Category: Science

New 3D-Printed ‘Mini Organs’ Could Eliminate Cruel Animal Testing

For decades, scientists have used animal testing to prove whether or not a drug is safe for human consumption. But for Hans Clevers, a molecular geneticist, and a host of his colleagues, animal testing could be a practice of the past. Taking its place is the innovative technology of 3D mini organ testing. Mini organ testing involves creating itsy-bitsy replications of human organs, also known as 3D organoids, to use for drug testing and as an alternative way to study diseases. According to Clevers, “no one wanted to believe it.” In fact, it took more than half a decade...

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Huge Setback for Animal Rights as UK Government Fails to Recognize Animals as Sentient Beings

For decades now, the majority of scientists have agreed that all vertebrate animals, (mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles) are sentient. However, after an eight-hour-long parliamentary debate, British MPs have failed to recognise animals as sentient beings. Given the chance to vote on the NC30 clause that would have transported the EU’s recognition of animals as sentient beings into UK law, parliament voted against it. As a result, many animal rights advocates are concerned for the welfare of animals in post-Brexit Britain. As the Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, Gudrun Ravetz worries that the against-vote “undermines the government’s precious...

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A Wearable Tech Miracle For the Legally Blind

Legally blind people can now see with the help of electronic glasses invented by eSight. The wearable technology behind the glasses is a high-definition, high-speed camera. Innovative algorithms sharpen the video and display it on screens directly in front of the user’s eyes. The glasses feature Bioptic Tilt which helps the glasses adjust automatically to the wearer’s movement, protecting them from nausea. This is a crucial leap forward from similar technologies which have tended to leave wearers feeling queasy and affected their balance. For Conrad Lewis, the founder of eSight, the project is close to the heart. Lewis grew up...

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Keystone Pipeline Leaks Biggest Oil Spill in South Dakota’s History

Early Thursday morning, an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil leaked from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota. It was the largest spill in the state’s history and ranks in the top twenty oil spills in the United States since 2010. The oil leak happened close to the North Dakota border, about 30 miles from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. The environmental impacts of the spill are still under investigation, but its magnitude has caused dire concern with the local Native American community. A South Dakota environmental official played down the leak, claiming it was not substantial and that since...

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Check Out the World’s Newest Affordable 3D Printed House

Nikita Chen-yun-tai describes himself as “a man with a mania for automation.” His latest invention, created with San Francisco startup Apis Cor, is a mobile 3D printer that builds entire homes from scratch. Chen-yun-tai’s objective is to provide worldwide access to better housing. The 400-square-foot houses generated by his 3D printer are eco-friendly, efficient, and reliable, designed to last for 175 years. They cost just over $10,000. The affordable housing movement is taking off, and 3D printed houses are more affordable than most. They save money by reducing the costs of hiring construction workers and cleaning up debris, and remove the...

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They’ve Just Discovered a New Orangutan Species, and It’s the World’s Most Endangered Ape

Humans and orangutans share an uncanny resemblance, which may explain our fascination with these large apes. In fact, genomic sequencing shows that the human-ape relationship is more than appearance – orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA. Despite years of investigation, however, we still have a lot to learn about humans as well as our orangutan relatives. Until recently, scientists had identified just 6 species of non-human great ape: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. But according to new research published in Current Biology, scientists have discovered a seventh species of orangutan in the Batang...

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The World is Facing a Clean Water Crisis We Can No Longer Ignore

In April 2014, the city of Flint experienced something typically reserved for third-world countries and impoverished communities. The city decided to stop using the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department and instead began sourcing the city’s water from the Flint River. Due to a series of unfortunate oversights, including failing to apply corrosion inhibitors in the water, the city’s water began to suffer a major public health disaster via lead contamination. By the time the effects of the contamination began to take hold, between 6,000 and 12,000 children were already exposed to drinking water with higher levels of lead and...

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