4D printing 🖨️ Sixth mass extinction 🐼 Just Eat to acquire Grubhub 🚚!

Technology News

Lab makes 4D printing more practical

Researchers have developed a method to print objects that can be manipulated to take on alternate forms when exposed to changes in temperature, electric current or stress. The lab’s challenge was to create a liquid crystal polymer “ink” that incorporates mutually exclusive sets of chemical links between molecules. One establishes the original printed shape, and the other can be set by physically manipulating the printed-and-dried material. Curing the alternate form under ultraviolet light locks in those links. Once the two programmed forms are set, the material can then morph back and forth when, for instance, it’s heated or cooled.

Intel’s ‘3D’ Lakefield chips arrive for foldables and ultrathin laptops

Intel is officially launching its Lakefield processors – its first chips to combine its Core i3 and i5 hardware together with low-power “Tremont” Atom cores. The company is positioning Lakefield as the ideal hardware for incredibly thin laptops, foldables and dual-screen devices. The 10 nanometer i3 and i5 “Sunny Cove” hardware will handle heavier workloads, while less demanding tasks move over to the Atom cores. Intel is able to combine multiple chip architectures and onboard memory onto a single processor thanks to its Foveros 3D packaging technology.

Science News

New research finds these 515 animal species are on the brink of extinction

A newly published study lists 515 animal species with fewer than a thousand individuals remaining. Earth is experiencing its sixth mass extinction; extinction rates are accelerating; and humans are to blame. They identified 75 mammal, 335 bird, 41 reptile and 65 amphibian species “on the brink of extinction.” The majority of these critically endangered animals are concentrated in tropical and subtropical regions, where biodiversity is highest. More than half of the species on the list have fewer than 250 individuals remaining. Since 1900, 543 species of vertebrates have gone extinct – and those are just the ones we know of.

Human eggs attract some men’s sperm over others

According to a new study, eggs use various chemical signals to attract different men’s sperm — and not necessarily the sperm of their chosen partners. This research suggests that mate choice continues after sex and that human eggs can favour some sperm over others. “When comparing sperm from two men, eggs attract between 18 to 40 percent more sperm from the preferred man.” Based on these findings, it seems like chemoattractants enable eggs to have their own independent mate preferences, regardless of human partner choice. Fitzpatrick stresses that this work does not show that infertility is caused by incompatibility between partners.

Business News

Just Eat Takeaway in Talks to Acquire Grubhub

Just Eat Takeaway, a European food delivery service, said that it was in advanced talks to buy Grubhub, a deal that would give it a foothold in the United States. The proposed deal would be an all-stock transaction, Just Eat Takeaway said in a statement. Its stock fell about 13 percent on the news; Grubhub’s stock rose 7 percent. Just Eat Takeaway was created this year through the $7.8 billion combination of two of the earliest participants in Europe’s food-delivery market, Just Eat and Takeaway.com. It has been fighting competition in Europe from Uber Eats and Deliveroo. This year, Just Eat announced a partnership to deliver food for McDonald’s in Britain and Ireland.

The meat industry could face losses of $20 billion in 2020

The pandemic has caused two major disruptions to the meat supply chain. The first was shifting consumer behaviours including restaurant and school closures that paralysed an entire distribution channel. The second impacted the industry in an unimaginable way; more than 20,000 meat processing plant workers have gotten sick, 74 have died and dozens of plants have been forced to shut down. The plant shutdowns caused wholesale prices to double and livestock prices to drop 20%-30%. By mid-May wholesale prices started dropping and livestock prices were inching back. But concerns over a long and costly recovery remain.

Miscellaneous News

Iceland adopts all of Chester Zoo’s penguins to help save it from closure

Thousands of people have shown support for Chester Zoo as it fights to survive the lockdown-induced closure. The zoo launched the SaveOurZoo campaign , due to the uncertainty of when it will be able to reopen based on the government guidelines. The zoo has raised over £2.2 million in a matter of days, calling on people to donate directly, adopt an animal or purchase memberships. The supermarket chain, Iceland, has adopted all of Chester Zoo’s Humboldt penguins in a bid to support the #SaveOurZoo campaign. 

Mexico’s government has accused more tequila brands of laundering drug money for cartels

The federal government announced last week that the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) had frozen the bank accounts of 1,770 people, 167 businesses and two trust funds linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) through a money-laundering network of front companies passing themselves off as vendors of tequila. Accounts containing a total of US $1.1 billion were frozen after an operation, dubbed “Blue Agave” for the main ingredient in tequila, was carried out by the UIF in cooperation with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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