Technology (category filter × )

Artificial leaf produces first drugs using sunlight
  • Artificial leaves made of Plexiglas successfully used to create drugs artimensinin (against malaria) and ascaridole (against parasitic worms).
  • They rely on the process of photosynthesis, and have the potential to create various fuels and drugs.
  • Moreover, the technology is scalable and can easily be used wherever there’s sun, meaning it could remove the cost of transporting medicine over long distances.
  • In the future it could also support astronauts, but for now the team is waiting to perform first commercial trials.

Crops under solar panels can be a win-win
  • Growing crops under solar panels can be beneficial for the plants, new study shows.
  • Test included three plots -- one with solars, one with cherry tomatoes, jalapeños and chiltepin peppers, and one that combined both solars and plants.
  • The peppers and tomatoes yielded better crops, and showed better growth and water-use efficiency in the combined plots.
  • Jalapeños produced slightly less, but used 65% less water in combined plots.
  • This shows that solars don’t have to compete for land with agriculture, and combining them in the right way could actually be beneficial for both.

AI may help speed up drugs development and could have ‘immense’ impact in China, study finds
  • AI system does up to 20 years worth of work in 3 weeks, at the forefront of technological revolution in the Chinese healthcare big data industry.
  • The AI identified several substances, one of which was successfully applied to treating renal fibrosis in mice.
  • This could revolutionise the development of new drugs, and save huge amounts of time and money for pharmaceutical companies.
  • However, experts warn to proceed with extreme caution, as errors can be fatal, and this is a long-term innovation of which we don’t fully understand the implications.

Carbon capture: What you need to know about catching CO2 to fight climate change
  • Government policies and incentives, as well as finding economical viability, are the main issues blocking widespread adoption of carbon capture technologies.
  • These technologies stop carbon dioxide emissions or remove existing CO2 from the air, resulting in captured carbon that can be stored or reused.
  • In 2018, there were 18 operational facilities, 5 under construction and 20 other in varying stages of development.
  • Over 30 megatonnes of CO2 is captured every year, but it’s a mere dent in the emissions we produce (716 megatonnes in 2017 by Canada alone).
  • There’s also the issue of costs - from $43 up to $150 per captured tonne of CO2.

BIM-assisted object recognition for the on-site autonomous robotic assembly of discrete structures
  • New “object pose estimation framework” developed for autonomous robots operating in an unstructured environment.
  • When perfected, it will enable robots to efficiently perform tasks in a construction environment.
  • It employs an object recognition approach with a virtual representation model of all objects in the Building Information Modelling model.
  • The precision hasn’t been perfected yet, but the model will be improved.




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