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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 16

Jun 2, 2020

Animals that can do math understand more language than we think

Posted by in categories: food, mathematics, sustainability

It is often thought that humans are different from other animals in some fundamental way that makes us unique, or even more advanced than other species. These claims of human superiority are sometimes used to justify the ways we treat other animals, in the home, the lab or the factory farm.

Jun 2, 2020

The Age of Unmanned Tractors Is Coming, But Not Without a Fight From Farmers

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

Automation will eventually change industrial agriculture as we know it. For some, that’s reason to take action.

May 30, 2020

Drone maker XAG in drive to automate rice farming in China

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, food, robotics/AI

XAG, one of China’s largest makers of agricultural drones, expects increased automation for planting rice in the country’s farmlands as a way to raise efficiency, while mitigating labour shortage and the threat of Covid-19.

May 30, 2020

Bill Faloon — If Nothing Else Kills Us, Aging Will (Longevity #005)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, food, life extension, neuroscience, quantum physics

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May 29, 2020

Agricultural Drone Speeds Chinese Rice Seeding

Posted by in categories: drones, food, sustainability

One of China’s largest agricultural drone companies is helping to overhaul the rice-farming industry.

XAG recently launched a rice-seeding demonstration of seeding via drone at Happy Farms, an agricultural park in Guangdong province.

May 29, 2020

Letting off electrons to cope with metabolic stress

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, health

Whereas textbooks depict metabolism in perfect homeostasis, disturbances occur in real life. One particularly relevant disturbance, caused by excess food and alcohol consumption and exacerbated by genetics, is reductive stress. New work by Goodman et al. identifies a biomarker of reductive stress and uses a gene therapy solution in mice. This work suggests how exercise and an accessible nutritional technology can synergistically increase catabolism and relieve reductive stress.

May 26, 2020

‘Digital smell’ technology could let us transmit odors in online chats

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, food, internet, neuroscience, virtual reality

“It’s not just about the smell,” said Adrian Cheok, one of the scientists behind the experiments. “It is part of a whole, integrated virtual reality or augmented reality. So, for example, you could have a virtual dinner with your friend through the internet. You can see them in 3D and also share a glass of wine together.”

In real life, odors are transmitted when airborne molecules waft into the nose, prompting specialized nerve cells in the upper airway to fire off impulses to the brain. In the recent experiments, performed on 31 test subjects at the Imagineering Institute in the Malaysian city of Nusajaya, researchers used electrodes in the nostrils to deliver weak electrical currents above and behind the nostrils, where these neurons are found.

The researchers were able to evoke 10 different virtual odors, including fruity, woody and minty.

May 26, 2020

New Plant-Based Bottles Made From Plant Sugar Degrade in a Year

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, sustainability

A new “all-plant” drink bottle is underway at a Netherlands biochemicals company. These bottles are made from sustainable crops and decompose within a year.

The bottle is made from plant sugars instead of traditional fossil fuels. Avantium is the company behind the bottle. They have already found support from beer company Carlsberg, who plans to sell a plant-plastic lined cardboard bottle in future beverage releases. Coca-Cola and Danone have also backed the product.

Avantium’s chief executive, Tom van Aken told the Guardian that the plan should be finalized by the end of the year, with the bottles hitting supermarket shelves by 2023. “This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels, and can be recycled – but would also degrade in nature much faster than normal plastics do,” says Van Aken.

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May 24, 2020

Purified: Two sips into my Centurion Pilsner at a beer garden in Denver, I hiccupped

Posted by in categories: engineering, food, sustainability

Hoppy beers do that to me. This beer was different. The water used for the brew came not from a river, a reservoir, or even a well. Instead, the water was sourced from a wastewater treatment plant located along the South Platte River. This simple fact didn’t bother me at all.

To be clear, I’m not a risk taker. Never skydived. Never paddled down Class V rapids. Never swallowed goldfish on a dare. But from what I’ve learned about purification processes for reclaimed water, drinking this limited-edition beer was eminently safe. The pilsner, blonde and translucent, like a Coors, looked and tasted like any number of beers made from water freshly obtained from creeks and rivers tumbling from Colorado’s mountain peaks. As for the strawberry-kiwi wheat beer ordered by my companion, I would have nothing of it. “That’s not beer,” I harrumphed, “that’s a fruit bowl. Undrinkable.”

I was at Declaration Brewing Co., located in Denver’s Overland neighborhood. The brewery and also a winery, InVINtions, located in Greenwood Village, were part of a regional effort. Water for the one-time specialty beverages produced by both came from the PureWater Colorado Demonstration Project. In the demonstration that was conducted in spring of 2018, water providers, engineering companies and water reuse advocates collaborated to showcase direct potable reuse treatment technologies. The water was treated using five different processes until it met federal and state drinking water standards, suitable for human consumption.

Continue reading “Purified: Two sips into my Centurion Pilsner at a beer garden in Denver, I hiccupped” »

May 24, 2020

Meet the E-Nose That Actually Sniffs

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food

Circa 2018


E-noses come in a variety of architectures, but most rely exclusively on chemical sensors, such as metal oxides or conducting polymers. The TruffleBot goes a step further: A 3.5-inch-by-2-inch circuit board that sits atop a Raspberry Pi contains eight pairs of sensors in four rows of two. Each sensor pair includes a chemical sensor to detect vapors and a mechanical sensor (a digital barometer) to measure air pressure and temperature.

Then comes the sniffing bit: Odor samples are pushed across these sensors by small air pumps that can be programmed to take up puffs of air in a pattern. “When animals want to smell something, they don’t just passively expose themselves to the chemical. They’re actively sniffing for it—sampling the air and moving around—so the signals that are being received are not static,” says Rosenstein.

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