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Winning the war on drugs by treating it as a health issue

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Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Possession and use of small quantities of these drugs was treated as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal but now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record. Drug-induced deaths have decreased steeply since then. Portugal’s drug mortality rate is now the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark, and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S. https://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening

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An electric plane that gets you to places faster, at less cost and with fewer emissions

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A Boeing-backed  start-up is planning to put a hybrid-electric aircraft into commercial service within five years. Zunum Aero’s 12-seat plane will carry battery packs and a small fuel reserve for a back-up engine. They aim to get you to places faster, at less cost, with planes that are quieter and have far lower emissions, as well as connect thousands of communities that don’t currently have regular air service. Their first model will fly about 1130 kilometres, far enough to ferry travellers from Boston to Washington or Silicon Valley to Los Angeles. http://zunum.aero/

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A glue that could save lives

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Australian and American biomedical engineers have developed a stretchy surgical glue that rapidly heals wounds. It’s seen as a breakthrough that has the potential to save lives in emergencies. The injectable glue, MeTro, is based on a naturally occurring protein. It’s applied directly to the wound and then activated with UV light to form a complete seal, eliminating the need for staples or stitches. Its elasticity means it’s designed to work well on shape-changing internal organs like the lungs and heart. http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/human-body/injectable-stretchy-glue-that-heals-wounds-in-60-seconds-could-save-lives/news-story/f00161d15e7ae014d01380e5dba40ffc

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A Rejectionathon to help gain confidence persuading and selling

YLab Rejectionathon

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A robot that can pick the ripest berries

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In a greenhouse in Belgium, a small robot moves through rows of strawberries growing on trays suspended above the ground, using machine vision to locate ripe, flawless berries, then reaching up with a 3D-printed hand to gently pluck each berry and place it in a basket for sale. If it feels that a berry isn’t ready for harvest, the robot estimates the date it will be ready for it to return and pick it. It’s a test of a system that Octinion, the R&D company building the robot, believes could replace traditional strawberry farming and harvesting. https://www.fastcompany.com/40473583/this-strawberry-picking-robot-gently-picks-the-ripest-berries-with-its-robo-hand?

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Using AI to prevent teen suicides

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An app has been developed that uses an algorithm to analyze speech and determine whether someone is likely to take their own life. It’s called Spreading Activation Mobile or SAM and is being tested in a handful of Cincinnati schools in the US this year. It arrives at a time when researchers across the country are developing new forms of artificial intelligence that may forever change the way mental health issues are diagnosed and treated. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/09/25/teenage-suicide-is-extremely-difficult-to-predict-thats-why-some-experts-are-turning-to-machines-for-help/?

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The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery

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The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery has been launched in South Australia. US tech giant Tesla won a bid in July to build a 129 megawatt hour (MWh) battery and the state is counting on it to be ready by the start of the southern summer in December when electricity demand begins to peak. Tesla was selected from over 90 competitive bids to provide the entire energy storage component of a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack System to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/musk-weatherill-launch-sa-battery/news-story/6215cc6853ca0268d39fcb374ec63a01?

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Gene editing could revolutionize IVF

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Genetic modification of a human embryo has led to a breakthrough that could transform our understanding of human biology. For the first time, researchers used a genome-editing technique to remove a gene from an embryo in an early stage of its development. This could revolutionise IVF, helping couples with fertility problems have children and also lead to advances in regenerative medicine. This involves using stem cells, which can form any kind of tissue, to replace missing structures in the body or repair damage. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/gene-editing-breakthrough-could-transform-understanding-of-human-biology-say-scientists?

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A Shell service station with no petrol

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Royal Dutch Shell is planning to open Britain’s first “no-petrol” service station in London next year as part of its drive towards cleaner motoring. The forecourt is expected to offer motorists biofuels, electric vehicle charge points and hydrogen cell refuelling instead of traditional petrol and diesel pumps. The buildings are expected to be powered by renewable energy from solar panels on the forecourt roof.

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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.80 out of 5)