A new type of robot has just been developed to run like a cheetah. Inspired by the fastest land animal in the world, researchers have created ‘soft robots’ that are capable of moving more quickly on solid surfaces than any previous model before. The new soft robotics can also grab delicate objects and are strong enough to lift heavy items. The robots are inspired by the biomechanics of cheetahs, namely the way their spines flex and extend as they run. The robots break the previous record by reaching speeds of up to 2.7 body lengths per second, more than three times faster than older models.
Researchers from MIT have created a wireless system that monitors how people use appliances in their homes. The team believes with the data about how and when users operate everything from microwaves to hair dryers and stoves, they could study health habits, track the wellbeing of elderly people, encourage less energy usage and help insurance companies assess risk. The system, called Sapple, uses a smart electricity meter and a wireless, wall-mounted device that emits and tracks radio signals to determine a persons location. Those sensors feed a machine learning model that determines where and when a particular appliance is being used.
Biologists have created mice-human chimeras whose bodies were composed of up to 4 per cent human cells when the early embryos were destroyed after 17 days. The highest proportion previously achieved is around 0.1 per cent. The reason for creating the mouse-human chimeras is to find ways to grow organs for people who need transplants. Feng’s team injected around 10 human stem cells into 3.5-day-old mouse blastocysts, bundles of many cells. The human cells contributed to all kinds of tissues in the developing mouse embryo, including forming red blood cells, eye cells and liver cells.
A team of researchers report they have identified the single largest genetic contributor to height known to date. The findings are based on an analysis of samples from ethnically diverse Peruvians, a population known to have the shortest stature in the world. The team identified a previously unknown, population-specific variant of the FBN1 gene (E1297G). The variant, found exclusively in individuals of Native American ancestry, showed a striking association with lower height. Each copy of the gene was associated with an average of 2.2 centimeters (around 0.8 of an inch) reduction in height.
The Labor Department reported that prices U.S. consumers paid for groceries jumped 2.6% in April, the largest one-month pop since February 1974. The spike in supermarket prices was broad based and impacted items from broccoli and ham to oatmeal and tuna. The price of the meats, poultry, fish and eggs category rose 4.3%, fruits and vegetables climbed 1.5%, cereals and bakery products advanced 2.9%, and dairy goods gained 1.5%. “In areas where demand has hung in, like ‘food at home’ we have inflation because the supply side has been damaged, whether directly via infected facilities or because of the higher costs of finding freight capacity.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India would provide 20 trillion rupees ($266 billion) in fiscal and monetary measures to support an economy battered by a sweeping weeks-long lockdown to fight the novel coronavirus. In an address to the nation, he said the package was equivalent to 10% of India’s gross domestic product, and was aimed at the multitudes out of work and the businesses reeling under the prolonged shutdown. In March, the government said it was providing around 1.7 trillion Indian rupees ($22.6 billion) but was widely accused of doing too little.
The U.S. Department of the Interior signed off on Nevada’s Gemini Solar Project, which could be the largest U.S. solar plant once constructed. The project will serve NV Energy as the utility works to meet Nevada’s state requirement for 50 percent renewables by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The power would feed Las Vegas and potentially additional areas in Southern California. The Gemini project is expected to create a peak of 900 construction jobs and support an additional 1,100 jobs in the area during its construction.
The Australian chapter of an international church selling and promoting bleach as a cure for COVID-19 has been issued infringement notices totalling $151,200. The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing has been claiming chlorine dioxide is a “miracle cure”. For years it has sold the industrial bleach as Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), stating it can cure things like autism, acne, cancer, diabetes and now COVID-19. MMS is not approved for human consumption in Australia – It is being sold as “water purification drops” on the website.