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Archive for the ‘food’ category

Sep 14, 2021

Mr. Jack Sim — Founder, World Toilet Organization — Ending The Global Sanitation Crisis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, security

Ending the global sanitation crisis — jack sim, founder world toilet organization.


Around 2 billion people worldwide still lack access to the basic tools of improved sanitation (toilets and latrines). One billion people still have to defecate in the open, and at least 10% of the world’s population is thought to consume food irrigated by raw wastewater. An estimated 800,000 children, younger than 5 years of age, perish from diarrhea each year, including conditions related to cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.

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Sep 11, 2021

A spoonful of sugar opens a path to longer lasting lithium sulfur batteries

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, engineering, food, sustainability

Simply by adding sugar, researchers from the Monash Energy Institute have created a longer-lasting, lighter, more sustainable rival to the lithium-ion batteries that are essential for aviation, electric vehicles and submarines.

The Monash team, assisted by CSIRO, report in today’s edition of Nature Communications that using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode they have managed to stabilize lithium-sulfur battery technology, long touted as the basis for the next generation of batteries.

“In less than a decade, this technology could lead to vehicles including electric busses and trucks that can travel from Melbourne to Sydney without recharging. It could also enable innovation in delivery and agricultural drones where light weight is paramount,” says lead author Professor Mainak Majumder, from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

Sep 8, 2021

Cold plasma could transform the sustainable farms of the future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Scientists have long been interested in plasma’s biological implications. In the late 19th century, the Finnish physicist Karl Selim Lemström observed that the width of growth rings in fir trees near the Arctic Circle followed the cycle of the aurora borealis, widening when the northern lights were strongest. He hypothesized that the light show somehow encouraged plant growth. To artificially emulate the northern lights, he placed a metal wire net over growing plants and ran a current through it. Under the right conditions, he reported, the treatment produced larger vegetable yields.

For decades, scientists have known that exposure to plasma can safely kill pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses. Small studies in animals also suggest that plasma can prompt the growth of blood vessels in skin. In his research, Reuter studies ways to harness these properties to inhibit new infections in wounds and expedite healing or treat other skin conditions. But more recently, he and other physicists have been working on ways to use the power of plasma to improve food production.

Experiments conducted in the last decade or so have tested a mix of ways to apply plasma to seeds, seedlings, crops and fields. These include plasma generated using noble gases, as well as plasma generated from air. In some cases, plasma is directly applied through plasma “jets” that stream over the seeds or plants. Another approach uses plasma-treated water that can do double duty: irrigation and fertilization. Some studies have reported a range of benefits, from helping plants grow faster and bigger to resisting pests.

Sep 8, 2021

High Fat Diets Break the Body Clock — This May Be the Underlying Cause of Obesity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, neuroscience

Thus, the researchers propose that disturbance in the DVC’s timekeeping leads to obesity, rather than being the result of excessive body weight.


When rats are fed a high fat diet, this disturbs the body clock in their brain that normally controls satiety, leading to over-eating and obesity. That’s according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

The number of people with obesity has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975.[1] In England alone, 28% of adults are obese and another 36% are overweight.[2] Obesity can lead to several other diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.[3]

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Sep 7, 2021

New Cultured Meat Factory Will Churn Out 5,000 Bioreactor Burgers a Day

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, food, life extension

“After demonstrating that cultured meat can reach cost parity faster than the market anticipated, this production facility is the real game-changer,” said Yaakov Nahmias, Future Meat Technologies founder and chief scientific officer, in a press release. “This facility demonstrates our proprietary media rejuvenation technology in scale, allowing us to reach production densities 10-times higher than the industrial standard.”

Cultured meat is made by extracting cells from animal tissue and giving them nutrients, oxygen, and moisture while keeping them at the same temperature they’d be at inside an animal’s body. The cells divide and multiply then start to mature, with muscle cells joining to create muscle fibers and fat cells producing lipids. The resulting nuggets of meat can be used to make processed products like burgers or sausages. Structured cuts of meat with blood vessels and connective tissue, like steak or chicken breast, require scaffolds, and researchers are creating these with biomaterials, like cellulose from plants. Companies are working on several varieties of more elaborate cultured products, from bacon to salmon.

