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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 223

Oct 17, 2015

Scientists Say Lab-Grown Burgers Will Be Available to the Public in Five Years

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

When a team of Dutch scientists unveiled the world’s first stem cell beef burger in 2013, it carried a $300,000 price tag. Worse, it was dry and tasteless. But since the initial lackluster reviews, Mark Post and his colleagues have been hard at work. Now, they say they hope to have a commercially saleable cow-less patty on the market in five years.

Until very recently, lab-grown beef sounded like science fiction. But rapid advances in molecular biology and stem cell technology have placed the futuristic concept within reach. And the arguments for removing animals from the meat equation are practically endless: The meat industry as it exists today swallows an enormous fraction of our land and natural resources, produces vast quantities of greenhouse gases, has contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistant infections, and in many cases, is downright cruel. If test tube burgers can eliminate or diminish even a fraction of these problems, then this seems like one crazy idea worth pursuing.

And pursue it scientists have. In addition to Mark Post’s stem cell burger effort, a team of Israeli researchers under the banner Future Meat are now trying to grow whole chicken breasts in the lab. Meanwhile, efforts to culture fish protein have cropped up intermittently over the years.

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Oct 15, 2015

How Traveling to Deep Space In Cryogenic Sleep Could Actually Work

Posted by in categories: food, neuroscience, space travel

Our bodies aren’t meant for space. We require too much maintenance to speed through the stars. We need a steady supply of things absent from space — namely water, food and oxygen. We crave warmth but won’t find it in deep space, where the average temperature is −455 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if we could survive in an icy vacuum without sustenance, we’d probably go insane without distractions and room to move.

But aeronautic engineers believe they have found the key to solving that puzzle: put your space travelers to sleep. Long-term cryogenic and hibernative sleep may be the key to getting humans to Mars, and beyond. But it may first come to a spa near you.

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Oct 5, 2015

MIT’s SOLVE Program Launched 05–08 October 2015

Posted by in categories: economics, education, energy, environmental, food, futurism, health, water


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“Solve is a cross-disciplinary program led by MIT to convene the people and organizations that are addressing the world’s most pressing challenges in healthcare, energy, the environment, education, food & water, civil infrastructure and the economy.”

Live stream

Oct 5, 2015

This Startup Wants To Plant One Billion Trees a Year Using Drones

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, food, information science, robotics/AI

The future of Eco conservation?


Deforestation downs 10 billion trees around the globe annually. Replanting trees by hand is slow, expensive, and barely puts a dent in reversing the damage. But one startup wants to use drones that can reforest our increasingly tree-strapped Earth, on a big enough scale to replace slow and expensive hired humans.

The small company, called BioCarbon Engineering, says unmanned aerial vehicles are a great way of covering ravaged woodlands with seedlings that can repopulate the area’s tree population. Around the world, forests and jungles are still being leveled due to lumber overproduction, strip surface mining, urban expansion, and land use for agriculture.

Continue reading “This Startup Wants To Plant One Billion Trees a Year Using Drones” »

Oct 3, 2015

Introducing the world’s first robotic kitchen

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

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Sep 27, 2015

This robotic arm lets people paint with their eyes

Posted by in categories: food, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Sabine Dziemian, a postgraduate in Faisal’s research group, says, “If I want to draw a straight line, I look at the start point and the end point, and the robot moves the brush across that line.”

Blinking three times puts the robot in color selection mode, in which it moves the brush over to a variety of pre-dispensed colors. At that point, the user only needs to look at the color he or she wants to use next, and the arm applies the color to the brush.

Continue reading “This robotic arm lets people paint with their eyes” »

Sep 26, 2015

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Posted by in categories: electronics, food, health, robotics/AI, transportation

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries.

This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will change this decade.

Before I dive into each of these industries, it’s important I mention that it’s the explosion of sensors that is fundamentally enabling much of what I describe below.

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Sep 22, 2015

Humanity makes first ever withdrawal from the doomsday seed vault

Posted by in categories: existential risks, food

When humanity needs to make use of a facility known lovingly as the “doomsday seed vault,” you know things have gone off the rails. After four years of civil war in Syria, the region’s main source of important seeds in the region has been damaged, and researchers from the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is asking to make a withdrawal from the seed bank. This will be the first time humanity has had to draw on this resource.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was officially opened in 2008 and contains more than 860,000 samples of seeds from nearly every country on Earth. Its goal is to preserve important agricultural crops like beans, wheat, and rice so they will be available in the event of war or natural disaster.

To do this, the vault is built into the side of a mountain in the remote northern reaches of Norway on the Svalbard archipelago. It’s only 800 miles (1300 km) from the north pole, which allows researchers to keep the seeds at a frosty 0 degrees fahrenheit. Even if all the people left Svalbard and the power went offline, the vault would remain frozen and intact for at least a few centuries.

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Sep 21, 2015

This tree produces 40 different types of fruit (Science Alert)

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

An art professor from Syracuse University in the US, Van Aken grew up on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist, and has combined his knowledge of the two to develop his incredible Tree of 40 Fruit.

In 2008, Van Aken learned that an orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be shut down due to a lack of funding. This single orchard grew a great number of heirloom, antique, and native varieties of stone fruit, and some of these were 150 to 200 years old. To lose this orchard would render many of these rare and old varieties of fruit extinct, so to preserve them, Van Aken bought the orchard, and spent the following years figuring out how to graft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree.

Working with a pool of over 250 varieties of stone fruit, Van Aken developed a timeline of when each of them blossom in relationship to each other and started grafting a few onto a working tree’s root structure. Once the working tree was about two years old, Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It’s then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.

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Sep 19, 2015

This Is How Much Food It Would Take to End World Hunger

Posted by in categories: food, security

There are over 500 million hungry people in the world—but that number only tells part of the story. The other part of it is the amount of the actual food shortfall. So how much food would we need to make up the gap? There’s now an exact number.

The latest International Food Security report is out, and the good news is that global food insecurity has been falling—and it’s projected to keep on doing that over the next 10 years. The bad news? It’s not falling everywhere. Sub-Saharan Africa is especially being shut out of these gains.

But how much food would it take to close the gap for every food insecure person on the planet to have access to 2,100 calories a day? The USDA has calculated a figure: 11.8 million tons of grain.

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