Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 160

Aug 3, 2016

Would it be immoral to send out a generation starship?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, ethics, food, health, neuroscience, security, space travel

If human beings are ever to colonise other planets – which might become necessary for the survival of the species, given how far we have degraded this one – they will almost certainly have to use generation ships: spaceships that will support not just those who set out on them, but also their descendants. The vast distances between Earth and the nearest habitable planets, combined with the fact that we are unlikely ever to invent a way of travelling that exceeds the speed of light, ensures that many generations will be born, raised and die on board such a ship before it arrives at its destination.

A generation ship would have to be a whole society in microcosm, with hospitals and schools, living quarters and perhaps entertainment districts, a security force, maybe even a judiciary. It would need to be able to provide food for its crew, and that might require agriculture or aquaculture, perhaps even domestic animals (which might also be needed for the colonisation effort). Its design therefore presents a major challenge: not just to engineers but also to social scientists. How should the crew be selected and the environment structured to minimise interpersonal conflict? What size of population is optimal for it to remain committed to the single overarching project of colonising a new planet without too much of a risk of self-destructive boredom or excessive narrowing of the gene pool? Does mental health require that a quasi-natural environment be recreated within the ship (with trees, grass and perhaps undomesticated birds and small animals)?

As well as the technological and social challenges confronting the designers of such ships, there are fascinating philosophical and ethical issues that arise. The issue I want to focus on concerns the ethics of a project that locks the next generation into a form of living, the inauguration of which they had no say over, and that ensures their options are extremely limited.

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Aug 1, 2016

Your Dinner Is Ready To Be 3D Printed

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, food

Could we see a day when 3D Printers replace convection ovens and microwaves in the kitchen?

Over the last few decades, a new wave of science has been infused into the world of food in the form of molecular gastronomy. By definition, food preparation and cooking involve physical and chemical changes, and molecular gastronomy simply uses scientific principles to take food in new technical and even artistic directions.

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Jul 29, 2016

New Automation Technologies are Revolutionizing Farming

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Should all new technologies be used?

At the head of all this you will hear about the latest technology from the biotech world, such as CRISPR, that allows scientists to edit the very genome of a plant or animal, but not all technologies that can be used should be used.

While learning to grow massive quantities of organic food in urban landscapes without pesticides is great news, taking away human oversight from farming isn’t necessarily going to make our food better.

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Jul 29, 2016

How the most connected hospitals will use chatbots

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, life extension, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Sure, chatbots are useful for service industries like hospitality and food delivery, but in health care? Some groups are testing the use of chatbots to retrieve medical information from within a messaging app. At first glance, that seems a bit impersonal, but a closer look reveals a wide range of use cases where bots could make your next visit to the hospital, doctor’s office, or pharmacy faster and more effective.

Let’s run this back a bit. If you’re not familiar with bots, here’s a brief explanation. Bots are software applications that run automated tasks or scripts that serve as shortcuts for completing a certain job, but they do it faster (a lot faster) and with verve. And in health care, we spend a lot of time spent generating and retrieving information.

By putting a trained army of bots inside an application — smartphone, desktop, whatever-top — health care workers can rapidly improve throughput by simply cutting out a bunch of steps. That’s something most care providers today would welcome, especially with millions of new people entering the system as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the aging of baby boomers. With the crush of increased data entry and new regulations, costs and rote work are skyrocketing.

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Jul 29, 2016

Graphene Used in Packaging to Block Moisture and Protect Products

Posted by in categories: computing, food

Plastic packaging may seem impenetrable, and often nearly impossible to remove, but water molecules can still pass through. This permeability to moisture can reduce the lifespan of a product.

Packaging is everywhere, even for individual vegetables or fruits. Wrapping products ranging from electronics to food in plastic films protect them from bacteria, dust, and to some extent water.

According to Praveen C. Ramamurthy, the lifespan of a moisture-sensitive organic light-emitting diode can be maximized for more than a year if the packaging has the ability to restrict water vapor from penetrating at a rate less than 10-6 grams per square meter every day. Modern day packaging is not capable of accomplishing that goal, however Ramamurthy and colleagues wanted to find out if combining graphene to flexible polymer was sufficient.

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Jul 28, 2016

This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Considering it uses 95% less water than regular farms, could vertical farming be the future of agriculture?

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Jul 28, 2016

How science could help cyclists to keep pedalling for longer

Posted by in categories: energy, food, military, science


Elite endurance athletes could be able to keep going for longer thanks to a new drink developed to give soldiers extra energy in battle, a study using former Olympians has found.

Scientists found that cyclists using the drink, which temporarily switches the body’s energy source from glucose to ketones, could travel an extra quarter of a mile than those taking a different energy supplement.

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Jul 27, 2016

How eco-friendly communes could change the future of housing — By Autumn Spanne | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, food, government, habitats


“An increasing number of US landowners want to build commune-style villages that are completely self-sufficient and have a low carbon footprint”

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Jul 26, 2016

Automated Large-Scale Restaurant

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

This concept automated restaurant will deliver you food in under a minute.

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Jul 22, 2016

Let’s all move to Mars! The space architects shaping our future

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, space travel, sustainability

We’ve had starchitects. Now we’ve got space architects. Oliver Wainwright meets the people measuring up the red planet for inflatable homes and farms made of moondust concrete.

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