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Jan 23, 2023

Farmer Earns Rs 1.5 Crore/Year with Machine to Turn Banana Waste Into Rope

Posted by in categories: business, education, food

When P M Murugesan decided to discontinue his education to join his father’s farming business, he had many ideas in mind. In particular, he wanted to work with the banana plant, being well aware that though farmers end up burning tonnes of banana waste, there’s a utility to each part of the crop.

In 2008, he started thinking of ways to make products out of banana waste. He found the idea of making ropes interesting.

“The idea struck me when I saw banana threads being used to thread flowers for garlands. I used the machine that turns coconut husk into a rope as the base and modified it to work well for processing banana fibre,” says the innovator.

Continue reading “Farmer Earns Rs 1.5 Crore/Year with Machine to Turn Banana Waste Into Rope” »

Jan 22, 2023

DARPA Wants to Develop a Drug to Make People Resistant to Extreme Cold

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

Last week, Rice University in Houston announced that one of its assistant professors of bioengineering, Jerzy Szablowski, received a Young Faculty Award from DARPA to research non-genetic drugs that can “temporarily enhance the human body’s resilience to extreme cold exposure.”

Thermogenesis is the use of energy to create heat, and our bodies have two different ways of doing this. One is shivering, which we’re all familiar with. The other, which Szablowski simply calls non-shivering thermogenesis, involves burning off brown adipose tissue (BAT), or brow n fat.

This type of fat exists specifically to warm us up when we get cold; it stores energy and only activates in cold temperatures. Most of our body fat is white fat. It builds up when we ingest more calories than we burn and stores those calories for when we don’t get enough energy from food. An unfortunate majority of American adults have the opposite problem: too much white fat, which increases the risk of conditions like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Continue reading “DARPA Wants to Develop a Drug to Make People Resistant to Extreme Cold” »

Jan 22, 2023

Worst Avian Flu in U.S. History Is Hitting Poultry, Wild Birds, Even Bears

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Nearly a year after it began, the worst avian-influenza outbreak in U.S. history is continuing to decimate poultry flocks across the Midwest and Colorado, frustrating efforts to keep the virus from affecting the nation’s egg prices and supply.

In South Dakota, the highly contagious bird flu, typically transmitted by the feces, mucus and saliva of wild birds, first hit commercial poultry farms in March 2022 and has continued to affect flocks. Within the last month, egg-laying hens and turkeys at several local farms were infected, leading to the deaths of more than 1.3 million poultry over that period, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Nearly four million poultry have died in the state since the start of the outbreak.

Jan 22, 2023

‘Pac-Man’ microorganisms gobble down viruses like power pellets

Posted by in categories: energy, food

😗


If these organisms are eating viruses in nature, it could change the way scientists think about global carbon cycling.

Jan 22, 2023

A Biological Wonder: Harvard Researchers Discover Embryonic Origins of Adult Pluripotent Stem Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Stem cells are a remarkable biological wonder that have the ability to repair, replace and regenerate cells. In most animals and humans, stem cells are limited to generating only specific types of cells. For example, hair stem cells will only produce hair, and intestine stem cells will only produce intestines. However, many distantly-related invertebrates.

Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. They make up the majority of the animal kingdom and include animals such as insects, worms, mollusks, and arachnids. Invertebrates are found in almost every habitat on Earth, from the depths of the oceans to the highest mountains. They play important roles in the ecosystem as decomposers, pollinators, and as a food source for other animals. Invertebrates have a wide range of body shapes, sizes, and behaviors, and they have evolved a variety of ways to survive and thrive in their environments.

Jan 21, 2023

Nvidia shows how surprisingly hard it is for a robot to pick up a chicken wing

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

The chipmaker is showcasing how a robotics startup is using its simulation platform to train robots to pick up food like pieces of chicken.

Jan 19, 2023

Violence was widespread in early farming society, says new study

Posted by in categories: food, military

Violence and warfare were widespread in many Neolithic communities across Northwest Europe, a period associated with the adoption of farming, new research suggests.

Of the skeletal remains of more than 2,300 early farmers from 180 sites dating from around 8,000—4,000 years ago to, more than one in ten displayed weapon injuries, bioarcheologists found.

Contrary to the view that the Neolithic era was marked by peaceful cooperation, the team of international researchers say that in some regions the period from 6000BCE to 2000BCE may be a high point in conflict and violence with the destruction of entire communities.

Jan 19, 2023

This 3D-printed hydraulic turbine provides energy without blades

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

It generates energy by forcing the stream to form a vortex.

Without employing any blades, the transportable hydraulic turbine SETUR from Vortex Hydrokinetics serves as a power source. The water source could be rivers, tidal streams, ocean currents, or even canals.

Continue reading “This 3D-printed hydraulic turbine provides energy without blades” »

Jan 18, 2023

Researchers create new system for safer gene-drive testing and development

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

Scientists continue to expand the technological frontiers of CRISPR, along with its enormous potential, in areas ranging from human health to global food supplies. Such is the case with CRISPR-based gene drives, a genetic editing tool designed to influence how genetic elements are passed from one generation to the next.

Gene drives designed for mosquitoes have the potential to curb the spread of malarial infections that cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, yet have been raised because such drives can spread quickly and dominate entire populations. Scientists have explored the principles governing the spread of gene-drive elements in targeted populations such as mosquitoes by testing many different combinations of components that constitute the drive apparatus. They have found, however, that there’s still more to explore and that key questions remain.

In the journal Nature Communications, University of California San Diego researchers led by former Postdoctoral Scholar Gerard Terradas, together with Postdoctoral Scholar Zhiqian Li and Professor Ethan Bier, in close collaboration with UC Berkeley graduate student Jared Bennett and Associate Professor John Marshall, describe the development of a new system for testing and developing gene drives in the laboratory and safely converting them into tools for potential real-world applications.

Jan 17, 2023

Humans plunder the periodic table while turning blind eye to the risks of doing so, say researchers

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing, food, health, mobile phones

For millions of years, nature has basically been getting by with just a few elements from the periodic table. Carbon, calcium, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, magnesium and potassium are the building blocks of almost all life on our planet (tree trunks, leaves, hairs, teeth, etc). However, to build the world of humans—including cities, health care products, railways, airplanes and their engines, computers, smartphones, and more—many more chemical elements are needed.

A recent article, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution and written by researchers from CREAF, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), warns that the range of chemical elements humans need (something scientifically known as the human elementome) is increasingly diverging from that which nature requires (the biological elementome).

In 1900, approximately 80% of the elements humans used came from biomass (wood, plants, food, etc.). That figure had fallen to 32% by 2005, and is expected to stand at approximately 22% in 2050. We are heading for a situation in which 80% of the elements we use are from non-biological sources.

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