Twitter highlights the most tweeted events from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – CNET

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The internet celebrated some of the big Tokyo Olympics wins on Twitter.

Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics came to a close Sunday night, but on Monday Twitter took a look back at the most noteworthy trends from the 17 days of international competition. 

The social media giant found that the most tweeted event was Brazil’s Rayssa Leal winning silver in women’s street skateboarding. Leal, who’s 13 years old, previously saw viral fame when she dressed in a teal fairy costume at age 8 and filmed herself repeatedly attempting a heel-flip in Imperatriz, Brazil

The second most tweeted event was Japan winning gold in men’s baseball, edging out the US team, followed by Japan winning gold in table tennis doubles to defeat China and winning gold in women’s softball, outplaying the US.

Brazil’s first place win in men’s soccer over Spain was also among the most tweeted events. 

Beyond the events themselves, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics also produced some memorable memes including Rapper Snoop Dogg and comedian Kevin Hart’s uncensored commentary on the equestrian events. 

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf reveals Witcher history we’ve never seen before – CNET

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Vesemir the Witcher faces the Nightmare of the Wolf in Netflix’s forthcoming animated series.

Netflix

It’s tough being a monster-hunting Witcher. “The only thing keeping men from hunting us,” says a character in the new trailer for Netflix’s animated show The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, “are the scarier beasts we keep away.”

Streaming on Netflix from Aug. 23, Nightmare of the Wolf is an anime-ish prequel to the live-action TV series starring Henry Cavill as musclebound monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. Season 2 of the live-action Witcher rides into town on Dec. 17, and will introduce Danish actor Kim Bodnia (from Killing Eve, The Bridge and Pusher) as Geralt’s mentor Vesemir. But first, Bodnia’s voice is heard in Nightmare of the Wolf, which focuses on an animated version of Vesemir in his younger days.

Nightmare of the Wolf shows a part of Witcher history never seen in the games or Andrzej Sapkowski’s original novels, delving into the time when Vesemir and his monster-bashing chums plied their trade from the School of the Wolf in the mighty stronghold of Kaer Morhen. 

Volkswagen Taos stop sale issued for AWD models – Roadshow

The engine shutting down isn’t a good thing.

Volkswagen

If you’re heading out to buy a 2022 Volkswagen Taos, know dealers won’t be allowed to send it home with you if it sports all-wheel drive. Automotive News reported Friday the brand’s new compact crossover is subject to a stop sale. VW confirmed the action with Roadshow noting, “A dealer communication has been issued and we are now following the required NHTSA reporting timeframe.”

The problem affects Taos models equipped with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Owners reported the vehicle’s engine shut off unexpectedly when coming to a stop, which is never a good thing. Right now, VW is researching a repair, so there’s no fix available for the alleged defect owners reported.

VW did not provide additional information on the stop sale or the fix’s timing, but in the meantime, dealers will gladly sell you a front-wheel drive model.

What does ‘refurbished’ mean when shopping for Alexa devices? – CNET

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The Amazon Echo Studio is arguably the best and most expensive Alexa smart speaker available, but it can be had for less from one of Amazon’s two discount storefronts.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In the world of discount electronics, there’s new and then there’s not-so-new. If you’re willing to forgo the joy of opening a fresh-from-the-factory box, tremendous deals can be had on the latter — and nowhere is that truer than the Certified Refurbished Echo and Alexa Devices store at Amazon. At any given time, you’ll find deep discounts on everything from Amazon Echo Show smart displays to — if you’re lucky — the Holy Grail of discounted Alexa gadgets: the Echo Studio, Amazon’s high-fidelity smart speaker with Dolby Atmos (and, yes, Alexa). 

Whether you’ve stumbled upon this little discount storefront buried deep within Amazon or you’ve only heard tell of such marked-down merchandise, you may have wondered, what’s the catch? Surprisingly, not much, other than you get to keep some of the money you’d otherwise spend on a brand-spanking-new device. Otherwise, you get the same return policy, the same warranty and the same Alexa-powered smart home smarts you’d find in a comparable, full-priced version of the same gear.

