World first as scientists use two new DNA letters to create new “alien” life form

World first as scientists use two new DNA letters to create new “alien” life form

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Life’s DNA has always been coded using just four letters, but now researchers have added two new letters and it opens the door to a whole new world of alien lifeforms never seen before.   Ever since life gained a foothold on this fragile rock...

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Walmart improves public safety by putting pork on the blockchain

Walmart improves public safety by putting pork on the blockchain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Global supply chains are complex and can be easy for criminals to exploit by putting pork onto the blockchain Walmart are able to ensure and query the integrity of their supply chains, identify problems and pull tainted batches off of the shelves faster.   Walmart...

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New research shows plants learn like dogs

New research shows plants learn like dogs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Understanding how biological organisms function and respond to stimuli will help biologists find new ways to help them grow and improve yields.   Pavlov’s conditioning experiments with dogs are among some of the most well known, and highly regarded, studies in scientific history, and now...

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DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Global food production is already being stretched by Earths growing population with the price of staple foods increasing by over 20% in just the past few years alone, as a consequence companies, governments and institutions are looking for new ways to increase yields in a...

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Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have used gene editing to turn off specific plant genes to boost plant growth by 15%, if transplanted into rice, maize and wheat this could help reduce famine and hunger in the world without the need to use extra fertilisers or chemicals.   Scientists...

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Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional chemical intensive farming methods change the ecology of our planet on a massive scale, by moving from chemicals to mocrobials farmers might be able to grow better crops, more productively and more sustainably.   In the back of Indigo’s Boston headquarters, a start up whose...

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Top scientists met in secret to discuss creating the first artificial humans

Top scientists met in secret to discuss creating the first artificial humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Synthetic biology opens the door for custom designed humans whose only parents are a computer.   Scientists can already produce viable artificial human eggs and sperm but earlier this month they took everything one step further when an invite only group of about 150 experts convened...

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Japanese company Spread set to open worlds first fully autonomous farm in 2017

Japanese company Spread set to open worlds first fully autonomous farm in 2017

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The only humans these Lettuces see will be the one who eats them.   The Japanese lettuce production company Spread believes the farmers of the future will be robots – so much so that Spread is creating the world’s first farm manned entirely by robots. Instead of relying on...

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The future of jobs in a Machine World

The future of jobs in a Machine World

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We are all aware that technology is capable of replacing particular categories of jobs, but often those jobs “belong to someone else” and the impact on our own jobs is minimal. Today though new classes of emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to machine vision are...

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Autonomous tractors are coming to a field near you

Autonomous tractors are coming to a field near you

Eat my dust, these self-driving tractors could hit a field near you soon Last week CNH Industrial brought along a few of it’s newest Batman inspired self-driving tractors to the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa to give the attendees a taste of the future. And it’s highly likely that these beasts...

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Feeding the world with lab grown foods gets closer

Feeding the world with lab grown foods gets closer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF This could cause a conundrum – is lab made meat considered vegan?   From an environmental and humanitarian point of view it’s easy to argue the case for lab produced food. In order to feed the same global population lab grown foods would consume 55% less energy to...

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Gourmet 3D printed food restaurant pops up in London

Gourmet 3D printed food restaurant pops up in London

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Move over Heston Blumenthal there’s a new printer in town.   Later this month, a 3D Printing pop up restaurant, called “Food Ink”, will open in London and settings start at £250 per head.     The restaurant promises to offer a completely different dining experience,...

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New vertical farm in New Jersey revolutionises farming

New vertical farm in New Jersey revolutionises farming

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Pesticide free farming that yields 75 times more produce that a traditional farm, is this the future of farming?   A 21,000 square metre vertical farm, capable of growing a million kilograms of pesticide free produce a year will open in Newark, New Jersey later...

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Breakthrough lets researchers turn plants into electric circuits and connect them to the grid

Breakthrough lets researchers turn plants into electric circuits and connect them to the grid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to turn plants into electric circuits could pave the way for a whole variety of biologically inspired electronics.   A team of Swedish botanists and electrical engineers have unveiled a new method for growing and powering conductive wires inside living plants and integrating them with...

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Bionic leaf could revolutionise energy and manufacturing

Bionic leaf could revolutionise energy and manufacturing

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A revolution in the making, the Bionic Leaf ushers in a new era of biomanufacturing.   Harvard University has created a “bionic leaf” that converts solar energy into a liquid fuel. The work, a proof of concept in an exciting new field called biomanufacturing, is the fruit...

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The future of jobs and education

The future of jobs and education

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI and other Robo automation tools and technologies become increasingly proficient it is increasingly clear that more and more jobs will suffer the same fate – automation.   Life is a learning experience, or so they say. Broadly speaking educational activities can be split...

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The end of Famine

The end of Famine

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology is getting closer to solving one of the world’s greatest heart aches.   No industry has had a greater impact on humanity and society as agriculture has and we can trace its earliest origins back 50,000 years to the Aborigines in Australia who regularly used fire...

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