Eye tracking mask 👀 Honey cure 🍯 Vegan Tuna 🍣!

Technology News

Eye-tracking mask could monitor people’s reactions to what they see

Researchers have developed two fabric-based electrodes which enable monitoring of the wearer’s eye movements and pulse for up to 8 hours. The mask could be used for human-computer interactions. “If you are staring at a screen while wearing the mask, [it] can tell which quadrant of the screen your eyes are drawn to or are focusing on. Coupled with pulse, that provides insight into awareness and emotional state. This can be useful for e-advertisers.” This could be extended to allow the wearer to communicate with a computer using their gaze alone. “Swiping with gaze may open a door without touching it, or change the music track you are listening to.”

The factory of the future, batteries not included

Everactive has developed industrial sensors that run around the clock, require minimal maintenance, and can last over 20 years. The company created the sensors not by redesigning its batteries, but by eliminating them altogether. The ultra-low-power integrated circuits harvest energy from sources like indoor light and vibrations to generate data. The sensors continuously send that data to a cloud-based dashboard, which gives users real time insights, analysis, and alerts to help them leverage the full power of industrial IoT devices. The founders say their sensors are a few years away from being translucent, flexible, and the size of a postage stamp.

Science News

Honey may be better at treating coughs and colds than over-the-counter medicines

Researchers said honey was more effective in relieving the symptoms of cold and flu-like illnesses than the usual commercial remedies, and could provide a safer, cheaper and more readily available alternative to antibiotics. They encouraged doctors to consider recommending it to patients in place of prescribing antibiotics, which can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance when overused. A large catalog of previous research has proven that honey has the power to kill bacteria. Studies have shown that it is effective against dozens of strains, including E. coli and salmonella.

750 Million Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Approved for Release in Florida Keys

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) approved the first-ever U.S. release of genetically engineered mosquitoes. The approval permits the release of 750 million mosquitoes over a two-year period starting in 2021. Although the FKMDC is focused on reducing mosquito-borne diseases, scientists have raised major concerns that GE mosquitoes could create hybrid wild mosquitoes which could worsen the spread of mosquito-borne diseases and which may be more resistant to insecticides than the original wild mosquitoes. A recent field study in Brazil confirmed that the mosquito’s engineered genes had spread into wild populations of mosquitoes.

Business News

Nestle launches vegan alternative to tuna

Nestle is launching a new plant-based tuna alternative in Switzerland this month ahead of a global rollout, hoping that consumers eating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic will stay eager to try new products. Nestle has been investing in plant-based food to make its prepared dishes unit trendier and more appealing to consumers wishing to lower their meat intake. The new “Garden Gourmet” tuna made with pea protein will be available in glass jars in the chilled aisle of Swiss supermarkets and can be used in salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Ready-to-eat sandwiches will also be sold in some stores, Nestle said.

Estée Lauder plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs globally after profits dive

Estée Lauder is planning to cut up to 2,000 jobs worldwide as it shuts stores and department store beauty counters after a slump in sales and profits during the coronavirus pandemic. The makeup, skincare and perfume company, which also owns brands such as Joe Malone, Clinique, La Mer and MAC, said it intended to shut between 10% and 15% of its freestanding stores, with job cuts amounting to about 3% of its global workforce – mostly in stores as well as related support roles. The cuts are expected to save the company up to $400m (£300m) a year. Estée Lauder revealed net profits more than halved to $680m in the year to June.

Miscellaneous News

It’s raining chocolate: Factory glitch dusts Swiss town in cocoa

Residents of a Swiss town got a bit of a shock when fine cocoa powder began falling from the sky after the ventilation system at a chocolate factory malfunctioned. Combined with strong winds, the powder spread around the immediate vicinity of the factory, leaving a fine cocoa dusting. The company says one car was lightly, and possibly deliciously, coated. It has offered to pay for any cleaning needed. Factory production was able to continue as normal, and the company says the particles were completely harmless to people or the environment.

Germany is beginning a universal-basic-income trial with people getting $1,400 a month for 3 years

Germany is about to become the latest country to trial a universal basic income, starting a three-year study of how it affects the economy and recipients’ well-being. As part of the study, 120 people will receive €1,200 each month for three years — an amount just above Germany’s poverty line — and researchers will compare their experiences with another group of 1,380 people who will not receive the payments. The study, conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research, has been funded by 140,000 private donations.

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