However, Amazon’s Certified Refurbished Alexa store isn’t the only place to score deals on less-than-new Echo devices. If you don’t mind being a little more daring with your retail spending, Amazon also has yet another store where you can get even better deals, but that one deserves a little more of a “buyer beware” attitude going in. 

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The third-gen Echo Dot sounds almost as good as the latest iteration, but costs considerably less — especially if you can find it refurbished.

Dale Smith/CNET

We’ll go over both of your options and help guide you how to get the best deal on newish Alexa devices, depending on your level of risk aversion. Although there are certainly other places, like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where you can find even deeper discounts on actual “used” items, we’re going to steer clear of recommending anything that doesn’t come with some sort of guarantee directly from Amazon, whether that’s an actual product warranty or just a healthy return policy. 

Also note, for the absolute deepest discounts available all year, you’ll want to combine one or both of these techniques with a major site-wide sale — Prime Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for example. However, since those sorts of mega sales are so few and far between, feel free to use these shopping hacks any day of the year.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about how to add Alexa devices to your smart home on the cheap (without venturing outside of Amazon).

Is ‘refurbished’ the same as ‘renewed’ or ‘open-box’?

In the land of discounted consumer goods, there are several terms that mostly mean either the same thing or something very much like it. For example, Amazon generally uses both “refurbished” and “renewed” to designate products that, after close inspection and testing, have been determined to look and function exactly like new versions of the same thing. Amazon usually offers a full 90-day replacement or refund guarantee on such items and, if the device is also made by Amazon, often includes the same warranty as you’d get when buying brand-new.

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Both the Echo Dot and it’s larger sibling — known just as the Amazon Echo — are often discounted anywhere from 5% to 20% or more if you’re willing to buy less-than-brand-new.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Typically, merchandise that’s labeled refurbished or renewed will come in new, unopened packaging, although it will be different from the packaging you’d get if you purchased the item truly new. “Open-box,” on the other hand, usually comes in the original packaging which may or may not have actually been opened, depending on where it came from exactly. 

“Open-box” items are often designated as “used,” sometimes with qualifiers such as “Used, Like New” or “Used, Acceptable.” We’ll explain what all of that means in a bit.

Certified Refurbished Alexa gear comes straight from Amazon

The easiest place to start is at Amazon’s own Certified Refurbished Echo and Alexa Devices store. At the time of this writing, there was a smattering of discounted items available: A third-generation Echo Dot for $32 ($8 off retail), an Echo Show 5 for $42 ($38 off retail and $3 cheaper than the current deal), an Echo Studio for $180 (a whopping $20 off retail). And there were plenty more discounts where those came from.

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Besides it’s main storefront, Amazon also has pages promoting refurbished and open-box items at steep discounts.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Note, however, that these deals are subject to inventory and may not be available when you look. That said, there will likely be other deals just as good or better, taking their place. Part of the fun of looking for discounted Alexa gear is in the serendipity of what you might find.

Items from Amazon’s Certified Refurbished store come with the same Amazon warranty and return policy you’d get with a new-new device, meaning they’re effectively equivalent as far as you’re concerned. They may be customer returns that have been fixed or they may be duds discovered during quality assurance at the factory that were then sent back through the line. 

Either way, you can rest assured that the device you buy will last just as long and come with just as much consumer protection as a similar, full-priced device. Plus, although it may not come in the original box, it will come in a fresh, clean, never-before-opened package, further solidifying your confidence.

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Occasionally, some of the more difficult to find Alexa devices, like the Echo Flex with motion detector and nightlight accessories, are available at a discount.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon Warehouse Deals come with slightly more risk but better deals

If those deals sound a bit meh to you — and you’re comfortable taking a slightly bigger risk in terms of consumer protections — your next step is to check out the discounted goods over at Amazon Warehouse Deals. You’re liable to find just about anything Amazon sells at its Warehouse Deals store, including (and especially) Alexa devices.

Many of the same discounted items found over at the Certified Refurbished store are often available at an even steeper discount over at Amazon Warehouse Deals. For example, that Echo Show 5 that retails for $80, was discounted to $65 new and was also on sale refurbished for $62 could be had for a scant $40 at Amazon Warehouse Deals.

