New Mantis Shrimp inspired camera will make self-driving cars safer

New Mantis Shrimp inspired camera will make self-driving cars safer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over the past few years people have been killed when their semi-autonomous cars got confused and blinded by the Sun so scientists have turned to biology to solve the problem.   A little while ago a man driving a Tesla on autopilot was killed when...

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NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Somewhere out there there’s an asteroid withEarth’s name on it, and NASA’s new spacecraft will be the one to try to deflect it.   Within near-Earth space there are a crazy 18,000 asteroids whose orbit occasionally brings them close to Earth. Over the course of millions of...

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First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotic plants could help find mines and pollutants buried in soil, or be used to explore alien planets for signs of organic material.   Plants are getting a lot of attention all of a sudden, whether it’s from researchers who are trying to turn them...

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The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic waste is a menace at sea and on land, but an ambitious project hopes to clean up 90% of the oceans plastic waste within a decade.   Plastic waste has become a growing issue over the past decade or so which is why more...

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Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bees help pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, this new system can track their progress and predict deadly colony collapses before they happen.   You might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also...

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Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way we produce food today is, for the most part, hugely wasteful and has a huge impact on the environment, vertical farms, clean meat, and now other “animal free” products are starting to disrupt the status quo.   Over the past year we’ve seen...

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Researchers use AI to turn smartphones into lab grade microscopes

Researchers use AI to turn smartphones into lab grade microscopes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not everyone has access to a lab grade microscope, and if you’re a doctor in the middle of nowhere that’s an issue that will delay disease diagnosis and potentially put lives at risk, this breakthrough will revolutionise front line medicine.   Today we are on...

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Researchers record first ever HD movies of cells moving through the living body

Researchers record first ever HD movies of cells moving through the living body

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to watch cells move under the microscope isn’t the same as being able to observe them in their natural environment, and this breakthrough will lead to a better understanding of cell biology and help create new revolutionary medical treatments.   In 2016 we...

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New shark spotter algorithm saves lives, and sharks

New shark spotter algorithm saves lives, and sharks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Sharks get a bad rap and it’s in part because they eat people, not many and it’s statistically insignificant, but nevertheless people don’t like being eaten, now though an AI might finally put a stop to them snacking between meals   Artificial Intelligence (AI) and...

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An ocean going drone is protecting the world’s largest marine reserve

An ocean going drone is protecting the world’s largest marine reserve

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Conservations have always had to work on a budget, I know, I’ve been one, but now technology is helping them in ways that were previously unimaginable.   Whether it’s robots stunning invasive species like Lionfish and the Crown of Thorns, or scientists using 3D printing...

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Fast, deadly laser wielding underwater robots revolutionise fish farming

Fast, deadly laser wielding underwater robots revolutionise fish farming

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Inventors have found a novel way to combine new technologies together to help fish farmers reduce pollution, reduce costs and improve the yield, and health, of their farm reared Salmon.   When you think about laser-wielding robots that are equipped with the latest machine vision...

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A river in New Zealand was just granted human rights to protect it from pollution

A river in New Zealand was just granted human rights to protect it from pollution

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In an age where environmental destruction is still commonplace a river in New Zealand is about to reap the benefits of being given the same rights as a human being.   In a world first, and in an age where we are beginning to grant...

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Conservationists are saving coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

Conservationists are saving coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With more coral bleaching events becoming more common, and increasingly severe, conservations are struggling to preserve some of the world’s finest reefs.   A lot has changed since Fabien Cousteau’s grandfather Jacques started teaching about marine conservation in the 1950s, for a start we’re using...

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These new Adidas trainers are made entirely from up-cycled ocean plastic

These new Adidas trainers are made entirely from up-cycled ocean plastic

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Soon there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, but hopefully up-cycling ocean plastic can reverse that trend and that’ll be good news for everyone.   By 2050 it’s estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, and that...

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An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The question of whether or not to use gene drives, an extinction technology, to eradicate pests and invasive species is divisive but it looks set to get the go ahead.   Scientists working with US conservation group Island Conservation say they’ve managed to establish an...

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Scientists publish a plan to bring back the extinct Caspian Tiger

Scientists publish a plan to bring back the extinct Caspian Tiger

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Species are going extinct today 10,000 times faster than ever before, and conservationists are getting increasingly serious about turning the clock back and bringing species back from the dead   Caspian tigers were some of the largest cats ever to roam the Earth, weighing in...

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The US Army wants biodegradable bullets that grow plants

The US Army wants biodegradable bullets that grow plants

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every year armies around the world use millions of rounds of ammunition during training exercises but these can cause a trail of environmental devastation which takes generations to recover from, the US Army want to create a new legacy.   Not only are bullets a...

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Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF CO2 is a major greenhouse gas but until now capturing it was difficult and expensive, this new technology could help reduce global emissions by 10%.   India have made a breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet heating CO2 emissions, and...

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Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s most powerful genetic technology – one that could cure disease, and at the same time wipe out entire species in the blink of an eye – has just been green lighted by the UN, and now the genies about to come out of...

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Seahorse’s genome sequenced for the first time, unlocks weird mysteries

Seahorse’s genome sequenced for the first time, unlocks weird mysteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers are using gene sequencing to unlock the mysteries of evolution and each new discovery helps us improve how we conserve the animals and plants that co-habit our planet   Male pregnancy. A long, tube shaped mouth with no teeth. A body covered with bony...

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