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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 4

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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Sep 1, 2021

One tough bird: vulture’s genes help it thrive on rotting flesh

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

Circa 2015 Clues of the genetic material in vultures could give rise to humans that have immunity to nearly all bacteria and viruses.


WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A diet of putrid rotting flesh may not be your cup of tea, but to the cinereous vulture, found across southern Europe and Asia, it is positively delightful. This tough bird, it turns out, is genetically wired to thrive on the stuff.

Researchers on Tuesday said they have sequenced the genome of this big scavenger, also called the Eurasian black vulture, identifying genetic traits that account for a stalwart stomach and powerful immune system that let it carry on eating carrion.

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Sep 1, 2021

Why Bill Gates Is Buying Up U.S. Farmland

Posted by in categories: economics, food, sustainability

Bill Gates made headlines for becoming the largest private farmland owner in the U.S. But he’s not the only one. Some of the wealthiest landowners including Jeff Bezos, John Malone and Thomas Peterffy are buying up forests, ranches and farmlands across the United States. Why? Watch the video to find out.

Investments in farmland are growing across the country as people, including the ultra-wealthy like Bill Gates, look for new ways to grow their money.

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Sep 1, 2021

Microneedle patch beats baldness

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

Recent advances have put some interesting possibilities on the table when it comes to tackling hair loss, from topical solutions packed with stem cells, to 3D-printed hair farms, to growing hair with a patient’s own cells. Scientists in China are now throwing another one into the mix that uses a dissolvable microneedle patch to stimulate hair growth, with the technology proving high effective in mouse models of hereditary pattern baldness.

Led by scientists at China’s Zhejiang University, the researchers set out to develop new treatments for the most common of hair loss conditions: male-and female-pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia. The scientists sought to tackle the issue by focusing on what they say are the primary mechanisms behind this, namely oxidative stress and poor circulation.

This relates to the combination of accumulating reactive oxygen species in the scalp that kill off the cells behind new hair growth, and a lack of blood vessels around the follicles to provide them with nutrients and essential molecules. In this way, the team hoped to come up with a two-pronged approach to androgenic alopecia, and their solution starts with previous research carried out on liver injuries and Alzheimer’s.

Sep 1, 2021

Sri Lanka declares food emergency as forex crisis worsens

Posted by in categories: finance, food

Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency as the food crisis worsened after private banks ran out of foreign exchange to finance imports.

Aug 31, 2021

Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ contaminate indoor air at worrying levels, study finds

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

Science from industry, federal agencies and independent researchers now links 6:2 FTOH to kidney disease, cancer, neurological damage, developmental problems, mottled teeth and autoimmune disorders, while researchers also found higher mortality rates among young animals and human mothers exposed to the chemicals.


Experts previously considered food and water to be the two main routes by which humans are exposed to PFAS, but the study’s authors note that many humans spend about 90% of their time indoors, and the findings suggest that breathing in the chemicals probably represents a third significant exposure route.

“It’s an underestimated and potentially important source of exposure to PFAS,” said Tom Bruton, a co-author and senior scientist at Green Science.

Continue reading “Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ contaminate indoor air at worrying levels, study finds” »

Aug 30, 2021

Scientists Add Human Fat Gene Into Potatoes to Make Them Grow Huge

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

A team of scientists found an unusual trick for growing bigger, heartier crops: inserting a human gene related to obesity and fat mass into plants to supersize their harvest.

Augmenting potatoes with the human gene that encodes a fat-regulating protein called FTO, which essentially alters the genetic code to rapidly mass-produce proteins, made otherwise identical potato plants grow crops that were 50 percent larger, Smithsonian Magazine reports. By growing more food without taking up more space for agriculture, the scientists say their work could help fight global hunger — without adding to its climate impact.

“It [was] really a bold and bizarre idea,” University of Chicago chemist Chuan He, coauthor of a paper published in Nature Biotechnology, told Smithsonian. “To be honest, we were probably expecting some catastrophic effects.”

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