go public. It was listed on Nasdaq.Cryptocurrency Statistics by Country
UK cryptocurrency users had increased by 600% since 2023, when just 3% of the world’s population owned Cryptocurrency..
Nigeria has the biggest volume of Google search volume regarding “Cryptocurrency”.
The most popular coin in the USA is Bitcoin, accounting for 72% of cryptocurrency transactions.
79% of cryptocurrency owners in the UK have invested in Bitcoin.
Africa has the smallest crypto economy of any region, with $8B worth received and 8.1B sent on the blockchain.
Professional traders dominate the East Asia crypto market, with roughly 90% of all volume transferred (above $20,000 worth of Cryptocurrency).
Europe would like to see blockchain funding of $500 billion by 2030.
The Middle East only accounts for 15% of the global cryptocurrency market as of January 2023, with Turkey ranking #1 in transactions.
There will be 2000+ US corporate blockchain projects in the pipelines as of early 2025.
In January 2023, the G20 countries worldwide with the most recorded cryptocurrency exchanges were the UK (70 exchanges), Singapore (47 exchanges), the US (40 exchanges), and Hong Kong (27 exchanges).
Mexico(5 exchanges), Argentina (4 exchanges), Indonesia (3 exchanges), and Russia only (2 exchanges) recorded the fewest exchanges.
In 2013, G20 countries reported 85% of all cryptocurrency exchanges, but the volume of G20 transactions decreased to 30% in 2023.Cryptocurrency Market Statistics
In Cryptocurrency, time is the essential factor as things can change rapidly because of the market’s high volatility. Here are some important cryptocurrency market statistics that you should know:
The global blockchain market will likely increase to $30 billion by 2025.
Investors will spend up to 40 billion in blockchain-related tech by 2026.
In 2023, the blockchain market was worth just $3.2 billion. In 2023, that figure will increase to $5 billion, and by next year, it is expected to increase by 7 million dollars.
80% of ICOs (Initial coin offerings) released in 2023 were scams to defraud people or raise funds for essential cryptocurrency projects.
The crypto market lost $150 billion in 2023.
In Q4 of 2023, the cryptocurrency market cap for Bitcoin was at $1100 billion.
In Q1 2023, it had grown by $500 billion, the highest since its inception.
There will be a CAGR of 5% between the period 2023 to 2027.
Forecasts show that by 2027, the digital currency’s global market size will be around $1200 million. That will be a compounded yearly growth of almost 5% for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, etc.
Compared to 2023 data, the cryptocurrency growth will likely be 5000% by January 2030.Cryptocurrency Mining Statistics
Bitcoin mining is not as easy as it was in the past and is now over-saturated with miners. As a result, it is expensive to mine crypto coins, and the expected reward is meager.
Here is how mining crypto statistics changed significantly:
Bitcoin mining uses enough energy to power over 10m homes per year.
You will need to bear rig costs, whether buying or renting. You will also need to share the block with other pool miners, and their rates are from $2000 to $6000.
Miners are only getting 5 Bitcoin/block in 2023, which translates to about $30 000. The bitcoin block rewards had gone down last year from their peak in 2009.
As of January 2023, Ether’s blockchain reward is lower than it ever was at just $10 or 0.0085ETH/day. At one time, the crypto mining could give you 5 Ether and then reduce in 2023 to 3 ETH.
Bitcoin Network Participation for digital virtual currency is at a record 96%. According to data given by cryptocurrency statistics, the number of validators rises by 10% every week.
Annual electricity costs on Bitcoin mining are $4,466,697,344.
Bitcoin emissions alone could increase the average global temperature above +2°C.
It will take 10 minutes to verify every transaction in a block, which means that every 10 minutes, 6.25 Bitcoins are released and added to the total cryptocurrency market.
72% of Bitcoin mining occurs in China, where nearly 66% of electricity comes from coal power.Cryptocurrency Security Statistics
Over the last few years, the Crypto market has seen massive growth, but it also comes with many security challenges. There have been hundreds of cyber-crimes daily happen related to cryptocurrencies.
Here is a glance into the Cryptocurrency Security Statistics:
Around 5% of the total Monero cryptocurrency in circulation came from crypto-jacking when crypto-jacking was new. Most of its resources were used for Monero mining.
If we go by the current market value of Monero, then about $65 million worth of Monero has been lost to theft.
By 2030, crypto criminal activities will be up by almost 600%.
Cybercrime incidents could cost nearly a 5 trillion dollars in 2030, 800% jump from around $600 billion in 2023.Crypto Crime Statistics
Here are some notable Crypto Crime Statistics:
Latin America has the largest volume of cryptocurrency transactions to illegal accounts (2% of the total transaction).
