In the spotlight
Japan looks to AI as Covid-19 challenges go-and-see quality control mantra
At a factory south of Japan’s Toyota City, robots have started sharing the work of quality-control inspectors, as the pandemic accelerates a shift from Toyota’s vaunted “go and see” system which helped revolutionise mass production in the 20th century.
AI will revolutionize healthcare. The transformation has already begun.
Machine learning and healthcare are in many respects uniquely well-suited for one another. At its core, much of healthcare is pattern recognition. A healthy human body and its various subsystems function in consistent, quantifiable ways.
Artificial Intelligence is here to calm your road rage
I am behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf, circling a parking lot, trying not to let the day’s nagging worries and checklists distract me to the point of imperiling pedestrians.
Agriculture & Environment
Coconut and palm oil industries at loggerheads over environmental impact
A report highlighting the harmful environmental impact of coconut oil production by a researcher with links to the palm oil industry has sparked a heated debate over coveted green credentials in the multibillion dollar industries.
Researchers to investigate wind power effects on bats in the Baltic Sea Region
Researchers from the Universities of Turku and Helsinki in Finland have been looking into literature about wind farm impacts on bats in several countries around the Baltic Sea (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden) and in the rest of Europe. They published a review on the topic.
Transport & Energy
‘Flying car’ — with one aboard — gets off the ground in Japanese test
The decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory. Japan’s SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.
UN secretary general urges India to swiftly turn away from coal
India must swiftly and permanently turn away from coal despite its need for cheap energy, the UN secretary general has urged, aiming to revive global action on the climate crisis as the world begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
How are Digital Twins used in practice: 5 real-world examples beyond manufacturing
A digital twin is a digital copy of an actual physical product, process, or ecosystem that can be used to run virtual simulations, using data to update and change the digital copy to reflect any changes in the real world. The idea behind a digital twin is to let us see what might happen if we were to make certain adjustments in real life.
Amazon unveils Halo to battle Apple Watch and Fitbit — tracks activity, body fat, emotions
The space is currently dominated by the Watch and devices from Fitbit , which is awaiting regulatory approval for an acquisition by Alphabet’ s Google. Amazon’s Halo product builds on these older fitness-tracking devices with features that have never been seen in a mainstream wearable device,….
Smart cities for the future Digital, networked, sustainable: will future cities resemble South Korea’s Songdo smart city?
Global 3000 Smart cities for the future. Many urban planners call smart cities the wave of the future. South Korea’s Songdo International Business District already offers smart living. Kyoto, Japan is also working on smart city solutions. But urban high tech may mean constant surveillance.
Food & Health
How worried should we be about the coronavirus resurgence in Europe?
In France, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 253,587 positive cases have been confirmed at the time of writing, causing the deaths of 30,544 people. At the end of February, the situation became epidemic, leading the government to decree general lockdown on March 17.
Indemifying vaccines makes for a sick health system
It is becoming increasingly clear that only a vaccine can bring us to a position of zero Covid . Flatting a curve does precisely that – lowers the numbers at any one time – but it cannot banish the virus. The experience even in New Zealand is that the virus will return as a country reopens its economy and borders.
Europe is going back to school despite recent virus surge
A mother and her three children scanned the school supplies in a Paris supermarket, plucking out multicolored fountain pens, crisp notebooks – and plenty of masks. Despite resurgent coronavirus infections, similar scenes are unfolding across Europe as a new school year dawns.
Science policy & Communication
The Infonomist: Tech firm courses challenge relevance of universities
The quality of education during Covid-19 has been shaky. Academic institutions have limited digital means (software and hardware) to enable quality education. At the same time, academic institutions globally, not just in South Africa, are still charging the same amount of money even though their offering has changed and diminished.
Entering an era of pandemics
People wearing face masks to guard against the coronavirus as they walk in the narrow streets of Matogiannia, on the island of Mykonos. In an age of rapid advancement in science and technology, we have also seen a spectacular rise in occult conspiracy theories and a deep, deep distrust of scientific reason.
EIT Climate-KIC supports European green recovery with €4 million for start-ups affected by COVID-19
EIT Climate-KIC is investing €4 million in nine climate ventures to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and to support them in their efforts to bring essential innovations to contribute to the fight against climate change.
New partnership will put fresh impetus behind greening industrial processes
Processes4Planet, a new partnership to run as part of Horizon Europe, has the goal of leading industry into a climate-neutral future – reducing carbon emissions from industrial processes through using renewable energy, green hydrogen, capturing more CO2, recycling and reducing waste – and at the same time lifting European competitiveness in world markets.
How renewables and greenhouses are teaming up to grow fruits and vegetables
With its coastline buffeted by the chilly waters of the North Sea, it’s perhaps counterintuitive to think of the Netherlands as a place that cultivates large amounts of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Thanks in large part to its widespread adoption of greenhouse technology, however, it does.
Scientists establish first lethal mouse model for COVID-19
Army scientists have developed the first lethal mouse model of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using mice that were genetically engineered to express the human ACE2 gene–a key mechanism by which the virus enters human cells.