Technology Tuesday: December 13

Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Lab grown meat, a “smoking-gun” in aging, banning diesel fuel, combating disease with magnets, and Michigan passes progressive self-driving car laws.


Tyson Makes a Massive Investment in Lab Grown Meat


Is the future’s lab-made burger patty really better for the Earth? Meat giant Tyson Foods, Inc. is taking an interest in the developing technology. The company launched a $150 million venture capital fund on sustainable food solutions, focusing on alternative proteins—that is, “meatless meats.”

In a news release published on Tyson Food’s site, they noted their three-pronged goal with the development of plant-based meats: pioneering research in order to commercialize alternative proteins; tackling food insecurity and waste; and using the “internet of food” to promote sustainability.

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Discovering a Way to Extend Lifespans

Aging is a key risk factor for a variety of devastating, chronic diseases, yet the biological factors that influence when and how rapidly cells deteriorate over time remain largely unknown. Now, for the first time, a research team led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has linked the function of a core component of cells’ machinery — which cuts and rejoins RNA molecules in a process known as “RNA splicing” — with longevity in the roundworm. The finding sheds light on the biological role of splicing in lifespan and suggests that manipulating specific splicing factors in humans might help promote healthy aging.

The study will be published in the December 5, 2016 advance online issue of Nature.

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Four of the World’s Largest Cities Vow to Ban Diesel in the Next 10 Years

By 2025, no diesel vehicles will be rolling the streets of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid, or Athens. The mayors of these cities made a pledge to ban diesel cars and trucks at this year’s C40 Mayor’s Summit, a biennial meeting of leaders that aims to follow through with global environmental efforts.

Diesel fuel is known to produce harmful emissions and pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides—which could form ground level ozone. These by-products are known to cause respiratory problems. Several clean energy options are becoming available to the public, and the cities plan to promote the use of alternative fuels in place of diesel, as well as walking and cycling instead of driving.

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Combating Sepsis With The Use of Magnets

Contract sepsis, and you’re almost as likely to end up six feet under as you are back on your feet again. This often fatal condition also known as “blood poisoning” is usually caused by the body’s overwhelming response to a bacterial infection, and it’s typically treated with antibiotics. Now, researchers from Harvard University, the Empa research group, and Adolphe Merkle Institute have come up with a better way to fight back against sepsis.

At the core of their treatment method are magnets. The researchers coated antibodies that bind to dangerous bacteria with iron particles before introducing them to the sepsis-causing bacteria in a solution. After the antibodies were bound to the bacteria, the solution was run through a dialysis machine, and magnets literally pulled the iron-coated antibodies and bacteria right out of the solution, leaving it free of that bacteria.


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Michigan’s Automated Cars Law Allows Self-Driving Cars on the Road Without Humans

Michigan just became the first state to establish regulations for the testing, use, and eventual sale of self-driving cars.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation at the Automotive Hall of Fame on Friday allowing for the testing of self-driving cars without a steering wheel, brake pedal, or human in the front seat. The law also allows companies to use self-driving cars for ride-sharing services.

The law will also allow self-driving cars to be sold to the public once the tech is tested and certified.


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Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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