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Aug 31, 2022

Kazakhstan’s first NPP to be an international project

Posted by in categories: economics, nuclear energy, security

“In June, our delegation was in South Korea, in July we went to France. Negotiations are ongoing with Chinese suppliers. Based on the results of an in-depth study of international experience, nuclear technology suppliers will be involved. I repeat, this will be an international project,” he reaffirmed, adding that the results of this experience is under study.

“In principle, the construction of a nuclear power plant is a long process, it takes about eight years. Without nuclear power, we will not be able to ensure energy security for ourselves… We will need such generation — the whole world is moving towards decarbonisation. We must move to clean technologies, and nuclear generation is the answer to the challenge of the times,” he stressed.

He stressed that the safety of NPP operation is of paramount importance. “We will choose the technology that is the safest, and those suppliers who can complete all the work in a timely manner. Related areas of our economy will also develop around this industry. There will be a big positive effect on the development of our country as a whole.”

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Aug 29, 2022

China’s Growth Prospects Weaken as Economists Cut 2023 Forecasts

Posted by in category: economics

Economists are turning more bearish about China’s economy, downgrading their growth forecasts further for 2022 and seeing lingering risks into next year as turmoil in the property market and Covid outbreaks persist.

The economy is now projected to grow just 3.5% this year, down from a previous forecast of 3.9%, according to Bloomberg’s latest quarterly survey of economists. Growth projections for the first three quarters of next year were also lowered — by 0.1−0.4 percentage points — although the median for the whole of 2023 remained unchanged at 5.2%.

Aug 28, 2022

Scientists Discover “Superworms” Capable of Munching Through Plastic Waste

Posted by in categories: chemistry, economics

According to the American Chemistry Council, in 2018 in the United States, 27.0 million tons of plastic ended up in landfills compared to just 3.1 million tons that were recycled. Worldwide the numbers are similarly bad, with just 9% of plastic being recycled according to a recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.

The statistics are even worse for certain types of plastic. For example, out of 80,000 tons of styrofoam (polystyrene.

Polystyrene was discovered by accident in 1,839 by Eduard Simon, an apothecary from Berlin, Germany. As one of the most widely used plastics in the world, polystyrene is used for bottles, containers, packaging, disposable cutlery, packing peanuts, and more. It can be solid or foamed (Styrofoam is a brand name of closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam).

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Aug 28, 2022

In the Ukraine war, a battle for the nation’s mineral and energy wealth

Posted by in categories: economics, energy

Kyiv will lose nearly two-thirds of its deposits if the Kremlin is successful in annexing Ukrainian territory.

At least $12.4 trillion worth of Ukraine’s essential natural resources, including energy and mineral deposits, are now under Russian control.

“The Kremlin is robbing Ukraine” of its natural resources, the backbone of it’s economy, according to an analysis by SecDev posted by Washington Post on August 10.

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Aug 27, 2022

With new solar modules, greenhouses run on their own energy

Posted by in categories: economics, solar power, sustainability

Plants use light waves from only a portion of the spectrum for photosynthesis—the remainder can be recovered and used to generate solar power. That’s the idea behind the solar modules developed by EPFL startup Voltiris. Following encouraging preliminary results, a new pilot installation was recently installed in Graubünden.

In Switzerland, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other light-and heat-intensive vegetables requires building a greenhouse—but operating one consumes a huge amount of power. Farmers have to carefully balance crop yields and economics with . “It costs more than CHF 1.5 million a year to heat a 5-hectare greenhouse,” says Nicolas Weber, the CEO of Voltiris. “And a greenhouse of that size emits roughly the same amount of CO2 per year as 2,000 people.”

The Swiss federation of fruit & vegetable growers, which cultivate several thousand hectares across the country, has set a target of eliminating all fossil-fuel-based energy from its farming processes by 2040. The system developed by Voltiris can go a long way towards reaching that goal. Its technology is based on the fact that don’t use all of the waves contained in sunlight; the remaining ones can be concentrated onto photovoltaic (PV) cells to generate . Voltiris’ system is lightweight and designed to track the sun’s movement across the sky, and boasts daily yields on par with conventional solar panels. The first vegetables grown under Voltiris’ system were harvested this summer through pilot tests carried out at two greenhouses, in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden.

