... Consider these facts:
- More than $1 trillion has been spent on biomedical research over the past 20 years. These investments should soon start yielding longevity dividends.
- The number of scientists working on extending the life span worldwide has increased exponentially as computer and communications technologies have entered the mainstream and China and India have joined the race.
- The life spans of some laboratory animals have already been extended more than tenfold.
- Innovations have already started: vital organs have been grown from patients’ own cells and several stem-cell therapies are being proven.
- Cancer survival rates have increased steadily over the past few years. A diagnosis is no longer a certain death sentence.
- Advances in laboratory diagnostics and biometrics are already providing valuable insight into disease prevention.
- Fast-food outlets have started offering healthier dishes and displaying caloric content and smoking rates in developed countries have declined.
Many people would not interpret these seven facts as a single trend leading to dramatic increases in life expectancy because the long-term effects are so unpredictable. But just two decades ago, nobody could imagine the possibility of the technology we use daily now. ...
University of Adelaide researchers have developed a process for turning waste plastic bags into a high-tech nanomaterial.
The innovative nanotechnology uses non-biodegradable plastic grocery bags to make 'carbon nanotube membranes' – highly sophisticated and expensive materials with a variety of potential advanced applications including filtration, sensing, energy storage and a range of biomedical innovations.
"Non-biodegradable plastic bags are a serious menace to natural ecosystems and present a problem in terms of disposal," says Professor Dusan Losic, ARC Future Fellow and Research Professor of Nanotechnology in the University's School of Chemical Engineering.
"Transforming these waste materials through 'nanotechnological recycling' provides a potential solution for minimising environmental pollution at the same time as producing high-added value products." ...
(Nanowerk News) Drexel University nanotechnology researchers are continuing to expand the capabilities and functionalities of a family of two-dimensional materials they discovered that are as thin as a single atom, but have the potential to store massive amounts of energy. Their latest achievement has pushed the materials storage capacities to new levels while also allowing for their use in flexible devices. ...
BELLEVUE, Wash. — In a drab one-story building here, set between an indoor tennis club and a home appliance showroom, dozens of engineers, physicists and nuclear experts are chasing a radical dream of Bill Gates.
The quest is for a new kind of nuclear reactor that would be fueled by today’s nuclear waste, supply all the electricity in the United States for the next 800 years and, possibly, cut the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation around the world. ...
... But now Net Power, based in the US state of North Carolina, believes it can redesign the power plant so it can still run on coal or natural gas, but without releasing harmful fumes.
Rodney Allam, chief technologist at 8 Rivers Capital, which owns Net Power, says: "The perception has been that to avoid emissions of [carbon dioxide] CO2, we have to get rid of fossil fuels.
"But unfortunately, fossil fuels represent over 70% of the fuel that's consumed in the world and the idea that you can get rid of that in any meaningful sense is a pipe dream."
The Net Power system is different from currently operating power plants because carbon dioxide, normally produced as waste when making electricity, would become a key ingredient when burning the fuel. ...
MOFFETT FIELD, California (AP) — NASA is preparing to launch a 3-D printer into space next year, a toaster-sized game changer that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.
The printers would serve as a flying factory of infinite designs, creating objects by extruding layer upon layer of plastic from long strands coiled around large spools. Doctors use them to make replacement joints and artists use them to build exquisite jewelry.
In NASA labs, engineers are 3-D printing small satellites that could shoot out of the Space Station and transmit data to earth, as well as replacement parts and rocket pieces that can survive extreme temperatures. ...
... In the '90s computers invaded our homes. In the 2000s computers invaded our pockets. This decade, all our clothing, accessories, vehicles, and everything (?!) appear on the verge of computerization.
Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Currently the idea of the IoT has many definitions. Most include a world in the not-too-distant future where most objects are computerized and seamlessly integrated into our information network, creating "smart" grids, homes, and environments. ...
... This presents a big opportunity for someone who can devise a tasty and affordable plant-based substitute for meat. That is exactly what Ethan Brown, the founder and chief executive of a California-based startup called Beyond Meat, aims to do, and he has persuaded some smart people to put their money behind him. Beyond Meat makes vegan "chicken-free" strips that it says are better for people's health (low-fat, no cholesterol), better for the environment (requiring less land and water), and better for animals (obviously) than real chicken; most important, if all goes according to plan, they will cost less to produce than chicken. Fortune has learned that Bill Gates is an investor; he sampled the product and said he couldn't tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken. "The meat market is ripe for invention," Gates wrote in a blog post about the future of food. Kleiner Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, made Beyond Meat its first investment in a food startup. "KP is looking for big ideas, and this qualifies as a big idea," says Amol Deshpande, a former Cargill executive and a partner at the venture firm. "The single biggest inefficiency in agriculture is how we get our protein." Other investors include Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the founders of Twitter; Morgan Creek Capital Management; and the Humane Society of the United States, an animal-welfare group. ...