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Jul 11, 2018

The market for alternative-protein products

Posted by in categories: business, food, sustainability

Here, the problem is marketing. Around 2bn people eat insects already, but few of them are Westerners. Changing that could be a hard sell. Grind the bugs up and use them as ingredients, though, and your customers might find them more palatable. Hargol FoodTech, an Israeli startup, plans to do just that. Locust burgers, anybody?

MOST people like to eat meat. As they grow richer they eat more of it. For individuals, that is good. Meat is nutritious. In particular, it packs much more protein per kilogram than plants do. But animals have to eat plants to put on weight—so much so that feeding livestock accounts for about a third of harvested grain. Farm animals consume 8% of the world’s water supply, too. And they produce around 15% of unnatural greenhouse-gas emissions. More farm animals, then, could mean more environmental trouble.

Some consumers, particularly in the rich West, get this. And that has created a business opportunity. Though unwilling to go the whole hog, as it were, and adopt a vegetarian approach to diet, they are keen on food that looks and tastes as if it has come from farm animals, but hasn’t.

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Jul 11, 2018

New DNA Synthesis Method Could Soon Build a Genome in a Day

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing

Synthetic biologists are the computer programmers of biology. Their code? DNA.

The whole enterprise sounds fantastical: you insert new snippets of DNA code—in the form of a chain of A, T, C, G letters—into an organism, and bam! Suddenly you have bacteria that can make anti-malaria drugs or cells that can solve complicated logic problems like a computer.

Except it’s not that simple. The basis of synthetic biology is DNA—often a lot of it, in the form of many genes. Making an average gene from scratch costs several hundreds of dollars and weeks of time. Imagine a programmer taking a month to type a new line of code, and you’ll likely understand a synthetic biologist’s frustration.

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Jul 11, 2018

Nvidia Taught an AI to Flawlessly Erase Watermarks From Photos

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Photographers already face an uphill battle in trying to preventing people from using their digital photos without permission. But Nvidia could make protecting photos online much harder with a new advancement in artificial intelligence that can automatically remove artifacts from a photograph, including text and watermarks, no matter how obtrusive they may be.

In previous advancements in automated image editing and manipulation, an AI powered by a deep learning neural network is trained on thousands of before and after example photos so that it knows what the desired output should look like. But this time, researchers at Nvidia, MIT, and Aalto University in Finland, managed to train an AI to remove noise, grain, and other visual artifacts by studying two different versions of a photo that both feature the visual defects. Fifty-thousand samples later, the AI can clean up photos better than a professional photo restorer.

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Jul 10, 2018

CERN chip enables first 3D color X-ray images of the human body

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, space

Medical X-ray scans have long been stuck in the black-and-white, silent-movie era. Sure, the contrast helps doctors spot breaks and fractures in bones, but more detail could help pinpoint other problems. Now, a company from New Zealand has developed a bioimaging scanner that can produce full color, three dimensional images of bones, lipids, and soft tissue, thanks to a sensor chip developed at CERN for use in the Large Hadron Collider.

Mars Bioimaging, the company behind the new scanner, describes the leap as similar to that of black-and-white to color photography. In traditional CT scans, X-rays are beamed through tissue and their intensity is measured on the other side. Since denser materials like bone attenuate (weaken the energy) of X-rays more than soft tissue does, their shape becomes clear as a flat, monochrome image.

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Jul 10, 2018

Space Exploration World News

Posted by in category: space travel

News that takes us off Earth and into the great beyond!

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Jul 10, 2018

Needle-Less Alternative To Stitches

Posted by in category: futurism

Click on photo to start video.

This is seriously a good idea-and not “graphic”.

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Jul 10, 2018

Dying Organs Restored to Life in Novel Experiments

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

An unusual transplant may revive tissues thought to be hopelessly damaged, including the heart and brain.

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Jul 10, 2018

This Robotic Assistant Will Also Give You A Ride

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

This robotic assistant is also a self-driving bike.

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Jul 10, 2018

Researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, space

Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification — by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.

“Our breakthrough findings will usher in a new generation of stem cell technologies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that may overcome the negative effects of geonomic manipulation,” said Prof Shivashankar.

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Jul 10, 2018

Carbon nanotubes used to develop clothing that can double as batteries

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, nanotechnology

Move over, Iron Man.

What makes this possible are the unique properties of carbon nanotubes: a large surface area that is strong, conductive and heat-resistant.

UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science has a five-year agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct research that can enhance military technology applications.

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