Items purchased through Amazon Warehouse Deals do come with the same return policy, including the same return window (normally 30 days but usually longer during the winter holiday shopping season) as any new product bought directly from Amazon (as opposed to third-party sellers). But here’s the catch: They don’t necessarily come with the same warranty. 

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When you buy from Amazon Warehouse Deals, you do run the risk of having to return the items you bought if they arrive broken or otherwise defective.

Angela Lang/CNET

That’s because items sold through Amazon Warehouse Deals are technically classified as “used,” even though many of them come in boxes that, while damaged, have never actually been opened. Other items, however, might be customer returns, meaning they’ve been opened already before being repackaged, usually haphazardly.

In other words, you run a far greater risk of having to return your purchase when you buy through Amazon Warehouse Deals. With greater risk, however, comes greater reward. In this case, that “reward” arrives in the form of even more money saved than if you bought through Amazon’s refurbished store.

Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass Teaser Asks ‘Why?’

Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass Teaser Asks ‘Why?’

Not much to go on just yet but here’s the official plot summary: “From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, Midnight Mass tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?”

And here’s what Flanagan himself had to say about it: “I’m just going to admit it… Midnight Mass is my favorite project so far. As a former altar boy, about to celebrate 3 years of sobriety, it’s not hard to see what makes this so personal. The ideas at the root of this show scare me to my core. There is darkness at work on Crockett Island. Some of it is supernatural, but the scariest is born of human nature. The darkness that animates this story isn’t hard to see in our own world, unfortunately. But this show is about something else as well… faith itself. One of the great mysteries of human nature. How even in the darkness, in the worst of it, in the absence of light — and hope — we sing. I hope you enjoy our song.”

Flanagan previously said he won’t be continuing his “haunting” anthology series but you never know, he might pull a fast one on us. Either way, we’re always hyped for his creations. You can catch the seven-episode limited series–executive produced by Flanagan and Trevor Macy for Intrepid Pictures—when it drops on Netflix on September 24.


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Samsung billionaire heir Jay Y. Lee gets parole, will be released from prison Friday

Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong —known in the West as Jay Y. Lee— will be released from prison Friday after South Korea’s justice ministry granted him parole, the Financial Times reported. The billionaire heir to the Samsung empire, Lee, 53, had served six months of a 30-month prison sentence for offering bribes to South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye.

Lee was first sent to prison in 2017 in the succession scandal that led to Park’s removal. He was accused of offering payments and horses as bribes to a friend of the former president to try to garner support for his succession at Samsung. Lee served just one year of a five-year sentence before a retrial was ordered in 2019. He was ordered back to prison in January.

In December, Lee offered a rare public apology for the succession plot. Bloomberg reported that Justice Minister Park Beom-kye said Monday that Lee’s “attitude during incarceration,” along with public sentiment and the economic impact of COVID-19 were all factors in the decision to grant Lee’s parole.

That public opinion includes recent polls that show South Koreans mostly favored Lee’s release from prison, as did business leaders and members of President Moon Jae-in’s government, the Associated Press reported. Moon has not commented on Lee’s release, but his office has said such a decision would be up to the justice ministry. Moon’s party is working to build support ahead of presidential elections in March, and Lee’s release is expected to work in his favor; as one political consultant told the AP, some 5 million South Koreans own shares in Samsung.

According to The Wall Street Journal, it’s unclear how Lee, the grandson of Samsung’s founder, will be able to resume his work at the company once he’s released: South Korean law imposes a five-year employment ban on people who commit economic crimes, and people on parole are restricted from traveling overseas. Lee would need to seek an exemption from the employment restriction.

And following his release, Lee still could face jail time again, in a case involving a $3.9 billion accounting fraud at a Samsung subsidiary. The WSJ reports Lee could also face charges for allegedly abusing the sedative propofol. Lee has denied all charges.

In July, Samsung released its second-quarter earnings, which showed a 20 percent uptick in revenue and a 54 percent increase in operating profit from the year-ago quarter.

The best home COVID-19 tests – CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

As new COVID-19 variants spread around the world, easy to administer at-home COVID-19 tests are an important tool to protect others if you get sick during the pandemic. These tests can spare you a trip to a test clinic or doctor, so you can avoid spreading germs.

