SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Oct 26, 2015
Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week
- Italian scientists have made a bio refinery that can squeeze a lot of chemicals from mounts of grape waste. Last year, 28 billion lts. of wine produced left behind 5 million tons of waste!
- AjarTech, a Chicago company has developed a large compressed earth brick press, which they call ‘Liberator’ that can transform dirt into durable building bricks. The company is raising funds (~$20,000) on Kickstarter to get the machine out.
- A dewatering comapny, IMS, has launched a reusable dredge dewatering technology called GeoPool that doesn’t require polymers. Basically, for excavation activity that is at least partly underwater (dredging), dewatering is the biggest challenge for dredging. This way it’s cheaper and doesn’t use expensive geotextile bags.
- Do you remember Turing Pharmaceuticals, which hiked the price of its drug Darapim from $13.50 to $750 overnight and irked the public? Its competitor Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego company, has announced a cheaper alternative to Darapim at $99 for a 100-pill supply.Basically $1 a pill a day. Here is what you need to know about Daraprim. Its active ingredient is pyrimethamine, which helps in treating parasitic diseases. Turing was the sole source of this pyrimethamine-based drug, which is prescribed to AIDS and cancer patients with compromised immune systems.
In Tech News
- Amazon made $2.1 billion in the third quarter through Amazon Web Services (AWS);revenues from cloud at $7B for this year. AWS made almost as much operating income as its ecommerce operations in North America. Just shows how hard this ecommerce game is. Lot more consolidation will happen in emerging markets, once the funds dry up.
- Alphabet is going to bet more on riskier projects. Billions. Basically, more money into self-driving cars, fiber, energy etc. Try googling Alphabet and the first two results are on the company and the third are the letters. That’s how easy it is for Google in the search business
- Microsoft is partnering with Swiss ABB to offer new electric car charging platform. For its Azure cloud platform. Kind of being a first mover in the space. Don’t remember the time Microsoft launched anything early in the market.
Start you up (week’s start-up stories and insights)
- Zomato is laying off 300 employees to save money and look for other pivots. The last pivot didn’t work. I expect more layoffs, shut downs and cash flow crunches in the food ordering and delivery scene.
What is a GEEN?
GEEN is genome editing with engineered nucleases or gene editing, a type of genetic engineering, in which a DNA is inserted, replaced or removed from a genome, using artificially engineered nucleases, or molecular scissors. It is usually done to understand the function of a gene or a protein to monitor its effects on the organism.
- How to boil an egg? Bring water to a boil, gently lower your eggs into the water and let them cook for 30 seconds. Then add ice to lower the temperature, let the water boil up again, and cook for 11 minutes at about 88°C/190°F.
- China is building a wall again. But this time, it’s a 4,500 km green wall with 100 billion treesalong the northern part of China’s deserts. Some are criticizing this aggressive rush to plant. It’s not clear how sustainable these trees are or what the mortality rate of planted trees will be, being so close to the Gobi desert.
- A commercial fisherman who admitted to once pillaging the oceans has won the 2015 Fuller Challenge ($100,000) for a 3D ocean farming model that grows restorative crops, such as seaweed and shellfish.
- Dragonflies catch 95% of their targeted prey. That’s amazing precision. They anticipate the trajectory of a moving target and automatically adjust flight patterns. They are nature’s dronesand eat 100’s of mosquitoes every day. I am a big fan of their work. Enemy’s enemy you know!
- You shouldn’t hang around lazy sleepy crocodiles. They sleep with one eye open and half their brain awake.
- The microbeads in your facewash, scrubs, sanitizers and soaps are actually tiny pieces of plastic. Yah, they remove old dead stuff from the skin, but once they drain, they pass through all the water treatment facilities, and end up polluting the ocean. Fish, mammals and birds eat them and they come back cancerous up the food chain. So, if you’re fish eating and fairness conscious, life might come a circle.
- A messy desk might make you less boring and more creative than neat clean freaks, a study claims. Its fine, be boring but keep things clean.
- The cost of a burger from lab grown meat now costs $11.36. In 2013, it was $325,000. Wait till 2020 and it might get affordable and on your plate. Made from real beef stem cells.
- Oslo is becoming car free. The city will add 60 km of bicycle lanes by 2019.
- Researchers found carbon nanotubes in the lungs of children diagnosed with asthma. Study conducted in Paris. Pollution might be the key reason for the presence of these particles. These nanotubes may allow other pollutants to attach and become embedded in lung tissue. More work needed in this area to know for sure if they are cancer causing.
- A team of scientists in China created the world’s first gene-edited dogs. Basically, they edited the gene of beagles and removed the muscle-inhibiting protein called myostatin. These dogs are twice muscular and can run faster.
- This rare kind of mutation naturally occurs in another dog breed – Whippets, a sighthound breed that looks like a smaller greyhound. The mutation makes the dog grow enormous muscles. They are called Bully Whippets and look like a hulk version of the breed. Here is a story of Wendy, a bully whippet.
Did you see?
- The beauty of Jupiter in this 4K NASA video
- The animated version of the crash of the MH17 hit by a missile
Did you watch?
- The 4 min Hans Rosling video on Income-Life in 200 countries 200 years. Brilliant. Don’t miss.
- The dramatic change of the atmosphere on a faraway planet caused by a violent stellar flare. 63 lights years away. 6 min video
- 1 min video of the environment friendly Bogobrush made in the USA. The biodegradable handle is made by mixing plant-based bioplastic and leftover plant material from American farms.
Overgrown muscles aren’t necessarily a great thing. When myostatin mutated dogs keep running, it might cause massive cramping and is a threat to its survival. So, it might look like the nature’s way of showing that although some are stronger, they don’t necessarily last longer. Survival of the fittest doesn’t mean survival of the strongest. Diversity exists because some dominant homozygous species don’t last. Not everything will move towards maximum fitness every time.
Arcluster is excited to announce the publication of its first internally funded market study on theAgricultural Drones Market (2015 – 2020). The report hosts a wealth of information on the evolving market dynamics of drone adoption, market size and forecast estimates and end user perspectives. The report can be procured off our online research store or through one of our reseller partners. Check out the report here. Follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company.
Folks, that’s it for last week. Good week ahead!