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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 241

Dec 26, 2017

How a Machine That Can Make Anything Would Change Everything

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, internet, solar power, sustainability

But the dream of the nanofabricator is not yet dead. What is perhaps even more astonishing than the idea of having such a device—something that could create anything you want—is the potential consequences it could have for society. Suddenly, all you need is light and raw materials. Starvation ceases to be a problem. After all, what is food? Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur. Nothing that you won’t find with some dirt, some air, and maybe a little biomass thrown in for efficiency’s sake.

Equally, there’s no need to worry about not having medicine as long as you have the recipe and a nanofabricator. After all, the same elements I listed above could just as easily make insulin, paracetamol, and presumably the superior drugs of the future, too.

What the internet did for information—allowing it to be shared, transmitted, and replicated with ease, instantaneously—the nanofabricator would do for physical objects. Energy will be in plentiful supply from the sun; your Santa Clause machine will be able to create new solar panels and batteries to harness and store this energy whenever it needs to.

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Dec 13, 2017

MIT scientists borrow from fireflies to make glowing plants

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, energy, food, transhumanism

The humble house plant could soon start earning its keep by lighting up a room, if new research from MIT pans out. Engineers have hacked watercress plants to make them glow for a few hours at a time, and while it’s currently only about as bright as those old stars you might have stuck to your ceiling as a kid, the long-term plan is to develop plants that you could read by to reduce the need for electric lighting.

The idea of a glowing plant is not particularly new. They’ve been promised by Kickstarter campaigns for years, including the likes of Bioglow and Glowing Plants, but those startups have since gone bust. Although we’re not going to pretend that this new project is immune from meeting the same fate, having the backing of MIT scientists gives us a little more hope that the glowing plants might eventually bear fruit.

The work comes from the same “plant nanobionics” team that recently designed explosive-detecting spinach and leaf sensors that can alert farmers at the first sign of thirsty crops. In this case, the researchers wanted to tackle lighting, which accounts for about 20 percent of energy consumption worldwide.

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Dec 10, 2017

Robots Will Transform Fast Food

Posted by in categories: economics, food, robotics/AI

That might not be a bad thing.

V isitors to Henn-na, a restaurant outside Nagasaki, Japan, are greeted by a peculiar sight: their food being prepared by a row of humanoid robots that bear a passing resemblance to the Terminator. The “head chef,” incongruously named Andrew, specializes in okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. Using his two long arms, he stirs batter in a metal bowl, then pours it onto a hot grill. While he waits for the batter to cook, he talks cheerily in Japanese about how much he enjoys his job. His robot colleagues, meanwhile, fry donuts, layer soft-serve ice cream into cones, and mix drinks. One made me a gin and tonic.

H.I.S., the company that runs the restaurant, as well as a nearby hotel where robots check guests into their rooms and help with their luggage, turned to automation partly out of necessity. Japan’s population is shrinking, and its economy is booming; the unemployment rate is currently an unprecedented 2.8 percent. “Using robots makes a lot of sense in a country like Japan, where it’s hard to find employees,” CEO Hideo Sawada told me.

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Dec 10, 2017

Tyson Foods raises stake in plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat

Posted by in category: food

(Reuters) — Tyson Foods ( TSN.N ), the largest U.S. meat processor, said on Thursday it slightly raised its stake in plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat as it looks to tap growing demand for alternative sources of protein.

Undated handout photo of the Beyond Meat burger. REUTERS/Beyond Meat/Handout.

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Dec 4, 2017

Can extreme poverty ever be eradicated?

Posted by in categories: employment, food, sustainability

Poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than at any other time on record. The UN wants extreme poverty to disappear by 2030. We assess the data to see if this is achievable.

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Dec 3, 2017

(Video) How Bacteria Rule Over Our Bodies — the Microbiome

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

[scroll down to view the video.] The animation house of Kurzsegat provides us with an 8-minute video on how the microbiome influences our health and mood and even encourages us to eat junk food. Scientists have linked the human microbiome to a variety of health conditions such as cancer, autism, weight gain, Parkinson’s Disease and even our mental health.