Consumers have many different choices for buying at-home collection kits, which the US Food and Drug Administration began granting emergency use authorizations for in May 2020. Heck, you can even order one from DoorDash now.

After trying many at-home COVID-19 tests, I found that my overall experience was more or less the same with each test. I navigated to the website, took the symptom screening if there was one, put in my personal information, checked out and waited for the test to arrive. When the test was delivered, I followed the instructions to register the kit, collect my sample and ship the specimen back.

I didn’t have any particularly great or horrendous experiences with any of these testing companies, so I don’t necessarily recommend any one in particular. Only a couple stand out, including the new Ellume COVID-19 test, which is the first rapid at-home test with an EUA from the FDA. 

The best at-home COVID-19 test for you ultimately depends on cost, whether your insurance, FSA or HSA covers the cost, and your preferred collection method (saliva sample or nasal swab).

Nonetheless, it’s worth knowing the small differentiators between the 10 coronavirus tests you can get without a doctor, which I describe here.

DxTerity/Amazon

  • Where to buy it: Amazon
  • Symptom screening: No
  • Collection method: Saliva sample
  • Ships to you in: 3 to 5 days
  • Return ship with: FedEx drop-off
  • Get results in: 2 to 3 days after the lab receives your sample

The DxTerity COVID-19 test is the only one available on Amazon. The test isn’t Prime-eligible, but even with standard shipping it only took three days to arrive. The testing kit comes with straightforward instructions to guide you through the process.

Amanda Capritto/CNET

  • Where to buy it: LetsGetChecked.com
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Lower nasal swab
  • Ships to you in: 1 to 4 business days
  • Return ship with: UPS drop-off or scheduled pickup
  • Get results in: 3 days after the lab receives your sample

LetsGetChecked was the first at-home COVID-19 test I tried, and I actually had to take it twice because my first attempt ended in “clotted” (inconclusive) results. Overall, my testing experience with LetsGetChecked was simple and straightforward.

Everlywell

  • Where to buy it: Everlywell.com
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Lower nasal swab
  • Ships to you in: 2 to 10 business days
  • Return ship with: Varies, designated on your prepaid shipping label
  • Get results in: 1 to 2 days after the lab receives your sample

Everlywell was one of the very first companies to launch an at-home coronavirus test back in March 2020. At first, the FDA shuttered the operation, but later granted Everlywell an EUA for its at-home COVID-19 test. Like the others on this list, the Everlywell kit provides clear instructions for collecting your sample and safely shipping the kit back.

Pixel by Labcorp

  • Where to buy it: Pixel.Labcorp.com 
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Nasal swab
  • Ships to you in: 2 days
  • Return ship with: FedEx drop-off
  • Get results in: 1 to 2 days after the lab receives your sample

Taking the Pixel COVID-19 test kit is simple and easy. Nasal swabs are generally easier to take than saliva samples, at least for me, since I feel like it takes forever to fill test tubes with saliva. Make sure you send off your sample the same day you take it, or the lab can’t process your test.

Vault Health

  • Where to buy it: Vaulthealth.com 
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Saliva sample
  • Ships to you in: 2 days
  • Return ship with: UPS drop-off
  • Get results in: 2 days after the lab receives your sample

The Vault COVID-19 test is just like all the others, except that Vault requires you to schedule a Zoom appointment with a testing technician. The technician oversees the testing process to ensure you follow the instructions, which leaves less room for an inconclusive test result. I definitely felt more confident using this test over the others, thanks to the Zoom supervision.

Vitagene

  • Where to buy it: Vitagene.com
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Saliva sample
  • Return ship with: FedEx drop-off
  • Get results in: 3 days after the lab receives your sample

The Vitagene collection kit requires you to take a saliva sample, which I find more cumbersome than a nasal swab. This may not be the case for everyone, but spitting in a tube takes me forever and I get dry mouth. Otherwise, the Vitagene COVID-19 test was just as easy to take and ship as the others. 

