Electronic nose 👃 Hibernating mice 🐁 Amazon and Goldman credit line 💸!

Technology News

New Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Perfectly Ripe Peaches for Harvest

To help with harvesting, scientists have been developing electronic noses for sniffing out the ripest and most succulent peaches. In a recent study, one such e-nose exceeds 98 percent accuracy. Peaches emit vaporous molecules called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The e-nose system created by the team has a set of gas sensors sensitive to particular VOCs. The measurements are digitized and pre-processed in a microcontroller. A pattern recognition algorithm is used to classify each unique combination of VOC molecules associated with three stages of peach ripening (immature, ripe, over-ripe).

Elon Musk has two Las Vegas casinos asking for Boring Company tunnels

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom tweeted a map that shows a proposed set of tunnels that would run west from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) to the Wynn and the Encore, hotel casinos owned by Wynn Resorts. Much like the LVCC project (known as the Convention Center Loop), people would be transported through these tunnels in Tesla vehicles. It would turn a walk of about a mile into a two-minute ride in each direction. Steve Hill, the president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said that each trip would cost between $3 and $5. That’s either at or slightly cheaper than the cost of a ticket for the Las Vegas Monorail.

Science News

Scientists trigger hibernation in mice, astronauts could be next

Scientists in Japan successfully triggered a hibernation-like state in mice by activating a specific group of brain cells. The research suggests even animals that don’t naturally sleep through the winter are capable of hibernation. Entering a hibernation-like state could help astronauts conserve food and water, as well as avoid the ill-effects of microgravity, on long journeys through space. Researchers were able to coax mice into a hibernation-like state by activating a type of brain cell called Q neurons. During their approximately week-long hibernation, the mice had slower heart rates, reduced oxygen consumption and slower respiration.

Three people with inherited diseases successfully treated with CRISPR

In this trial, bone marrow stem cells are removed from people and the gene that turns off fetal haemoglobin production is disabled with CRISPR. The remaining bone marrow cells are killed by chemotherapy, then replaced by the edited cells. This is done to ensure new blood cells are produced by the edited stem cells. While the three patients did suffer some adverse effects due to the chemotherapy, the CRISPR gene editing appears safe. “The preliminary results… demonstrate, in essence, a functional cure for patients with beta thalassaemia and sickle cell disease.”

Business News

Amazon unveils small business credit line with Goldman in latest tie-up between tech and Wall Street

Amazon is introducing a new digital credit line for U.S.-based merchants with partner bank Goldman Sachs. Small business owners who sell items on the e-commerce giant’s platform will soon be receiving targeted invitations from Goldman’s Marcus brand for credit lines of up to $1 million. The credit lines will come with a fixed annual interest rate of 6.99% to 20.99% and can be drawn and repaid, like a regular credit card. The move — the latest high-profile collaboration between the worlds of technology and banking — is the first time Amazon will let a financial institution make underwriting decisions for the hundreds of thousands of sellers on its platform.

The national debt tops $26 trillion for the first time as the federal government ramps up coronavirus relief spending

The federal debt surged past $26 trillion as the government ramped up emergency relief spending in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budge estimated the federal debt will grow by $4 trillion this year, the product of massive federal spending to keep individuals and companies afloat during an unprecedented economic shutdown. The federal government has spent nearly $3.5 trillion to shore up the economy so far and provide aid to states and cities, unemployed people, and hospitals. “We now have a debt the size of our economy. That hasn’t happened since World War II.”

Miscellaneous News

UAE Mars mission: Hope project a ‘real step forward for exploration’

The first Arab space mission to Mars is preparing to lift off within weeks. It will take seven months to travel the 493 million km (308 million miles) to reach Mars and begin its orbit, sending back ground-breaking new data about its climate and atmosphere. The probe will remain orbiting Mars for an entire Martian year, 687 days, to gather sufficient data. A single orbit around Mars will take the probe 55 hours. Named Amal, meaning Hope, the robotic craft is due to lift off from a remote Japanese island, Tanegashima, during a narrow launch window on 14 July.

Rio cartels go from running drugs to pushing medication

A drug gang granted access to one of Rio’s poorest and most socially isolated communities, to illustrate how it has dealt with Covid-19. It’s an area inaccessible to state healthcare. Alcohol gel, medication and cash handouts are all part of a system that gang members were eager to display. Four young men climb off their motorbikes and begin to lift large plastic bags from the back of a pickup truck. The first package of groceries goes to a manicurist who has been out of work for four months. The second goes to a street vendor.

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