In 2023, major crypto thefts, hacks, and frauds totaled $3 billion.
In 2023, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, and Norway encountered the smallest ransomware threats, with only 0.01% of mining machines coming across them per month.
Ransomware crimes increased by 500% year over year. This was mainly because of Covid-prompted work-from-home measures opening vulnerabilities for companies.
One research study found that two hacking groups claimed responsibility for about 60% of all recorded crypto thefts, worth more than $1 billion.
In 2023, $3.5 billion were sent to Bitcoin wallets associated with criminal activity.
The total value of global cryptocurrency theft in 2023 was $600 million, showing a significant increase from the 2023s of $500 million.
Two groups of crypto hackers were responsible for about 50% of all recorded crypto thefts worth more than 1 billion US dollars.
A report states that 50 to 70% of initial coin offerings (ICOs) were initially designed and created fraudulently.
In 2023, a Ponzi scheme disguised as PlusToken netted $2.9 billion. In 2023, WoToken defrauded crypto investors out of $1.1 billion. The same is the case with Squid game in 2023.Cryptocurrency Users Statistics
Here are some essential Cryptocurrency User statistics.
As of Q1 2023, there are an estimated 300 million identity-verified cryptocurrency users worldwide.
Nigeria sets the record for the most significant number of people who indicated that they used or owned cryptocurrencies at 31.9%. Followed by Vietnam 21.1%, Philippines 19.8%, and South Africa 17.8%.
66% of US investors to date have not invested in Cryptocurrency and are not interested in doing so. 18% among them not even heard of it. Only 7% say they’re planning to invest in Cryptocurrency.
88% of Ethereum traders and 85% of Bitcoin traders are male.
55% of 18- to 35-year-olds in the US are more likely to purchase Bitcoin in the next five years. Meanwhile, 46% of adults aged 36 to 44 years want to invest, and 36% of 45 to 54-year-olds express interest.Popular Cryptocurrencies Statistics
Here are some other popular cryptocurrency statistics:
Among the major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin had the biggest share, 66% of market capitalization, in 2023. Ethereum (ETH) distantly follows at 8%.
As of November 29, 2023, the biggest Cryptocurrency in the world based on 24-hour volume is Tether (USDT), with a 24-hour volume of $90 billion. Bitcoin comes to the second spot with $60 billion, followed by Ethereum (ETH) with $25 billion.
The top 10 cryptocurrencies with the highest market cap make up about 88% of the total cryptocurrency market value. (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Litecoin, Binance Coin, EOS, and Tezos.
The Number of Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as of January 2023 was 28,000.
There are about 1000 new coins in the market every day as of 2023.
Daily transactions for Bitcoin nearly reached 600,000 marks in the second quarter of 2023.
Binance has become the biggest cryptocurrency exchange based on 24-hour volume. HBTC comes secondwith $14.44 billion and Hydax Exchange with $12.19 billion.
As of December 15, 2023, Ethereum’s (ETH) value is equivalent to $1,809.07.
Ethereum’s (ETH) market capitalization is around $225 billion as of December 1, 2023.
Litecoin’s market capitalization as of January 1, 2023, is $16 billion.
Researchers have engineered a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg robot cockroaches
Researchers from the Japanese RIKEN research institute have engineered a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg robot cockroaches, equipped with a tiny wireless control module that is powered by a rechargeable battery attached to aid in search and rescue operations and environmental monitoring missions. Its leg-moving components and battery are fitted into a ‘backpack’ on the thorax of a cockroach. Scientists have been trying to design cyborg insects part insects, part machines to help inspect hazardous areas and monitor the environment. Researchers have brought this a step closer to reality, after engineering a system for creating cyborg bugs with much greater power output.Remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches:
The cyborg cockroaches, which are part insect and part machine, are intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment, or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged. The system, which is basically a cockroach backpack wired into the creature’s nervous system, has a power output about 50 times higher than previous devices. The researchers charged the battery with pseudo-sunlight for 30 minutes and directed the insects to turn left and right using the wireless remote control. The insect was also able to right itself 80 percent of the time after being flipped onto its back, despite the presence of the control system. It is built with an ultrathin and flexible solar cell that doesn’t hinder the roach’s movement.