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Dec 2, 2017

Does This Gene Fuel Obesity?

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

Summary: Can a gene fuel obesity? Variants of a gene called ‘ankyrin-B’ – a gene carried by millions of Americans – could cause individuals to put on pounds through no fault of their own. [This article first appeared on LongevityFacts. Follow us on Reddit | Google+ | Facebook. Author: Brady Hartman]

We often attribute obesity to eating too much and exercising too little. However, the evidence is growing that at least some of our weight gain is predetermined by our genes. And if a simple genetic variant causes weight gain, then it’s a prime target for gene editing.

New research from the University of North Carolina suggests that variants in a gene called ankyrin-B, a gene carried by millions of Americans, could cause individuals to gain weight through no fault of their own.

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Dec 2, 2017

Dr. Steven Gundry says plant-based diets are the problem

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

Have you seen the clickbait campaign that focuses on the research of Dr. Steven Gundry. It employs a slimy, photo-tile lure that asks you to turn up your speakers and then hawks a product or service disguised as a breakthrough discovery. These scams force the viewer to stay on the page. Typically, there is no indication of how long the video is, or any way to skip forward,

But often, it is hard to tell if a photo tile is news or clickbait. Big companies like Yahoo and Outbrain intermingle genuine news with marketing scams, teasers and outright fake news into an array of little photos at the end of every feature. This particular clickbait may be a story of a dogged counter-cultural researcher with a genuinely relevant finding. It could be newsworthy…I’m just not sure. Dr. Gundry clearly believes that our health is adversely affected by many of the plant based foods that we thought was healthy, because of a defense mechanism linked to lectin.

Steven Gundry Food Pyramid

Passing judgement on Dr. Gundry’s evolutionary claims and diet recommendations begs for independent clinical studies, or at least the analysis and commentary of scholars in nutrition, gastroenterology and evolution. But, like Robert Atkins and Dean Ornish, Dr. Gundry seems earnest in his research and motives. I don’t think that he is selling anything other than his opinion.

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Dec 1, 2017

Canada tests ‘basic income’ effect on poverty amid lost jobs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, employment, finance, food, government, security

Ontario intends to provide a basic income to 4,000 people in three different communities as part of an experiment that seeks to evaluate whether providing more money to people on public assistance or low incomes will make a significant material difference in their lives. How people like Button respond over the next three years is being closely watched by social scientists, economists and policymakers in Canada and around the world.


Former security guard Tim Button considers how a sudden increase in his income from an unusual social experiment has changed his life in this Canadian industrial city along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Sipping coffee in a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop, Button says he has been unable to work because of a fall from a roof, and the financial boost from Ontario Province’s new “basic income” program has enabled him to make plans to visit distant family for Christmas for the first time in years. It has also prompted him to eat healthier, schedule a long-postponed trip to the dentist and mull taking a course to help him get back to work.

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Dec 1, 2017

This Anti-Aging Protein Could Be Targeted to Rejuvenate Our Immune Cells

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

Summary: Scientists discover that the anti-aging protein SIRT1 could be targeted to rejuvenate T cells in our aging immune systems. [Author: Brady Hartman] This article first appeared on LongevityFacts.com. Follow us on Reddit | Google+ | Facebook.

Anti-aging proteins in the sirtuin family have long been shown to protect against age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration. A new research study by scientists at the Gladstone Institutes now reveals that the protein called SIRT1 could also be targeted to rejuvenate aging immune system cells. SIRT1 is commonly known for being activated by naturally occurring substances found in red wine.

In the new study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers found that SIRT1 is also involved in how immune system cells develop with age. The Gladstone scientists wanted to find out how the anti-aging protein SIRT1 affects the immune cells known as cytotoxic T cells. Also called killer T cells, these cells are highly specialized guardians of the immune system, and their role is to kill cancer cells, damaged cells, or those cells infected by a virus. More specifically, a cytotoxic T cell is a type of white blood cell and also a type of lymphocyte. To treat tumors, these can be separated from other blood cells, grown in a laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. Melanie Ott, a senior author of the new study, and a Gladstone Senior Investigator said.

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