Phosphorus

  • Where to buy it: Phosphorus.com
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Saliva sample
  • Ships to you in: 1 to 2 days
  • Return ship with: FedEx drop-off
  • Get results in: 1 to 3 days after the lab receives your sample

Nothing about the Phosphorus test stands out, except that Phosphorus uses SteadyMD as the ordering medical practice. SteadyMD is a telehealth practice catered to athletes and fitness enthusiasts. That’s an interesting partnership — the epitome of telemedicine. 

Fulgent Genetics

  • Where to buy it: Picturegenetics.com 
  • Symptom screening: Yes
  • Collection method: Nasal swab
  • Ships to you in: 2 days
  • Return ship with: FedEx drop-off
  • Get results in: 2 days after the lab receives your sample 

Like the other at-home COVID-19 tests, the Picture collection kit is easy to use. My test arrived two days after placing my order, and I received my results less than two days after shipping the specimen back. In all, the whole process took about four days, which is pretty fast for an at-home collection kit.

Navica on the App Store

  • Where to buy it: Amazon, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, HEB, Sam’s Club and Walmart
  • Collection method: Nasal swab
  • Get results in: 15 minutes

Similar to the Ellume COVID-19 test, the BinaxNOW kit uses a rapid antigen test that should provide results in about 15 minutes at home. The kit comes with two tests so you can take a second test a few days after your first one.

Who should take an at-home COVID-19 test? 

At-home COVID-19 tests aren’t appropriate for everyone. Regardless of which brand you choose, it takes several days to a week to get your results from the time you order the test. Some people may require quicker test results due to their work or home environment, symptoms or other factors. 

An at-home coronavirus test is appropriate for those who: 

  • Have known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 (with or without symptoms) and can stay home until they get their test results.
  • Have mild-to-moderate symptoms and can quarantine until they receive a negative result or symptoms disappear for several days. 

The common denominator? People must be able to stay at home while they await their test results. If you can’t stay home until you have a positive test (for example, if your employer requires it), or you need quicker results for any other reason, an at-home COVID-19 test is not right for you. 

More for the health-minded

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Your Battery-Hungry Game Boy Pocket Will Never Run Out of Power With This Solar Panel Hack

Your Game Boy Pocket Will Never Die With This Solar Panel Hack

Sourcing power from a wind turbine isn’t exactly convenient so a Game Boy modder (who, for some reason, is sharing this hour-long build tutorial through the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s YouTube channel) instead turned to our other clean source of renewable energy: the sun. They were able to find a compact solar cell that was a perfect fit for the back panel of the Game Boy Pocket, and it was wired directly into the added rechargeable battery so that as long as the handheld was left out in a spot with sufficient sunlight, the battery would always be recharging when the GBP wasn’t being played.

There are other factors that can affect the battery life of a Game Boy, including whether a gamer is using an OEM game cartridge or a third-party flash cart that can hold hundreds of games at a time. With the screen set at full brightness and playing games from a flash cart, this modded Game Boy Pocket can run for about two to four hours before dying. But with an OEM game cartridge in the slot and the screen brightness dimmed, battery life can reach an impressive 10 to 12 hours between charges. And for every hour left out in ideal sunlight (with the sun directly overhead and no clouds in the sky) the added solar panel can gather enough charge for two additional hours of gameplay.

Had Nintendo included solar charging with the original Game Boy, an entire generation of kids would have gladly obliged their parents and played outside all summer long.

Biden administration targets 52 mpg fuel economy regulations by 2026 – Roadshow

President Biden with Jeep Wrangler PHEV

President Biden drives a Wrangler PHEV around the White House grounds to tout US automakers’ electrified future.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

This past Friday, the Biden administration delivered on its goal of updated fuel economy regulations with a set of proposals to replace the Trump Administration’s SAFE rules. The Environmental Protection Agency targets an average fleet standard of 52 mpg come 2026. This proposal includes a 10% boost for the 2023 model year in fuel efficiency standards and 5% increases through 2026. It’s a much larger jump than the Trump era’s 1.5% increases, which would lead to an average fleet standard of 43.3 mpg by 2026. The latest regulations also go a touch further than the Obama administration’s rules, originally in place through 2025.