Researchers from the Japanese RIKEN research institute have engineered a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg robot cockroaches, equipped with a tiny wireless control module that is powered by a rechargeable battery attached to aid in search and rescue operations and environmental monitoring missions. Its leg-moving components and battery are fitted into a ‘backpack’ on the thorax of a cockroach. Scientists have been trying to design cyborg insects part insects, part machines to help inspect hazardous areas and monitor the environment. Researchers have brought this a step closer to reality, after engineering a system for creating cyborg bugs with much greater power chúng tôi cyborg cockroaches, which are part insect and part machine, are intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment, or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged. The system, which is basically a cockroach backpack wired into the creature’s nervous system, has a power output about 50 times higher than previous devices. The researchers charged the battery with pseudo-sunlight for 30 minutes and directed the insects to turn left and right using the wireless remote control. The insect was also able to right itself 80 percent of the time after being flipped onto its back, despite the presence of the control system. It is built with an ultrathin and flexible solar cell that doesn’t hinder the roach’s movement. The segmented nature of a cockroach’s abdomen, for instance, provides it with the ability to contort itself or flip itself over should it get into a hairy situation. The solar-powered module was attached to the top of the insect’s thorax, perfectly fitting the Madagascar cockroach’s curved surface. The research subjects are Madagascar cockroaches – which are known for their ability to make a hissing noise to raise the alarm, assert dominance, and attract mates.
“Are you allergic to any medications?” I’ve answered that query dozens of times since a childhood incident when penicillin, taken to treat a minor infection, instead gave me an itchy rash all over my body. So I respond automatically, and call out the common antibiotic. But I recently learned that this diagnosis could be wrong. Penicillin sensitivity can disappear over time, a fact researchers have known for years. So why hasn’t my doctor told me to go get an official test? It could be because she doesn’t actually know the allergy can fade.
Within an hour of taking penicillin, allergy sufferers might experience hives, swelling, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or in the worst-case scenario, the life-threatening set of symptoms called anaphylaxis. In short, it’s not an experience you’d like to repeat. So when roughly 10 percent of Americans tell their doctors that they’re allergic to penicillin, the physicians tend to listen.
But penicillin allergies are actually much less common than reported. Studies suggest that less than one percent of the population will react to this antibiotic. The patients aren’t deliberately lying—the discrepancy occurs because a penicillin allergy can fade. For 80 percent of people who react to penicillin, their sensitivity will disappear sometime in the following 10 years.
This might not seem like such a big deal. After all, whether I’m actually allergic or not, avoiding penicillin won’t kill me. When I get strep throat or another illness usually treated with penicillin, my doctor can simply prescribe an alternative medication. Frequently, that alternative is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. The good news is, drugs in this category can treat a wide range of ailments. The bad news is that they often cost more, are less effective, and have more severe side effects than penicillin. Oh, and they contribute to growing antibiotic resistance. The more an antibiotic is used, the more bacteria get exposed to it—and the more likely they are to evolve defenses against it.
The solution is pretty simple: If patients report a penicillin allergy, but have not taken penicillin or had a skin test in 10 years, their doctors should refer them to an allergist. A skin test, like those that measure sensitivity to other common allergens, should also detect a penicillin reaction. The allergist scratches the skin and dabs a little of the test substance on top, or injects a drop. If an itchy red welt forms, the patient has an allergy. If the skin results are uncertain, the allergist can administer a follow-up test called a graded challenge, in which the patient takes gradually increasing doses of penicillin while doctors carefully monitor his or her reactions.
For the study, researchers asked 276 non-allergist medical professionals—doctors, physician assistants, nurses, and pharmacists—at the New York hospital network Rochester Regional Health about penicillin allergies. Only 58 percent knew that penicillin sensitivity can go away over time. (That number drops to 55 percent when you exclude the pharmacists, 78 percent of whom got the correct answer.) And given examples of patients who reported penicillin allergies, only 20 percent of the survey subjects could identify who should get skin tests to check their sensitivity.
Of the three authors, one is an allergist and another a pharmacist. Both of these fields rely on referrals from doctors, often general practitioners. But among the survey respondents who practice general medicine, about 80 percent said that in any given year, they sent zero or only one patient for allergy testing. Given that snub, and the fact that pharmacists outperformed other pros in their knowledge of penicillin allergies, you can’t help detecting a slightly disgruntled tone in the paper.
“Overall, among all levels of general and subspecialty providers, there is an extremely poor understanding regarding penicillin tolerance rates in those who are reportedly allergic, as well as clinical scenarios necessitating allergy consultation,” the researchers write. This grim pronouncement may be warranted: Although the survey was limited to one hospital network, its results suggest that a large number of medical pros are unaware of the latest guidelines on penicillin allergies. So the next time your doctor asks what you’re allergic to, consider requesting a skin test for penicillin.
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