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Overnight travel in a bus you can sleep on

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Cabin began making overnight trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco last month. The company’s emphasis on providing passengers with a good night’s sleep separates Cabin from other forms of transportation. Once on board you can relax on leather chairs in the bus lounge, retreat to your pod to rest or watch a movie. The buses depart around 11pm and arrive at their destination about 500 miles away the next day at 7am. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/08/10/can-a-better-nights-sleep-in-a-hipster-bus-replace-flying/?

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Clean water and power for remote communities

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For a few cents a day, people in remote communities can access clean water and clean power at a conveniently located box unit. Inside the box is a five-stage micro-filtration tank that takes in dirty water and makes it drinkable. Each box has solar panels sufficient to allow 300 families battery packs that hold enough power to run three LED lights for four hours and to charge two mobile phones. Grid Box plans to install units in 18 villages in Rwanda. https://www.fastcompany.com/40449777/this-simple-box-serves-up-running-water-and-clean-electricity-in-remote-locations?

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‘Bags for life’ to save waste

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Tesco is scrapping its 5p single use plastic carrier bags and replacing them with a new 10p Bag for Life made from 94pc recycled plastic. The announcement follows a successful 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags when only pricer bags were offered. Removing the 5p single-use carrier bags will “significantly reduce the number of bags sold and will therefore help reduce litter and bags sent to landfill,” Tesco said. The single-use carrier bags will cease to be offered in stores from August 28. Money from the new 10p bag, which will be replaced for free if damaged, will go towards funding community projects across Britain. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/07/tesco-scraps-5p-shopping-bags-10p-bags-life/  

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Saving sheep by milking spiders

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Gastrointestinal parasites cost the Australian sheep industry around $400 million each year with huge implications for animal welfare. The most common way of de-worming sheep is by “drenching” them but most worm populations are now showing resistance to the drugs which are used. This drug resistance is leading scientists working with the CSIRO to look for new treatments derived from the venom of spiders. https://blog.csiro.au/sheep-parasites-spider-venom/

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Single use plastic containers and cutlery to be phased out

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The Hobart City Council in Tasmania has agreed to draft legislation that would phase out single-use plastic containers and cutlery by 2020. Instead of using plastic containers for home delivery and takeout, restaurants in the city of 220,000 would have to use ones made from cardboard, cornstarch or bamboo that could be composted. The move follows Tasmania’s ban on thin plastic bags in 2013. (Thicker retail bags are still allowed.) https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/world/australia/plastic-tasmania-hobart.html?

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Gig cities that offer much faster internet speeds

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Adelaide is the first city in Australia to become a Gig City. Entrepreneurs, startups and big businesses there are being connected to extremely fast broadband speeds of 1 gigabit per second, up to 100 times faster than the national average, at an affordable cost to help them develop leading-edge ideas, create new opportunities and access new markets. www.gigcity.com.au

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Skin surface nanochip for healing injuries or organ regrowth.

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A new device that reprograms skin cells could represent a breakthrough in repairing injured or ageing tissue. The new technique, called tissue nanotransfection, is based on a tiny device that sits on the surface of living skin. An intense, focused electric field is applied to the device, allowing it to deliver genes to the skin cells beneath it – turning them into different types of cells. This is an exciting opportunity when it comes to repairing damaged tissue – turning a patient’s own tissue into a “bioreactor” to produce cells to either repair nearby tissues, or for use at another site. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/07/nanochip-could-heal-injuries-or-regrow-organs-with-one-touch-say-researchers

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