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Sep 7, 2021

Rice physicists find ‘magnon’ origins in 2D magnet

Posted by in categories: food, physics

Jeff Falk 713−348−6775 [email protected]

Jade Boyd 713−348−6778 [email protected]

HOUSTON – (Sept. 1 2021) – Rice physicists have confirmed the topological origins of magnons, magnetic features they discovered three years ago in a 2D material that could prove useful for encoding information in the spins of electrons.

Sep 6, 2021

CRISPaper: Understanding CRISPR Gene-Editing through Art

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

To Sheng-Ying Pao, the power of reframing CRISPR lies in what is absolutely ordinary: paper. In CRISPaper, Pao revisited a cultural past in the ancient art of papermaking.

Over thousands of years, farmers painstakingly converted the wild rice plant into a staple crop. Today, researchers are using CRISPR to change genes to optimize grain yield. However, rice is more than food. In ancient China, it was used to make paper.

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Sep 5, 2021

Rice lab turns trash into valuable graphene in a flash

Posted by in categories: energy, food

HOUSTON — (Jan. 27 2020) — That banana peel, turned into graphene, can help facilitate a massive reduction of the environmental impact of concrete and other building materials. While you’re at it, toss in those plastic empties. A new process introduced by the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour can turn bulk quantities of just about any carbon source into valuable graphene flakes. The process is quick and cheap; Tour said the “flash graphene” technique can convert a ton of coal, food waste or plastic into graphene for a fraction of the cost used by other bulk graphene-producing methods. “This is a big deal,” Tour said. “The world throws out 30% to 40% of all food, because it goes bad, and plastic waste is of worldwide concern. We’ve already proven that any solid carbon-based matter, including mixed plastic waste and rubber tires, can be turned into graphene.” As reported in Nature, flash graphene is made in 10 milliseconds by heating carbon-containing materials to 3,000 Kelvin (about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit). The source material can be nearly anything with carbon content. Food waste, plastic waste, petroleum coke, coal, wood clippings and biochar are prime candidates, Tour said. “With the present commercial price of graphene being $67,000 to $200,000 per ton, the prospects for this process look superb,” he said.


Scientists at Rice University are using high-energy pulses of electricity to turn any source of carbon into turbostratic graphene in an instant. The process promises environmental benefits by turning waste into valuable graphene that can then strengthen concrete and other composite materials.

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Sep 2, 2021

Newest Electra Meccanica Solo electric 3-wheeler packs a cargo trunk

Posted by in categories: business, food, security, space

There are a wealth of light fleet, business, and commercial applications where single occupants dominate,” says Paul Rivera, Electra Meccanica president and CEO. “From fast food franchise delivery and pizza delivery, to grocery delivery, small parcel and post, to tech repair and security firms, the Solo Cargo EV is the ideal solution to help companies minimize operational costs and maximize efficiency.


A hatchback is usually a solid choice for hauling cargo, but when the hatchback in question is a single-seat three-wheeler, things get a little more cramped. Canadian EV maker Electra Meccanica looks to solve this dilemma with a new cargo version of its three-wheeled all-electric Solo, replacing the usual lift-gate with a dedicated cargo trunk.

Adding a big rear box to a car as tiny and curvy as the Solo would usually be a drag on aesthetics, but Electra Meccanica has managed to integrate it pretty well. From the front 3/4 position, the new trunk looks almost like an aerodynamic Kamm tail element … or maybe a hyper-boost jet thruster.

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Sep 1, 2021

This Singapore startup is using insects to turn trash into treasure

Posted by in categories: food, government

While there are plenty of companies using insects to manage waste, including Goterra, Better Origin and AgriProtein, Insectta is extracting more than agricultural products from black soldier flies. With funding from Trendlines Agrifood Fund and government grants, Insectta is procuring high-value biomaterials from the byproducts of these larvae.


In Singapore, the amount of generated food waste has increased 20% over the past decade. Startup Insectta is turning to maggots to take a bite out of the problem.

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