Biotech

This ingestible microchip could help diagnose disease

MIT researchers have built an ingestible sensor equipped with genetically engineered bacteria that can diagnose bleeding in the stomach or other gastrointestinal problems. This “bacteria-on-a-chip” approach combines sensors made from living cells with ultra-low-power electronics that convert the bacterial response into a wireless signal that…

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Gene therapy is saving children’s lives but screening to discover who needs it is lagging behind

Fifteen children born with a rare muscle-wasting disease would probably not be alive today if not for an experimental treatment that tweaked their genes shortly after they were born. The disease, called spinal muscular atrophy, would likely have killed most of them by age two….

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VR helps you see the world through an animal’s eyes

London-based design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast is using VR to let us reconnect with nature. With headsets, you can see a forest through the eyes of different animals and experience the sensations they feel. Creative Director Ersinhan Ersin took the stage at TNW Conference last…

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Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

Around the world, an emerging « rush to gas » – a glut of investment in new natural gas-fired power plants and associated delivery infrastructure – threatens to result in significant stranded assets. Innovation in renewable energy and other emerging technologies, including battery storage, has already created…

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Researchers are using facial recognition to track and protect endangered primates

Facial recognition tech doesn’t have to be creepy or dystopian. We can actually use it for good. Case in point: Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) developed a facial recognition software program that could help save the lives of endangered primates. They published their research…

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NASA’s building new tools to manage water, as climate dangers grow

After an unusually dry winter, a late-season storm finally soaked California in early March, piling up several feet of snow across the high granite reservoirs of the Sierra Nevada mountains. On the Sunday morning after the weather cleared, a pair of NASA researchers loaded onto…

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Learning a language? Your eyes can tell us a lot about how well it’s going

A study by MIT researchers has uncovered a new way of telling how well people are learning English: tracking their eyes. That’s right. Using data generated by cameras trained on readers’ eyes, the research team has found that patterns of eye movement — particularly how…

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California is throttling back record levels of solar—and that’s bad news for climate goals

Californians are enjoying a sunny spring, which means the state’s solar farms and rooftop panels are flooding the grid with electricity. The problem is, they’re producing so much that plummeting prices and mandates by the state’s grid operator are forcing renewable power plants to throttle…

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This is how drones could help to fight climate change

Drones today serve a variety of functions, from capturing aerial photography to assisting in military operations. But one particular service may end up being their chief contribution: by acting as mitigating forces against the impacts of climate change. These little gadgets are now capable of…

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How technology is driving a fourth wave of environmentalism

In any era, the hard work of environmental progress requires the best available tools. Today those tools include technological innovations that are giving corporations and NGOs alike new capabilities and supercharging the partnerships between them. Sensors, data analytics, machine learning and blockchain are just some…

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