A team of engineers has been working on creating a type of computing based on our brain’s neural networks’ systems all while using the brain’s analog nature. The team has discovered that graphene-based memory resistors show promise for this new computing form. “We are creating artificial neural networks, which seek to emulate the energy and area efficiencies of the brain…What we have shown is that we can control a large number of memory states with precision using simple graphene field effect transistors.” The team can, in fact, create 16 different possible memory states and believes its technology can be made on a commercial scale.
A novel material made from rotting fruit and vegetables that absorbs stray UV light from the sun and converts it into renewable energy has landed its designer the first sustainability gong in this year’s James Dyson awards. The award was given to 27-year-old Carvey Ehren Maigue for his Aureus system which uses the natural scientific principles behind the northern lights. Aureus is made from crop waste and can be attached in panels to windows and walls. Unlike solar panels, the system is effective even when not directly facing the sun because it can pick up UV through clouds and bouncing from walls, pavements and other buildings.
For the first time in humans, two key biological hallmarks of aging, telomere length shortening and accumulation of senescent cells, can be reversed. Using a specific protocol of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), telomere length was significantly increased and senescent cells were reduced in a population of healthy aging subjects. Results found that the telomere length of T helper, T cytotoxic, natural killer and B cells increased significantly, by over 20 percent. “In just three months of HBOT, we were able to achieve such significant telomere elongation – at rates far beyond any of the current available interventions or lifestyle modifications.”
Researchers have demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is effective in treating metastatic cancers. The researchers developed a lipid nanoparticle-based delivery system that specifically targets cancer cells and destroys them by genetic manipulation. The system, called CRISPR-LNPs, carries a genetic messenger (messenger RNA), which encodes for the CRISPR enzyme Cas9 that acts as molecular scissors that cut the cells’ DNA. “There are no side effects, and a cancer cell treated in this way will never become active again. The molecular scissors of Cas9 cut the cancer cell’s DNA, thereby neutralizing it and permanently preventing replication.”
Unilever wants to increase its annual sales of plant-based meat and dairy products five-fold within seven years, hitting £900m by 2027. Consumers are increasingly turning to vegetarian foods for health and environmental reasons. In the UK, there has been exponential growth in vegan food sales with sales of meat-free products in the UK up from £488m last year to £577m this year. Unilever said that the global plant-based meat market alone is estimated to be worth $35.4bn by 2027. The company is betting on growing its plant-based meat brand The Vegetarian Butcher, which it acquired two years ago, and now sells in 30 countries.
The world’s three most expensive cities are now Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris, according to a new cost of living report. Singapore and Osaka, which were equal first with Hong Kong last year, have slipped down the rankings. Singapore’s prices fell because of an exodus of foreign workers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most Chinese cities have risen up the rankings largely due to the US-China tech war which has tested the resilience of supply chains and raised consumer prices. Cities in the Americas, Africa and Eastern Europe have become less expensive since last year, while Western European cities have become costlier.
Boris Johnson has vowed to “restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe” as part of a multi-billion pound boost to defence spending. The prime minister warned the “international situation is now more perilous and intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War”. Mr Johnson has promised to invest an extra £16.5bn in defence spending over the next four years. Downing Street has hailed the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War, which it said will also see the creation of 40,000 jobs.
India is the only country among G20 nations which is on track to meet what it had promised in 2015 under the Paris Agreement on climate change unlike the top three emitters – China, the US and the EU. India’s track record was flagged in a report released by a coalition of 14 global thinktanks, which showed that the other 19 leading and emerging economies were far from achieving their goals. The country was able to “move the needle of its carbon emissions trajectory through the largescale adoption of renewable electricity”.