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Granny flats to provide affordable housing

A new startup pays the upfront cost of a backyard dwelling in Portland US in exchange for some of the rent it generates. Portland has a paralyzing shortage of affordable housing that officials believe more granny flats/accessory dwelling units (ADUs) could help address. Homeowners are embracing the idea: ADUs are popping up faster there than anywhere else in the US. But financing a full-fledged secondary housing unit is out of reach for many homeowners.  Dweller, a startup aimed at helping more homeowners afford ADUs, pays the cost of purchasing and installing one-size-fits-all prefabricated ADUs in backyards. Third-party property managers rent out the unit to long-term tenants, and Dweller splits the revenues 70-30 with the homeowner, as if the company is leasing the land. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/03/portlands-granny-flats-get-an-affordable-boost/555083/

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Clean hydrogen to rival the LNG industry

Hydrogen has huge potential as a fuel. It can be easily transported and stored in the form of ammonia. But, until now, the challenge remained: how can we extract pure hydrogen at the point of need – for example, at a fuelling station? CSIRO’s new hydrogen membrane technology has solved this problem. They’ve created a metal membrane that filters out pure hydrogen gas from ammonia. It can then be dispensed into fuel cell cars, buses and even trucks. Hydrogen could now rival the LNG industry. https://blog.csiro.au/hyper-for-hydrogen-our-world-first-carbon-free-fuel/

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Sculptures that walk on the beach

Sculptures that walk on the beach

GUTE-URLS

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3 simple ways to be more creative

1. Get to a work- or task-free space -the creative default network in your brain thrives when you aren’t distracted 2. Try not to set any objective for your mind-wandering. Free yourself up to let your imagination roam to unlikely and unexpected places 3. Disrupt yourself: Add a dose of novelty to whatever task-free experience you’re using in order to activate your brain’s default network. Meet somebody outside your usual circle, go to a museum exhibition on your own. Novelty helps shake the brain out of its familiar cognitive patterns, opening up opportunities to engage in new ways of thinking and being. https://www.fastcompany.com/90204263/a-very-short-guide-to-the-most-creative-part-of-your-brain?

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A creative way to clean a city

Crows are highly intelligent, copy each others behaviour and live abundantly in cities making them the ultimate cleaners of the city. They are capable of collecting cigarette filters on the most difficult places where normal city cleaners can’t reach.The Crowbar is the device developed by a startup called Crowded Cities. It’s designed to train crows to pick up and deposit cigarette butts. A crow drops a cigarette filter onto the device’s funnel, where a camera scans it. After the camera recognizes the item as a filter, it releases a piece of food for the crow to pick up as a reward. The crow then flies off to find more cigarette butts and recruit more crows to participate. www.crowdedcities.com

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Edible 6 pack rings that protect marine wildlife

Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has used by-products from the beer-making process to create six-pack rings that can safely be eaten by marine wildlife. This bio-based packaging is made from edible wheat and barley. It’s the first ever 100 per cent biodegradable, compostable and edible packaging to be implemented in the beer industry. https://www.fastcompany.com/40519960/publishing-1-23-9-am-finally-you-can-buy-beer-with-a-biodegradable-six-pack-ring

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A humane prison

New Zealand has moved to tackle high rates of mental illness amongst its prison population with a brand new facility outside Auckland. The detention centre for high- and maximum-security males is swinging the pendulum back from punishment towards rehabilitation. It places emphasis on time spent outdoors in meditation, yoga, and gardens that the inmates will tend. It’s modelled on prisons in Scandinavia, Belgium and Germany. http://www.inkl.com/glance/news/yoga-herbs-and-sunshine-new-zealand-opens-humane-jail-for-most-violent-inmates?

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Putting cancer cells into a permanent sleep

Australian scientists have discovered a new type of anti-cancer drug that can put cancer cells into a permanent sleep, without the harmful side-effects caused by conventional cancer therapies. By targeting specific proteins researchers have been able to develop a small molecule that inhibits their activity. The process can stop tumour growth and spread without damaging the cells’ DNA. . Conventional cancer therapies (like chemotherapy and radiotherapy) cause irreversible DNA damage as they target both cancer cells and healthy cells. The DNA damage can result in short-term and long-term side effects such as nausea, fatigue, hair loss and susceptibility to infection, as well as infertility and increased risk of other cancers developing. This new class of anti-cancer drugs simply puts the cancer cells into a permanent sleep. https://blog.csiro.au/time-for-bed-anti-cancer-drug-putting-cancer-cells-into-a-permanent-sleep/

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Idea Validation for Startups

Reward-based crowdfunding can be used by early stage startups to test their minimum viable product and validate their idea. It’s about much more than raising funds, it can be used to attract your first customers and greatest advocates. It gives the opportunity to storyboard your idea. Some projects on ReadyFundGo have attracted angel investors. For more information: https://readyfundgo.com/crowdfunding-and-ideation-3-synergies-all-innovators-must-know-about/  

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New environmentally friendly concrete

Cement, the essential ingredient of concrete, is responsible for 7% of global man-made greenhouse emissions. A Canadian startup has invented a new system for making concrete that traps CO2 emissions forever and at the same time reduces the need for cement. CarbonCure’s system takes captured CO2 and injects it into concrete as it’s being mixed. Once the concrete hardens, that carbon is sequestered forever. Even if the building is torn down, the carbon stays put. That’s because it reacts with the concrete and becomes a mineral. https://money.cnn.com/2018/06/12/technology/concrete-carboncure/index.html?

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