Aug 27, 2022

Corneas made from pig collagen return sight to 20 people

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, food

Corneal blindness occurs when the transparent membrane that covers the front of the eye and acts as a lens becomes opaque and prevents the light from reaching the back of the eye, inhibiting vision. It can be solved with a transplant, but experts estimate that 12.7 million people are currently waiting for a cornea donation. These membranes are in short supply: for every 70 that are needed, only one is available. In view of this problem, especially in countries where there are fewer donations of human corneas due to limited infrastructure, a group of Swedish researchers tested corneas made from pig skin collagen in 20 people who needed transplants (all of them Iranian or Indian citizens; 14 of them were blind). After two years, they all showed improvement, and those who were blind could see again. Although more complex clinical trials are still necessary to validate the measure, the first test of this bioengineered corneal tissue has proven to be safe. The results of this pilot study were published in the Nature Biotechnology journal.

There is also a socioeconomic aspect to corneal blindness: one million new cases are diagnosed every year, but according to researchers, most are concentrated in low-and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East – precisely where it is most difficult to obtain a donated human cornea, due to endless “economic, cultural, technological, political and ethical barriers.” Finding an alternative to the human cornea transplant is key, the authors point out, to fighting keratoconus, a disease that weakens and thins the cornea, and which is the reason for most transplants.

In order to find an alternative to donated human cornea, the researchers bioengineered collagen, the main protein in the human cornea, as a raw material. “For an abundant yet sustainable and cost-effective supply of collagen, we used medical-grade collagen sourced from porcine skin, a purified byproduct from the food industry already used in FDA-approved medical devices for glaucoma surgery and as a wound dressing,” they explain in the article. Unlike the human corneas, which must be used in less than two weeks, bioengineered corneas can be stored for up to two years.

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Aug 25, 2022

Thousands of Americans eligible for direct payments worth up to $2,550

Posted by in categories: economics, government

Actual universal basic income going on 💸💵💰🪙


STIMULUS checks have given Americans a feel for universal basic income (UBI) – but folks in certain states and cities are getting used to this idea.

UBI is a set of recurring payments that individuals get from the government. These can be paid out every month, several times a year, or just once annually.

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Aug 22, 2022

The War Economy: Is America falling behind China in science?

Posted by in categories: economics, science

Not yet. But we should make sure we act now to stay well ahead.

Aug 20, 2022

Forecast: Nuclear power in Poland should account for close to 40% of energy mix

Posted by in categories: business, economics, employment, nuclear energy

Nuclear power will be capable of generating 38.4 percent of Poland’s electric power needs by 2043, and should raise the country’s GDP by over 1 percent, a report by the Polish Institute of Economics (PIE) has forecast.

The report, titled “Economic aspects of nuclear investment in Poland — influence on business, the labor market and local communities,” also says that the nuclear energy program will generate 40,000 jobs over the next five decades.

According to the most optimistic scenario, 70 percent of the value of the investments in nuclear energy should be realized by Polish companies, and the total investment realized by them could reach close to $40 billion.

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Aug 20, 2022

Who Gets to Work in the Digital Economy?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, computing, economics, employment, finance, internet

If the combination of Covid-19 and remote work technologies like Zoom have undercut the role of cities in economic life, what might an even more robust technology like the metaverse do? Will it finally be the big upheaval that obliterates the role of cities and density? To paraphrase Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky: The place to be was Silicon Valley. It feels like now the place to be is the internet.

The simple answer is no, and for a basic reason. Wave after wave of technological innovation — the telegraph, the streetcar, the telephone, the car, the airplane, the internet, and more — have brought predictions of the demise of physical location and the death of cities.


Remote work has become commonplace since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the focus on daily remote work arrangements may miss a larger opportunity that the pandemic has unearthed: the possibility of a substantially increased labor pool for digital economy work. To measure interest in digital economy jobs, defined as jobs within the business, finance, art, science, information technology, and architecture and engineering sectors, the authors conducted extensive analyses of job searches on the Bing search engine, which accounts for more than a quarter of all desktop searches in the U.S. They found that, not only did searches for digital economy jobs increase since the beginning of the pandemic, but those searches also became less geographically concentrated. The single biggest societal consequence of the dual trends of corporate acceptance of remote work and people’s increased interest in digital economy jobs is the potential geographic spread of opportunity.

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