Connectera has created an activity tracker for cattle ©Justin Sinner
Connectera has created an activity tracker for cattle ©Justin Sinner

World of innovation…fitbits for cows and anti-cancer nanobots

Where supply chains make a difference

Dutch start-up Connecterra has developed an app to help dairy farmers manage their herds. The Ida app uses machine learning to track cows, generating insights on rumination, walking and eating. It alerts farmers to potential health problems and enables them to increase productivity.

Tiny robots are fighting cancer, thanks to research by Durham University. The minute molecules (50,000 of them could fit on a human hair) are nanobots that attach themselves to a cancer cell and, when activated by light, drill into it, blasting it open and killing it in around 60 seconds.

Using non-GM breeding techniques, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has developed a durum wheat variety that grows in 40-degree heat and matures in 92 days, which could give African food security a vital boost.

Scientists at the University of Trento have created a solution that enables spiders to spin webs five times stronger than normal. Adding graphene and carbon nanotubes to spiders’ drinking water can produce silk as strong as Kevlar.

A secret recipe of media, light and temperature could double production of avocados and help meet demand. The method has been developed by the University of Queensland and involves growing multiple plants from a single shoot tip.

Producing enough rice for global needs is a challenge due to a scarcity of fresh water needed for production. But now a scientist in China has developed a strain that can be grown using saltwater. His crop yielded 8,030lb of rice per acre.

Herzliya-based Seakura has produced an organic super seaweed with double the amount of protein, iron and fibre than seaweed harvested from the ocean. The company farms it inland in controlled pools using purified Mediterranean seawater.

Want to improve your capacity for retaining important information? A brain implant that mimics the way humans process memories has been developed by researchers at the Univeristy of Southern California. It gives small electric shocks to the region of the brain involved in learning and memory.


Crunching the numbers


The starting price of Tesla’s Semi electric truck, for a model with a 300-mile range. Tesla says its energy costs are half that of diesel and the Semi will save at least $200,000 in fuel over its life.


The number of completed drop-offs during Mercedes-Benz’ biggest drone test. The mini aircraft shipped everyday items after orders were placed with Swiss online shopping platform Siroop.


Increase in employment worldwide in Q3 at Amazon, largely in fulfilment and logistics. The company created more than 120,000 seasonal jobs in its US fulfilment and customer service sites in the run up to Christmas.

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