This proposal also lays the groundwork for stricter regulations to come in 2027, according to the EPA, “to speed the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet toward a zero emissions future.” The Biden administration and major automakers last Thursday announced a voluntary pact aiming to make 50% of all vehicles sold in the US by 2030 electric.

The agency added that the proposed rules focus on cutting emissions and saving drivers money at the pump; more efficient vehicles cost less to fill up. The flip side, and an argument for Trump’s looser regulations, is automakers may pass costs associated with fuel-saving technology onto consumers when they buy a new vehicle. The EPA said Monday these regulations would save 290,000 million barrels of oil, while the Trump administration’s plan would increase oil consumption by 500,000 barrels per day.

Light-duty vehicles are only part of the EPA’s scope. The agency went further saying it will begin work on a series of rules for the heavy-duty truck sector, starting in 2022. These regulations will come in 2027 and “set new standards for criteria pollutants for the entire sector as well as targeted upgrades to the current ‘Phase 2’ greenhouse gas emissions standards for that model year.” A second set of standards for the segment is due in 2030.

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Study identifies molecule that stimulates muscle-building in humans

In a randomized control study of 10 healthy young men, researchers compared how consuming the single amino acid leucine or its two-molecule equivalent, dileucine, influenced muscle-building and breakdown. They found that dileucine boosts the metabolic processes that drive muscle growth 42% more than free leucine does.

They report their findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Leucine, isoleucine and valine all are branched-chain amino acids, famous among body builders and health enthusiasts for their purported muscle-enhancing benefits. Like other amino acids, they are the building blocks of proteins. But leucine also acts as a signaling molecule that triggers muscle-building pathways in cells, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign kinesiology and community health professor Nicholas Burd, who led the new research with kinesiology graduate student Kevin Paulussen.

Digestion breaks the chemical bonds between the amino acids that make up proteins, resulting in a stew of shorter molecules, including free amino acids and dipeptides. Previous studies have suggested that the small intestine absorbs dipeptides like dileucine more rapidly than their single-molecule counterparts, Burd said.

“But few studies have examined whether dileucine in the diet makes it into the blood as a dipeptide or is first broken down into two leucine molecules,” he said. “And no studies have examined its effects on acute muscle-building and breakdown.” Burd’s laboratory is one of a small number of research facilities set up to study muscle protein metabolism in human participants.

For the new study, participants came to the lab after a 12-hour fast and were infused with stable isotopes, chemical probes that allow researchers to track the process of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown in their muscles. Then biopsies of muscle tissue were taken from the upper leg.

“After that, we fed them either 2 grams of leucine or 2 grams of dileucine,” Burd said. “And we studied their muscle-remodeling response for three hours.” This was a double-blind study, meaning that the data were coded to prevent participants and researchers from knowing who received leucine or dileucine in the initial phases of the study. Three more muscle biopsies were taken, at 30, 60 and 180 minutes after participants ingested the leucine or dileucine.

“We found that leucine got into the blood more quickly when participants consumed dileucine than if they had just free leucine,” Burd said. “That means that some of that dileucine is getting hydrolyzed, or cut up, before it gets into the bloodstream. But we also saw that dileucine was getting into the bloodstream intact.”

The next question was whether dileucine had any effect on muscle-building processes, he said.

“So, we looked at pathways that signal the muscle-building process, including protein breakdown as part of the remodeling process. And we found no difference in protein breakdown between the leucine alone and the dileucine condition,” Burd said. “But on the protein synthesis side, we saw that dileucine turns up the muscle-building process more than leucine does.”

Those who consumed dileucine had 42% more synthesis of new muscle proteins than those who ingested only leucine.

“To put that in perspective, exercise alone can cause a 100-150% increase in the muscle-building response,” Burd said.

The researchers also showed that animal-based proteins are the best source of dileucine in the diet. But Burd does not think people should start ingesting large amounts of animal protein or taking dileucine supplements to enhance their muscle metabolism. The study is only a first step toward understanding how the body uses dipeptides, “and focusing on a single nutrient doesn’t provide a perspective on how the overall diet and eating pattern impacts muscle growth,” he said.

“We don’t yet know the mechanism by which dileucine works,” Burd said. “This is just a first attempt to understand how these types of peptides are playing a role in human physiology.”