Short Look at the Long View
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Short Look at the Long View
Interesting Current Ideas about the Future
Curated by Joel Barker
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Autonomous high-altitude aircraft nails new flight tests

We’re a step closer to having high-altitude, long-endurance, autonomous aircraft soaring through the skies. UAVOS has now announced that a prototype of the company’s High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) ApusDuo aircraft has completed the first stage of flight tests.
Joel Barker's insight:

This fills a cost gap, a ease of launch gap, and a easy-to-replace gap. Great for cell phone calling in underdeveloped nations and great for re-establishing communications after a disaster.  JB

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Scientists supercharge old antibiotic in fight against bacterial resistance

A new weapon for our arsenal in the war on antibiotic-resistant superbugs has just been developed by a team of researchers, supercharging a commonly used antibiotic to make it more more potent than ever before.
Joel Barker's insight:

In terms of antibiotics, we are running out of options. This article suggests there is another pathway with much greater chance of success.  JB

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Transparent insulating aerogel brewed up from beer by-product

Aerogels are among the best thermal insulators, but their cloudy appearance doesn't work for windows, one of the worst offenders for letting heat escape a building. Now, researchers at Colorado University Boulder have found a way to make them transparent, recycling a beer by-product in the process.
Joel Barker's insight:

That such an important new material comes from the waste stream of making beer is just another example of how many surprises await us.  JB

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 Mayo Clinic takes next step in anti-aging research

Joel Barker's insight:

Mayo's research has been under the radar. It is time to explain what they have been doing that is so successful. One number stands out: 36% increase in lifespan of mice in the experiment.  JB

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Landmark Australian trial wipes out 80 per cent of disease-spreading mosquitoes

​An impressive Australian trial releasing millions of sterilized male mosquitoes has resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the population of this disease-spreading insect.
Joel Barker's insight:

Huge number! As the planet warms, we will need to reduce these threats. I have read an analysis that we could do away with all the disease spreading insects and the remaining will more than fill the niche for the bats and birds.  JB

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New Type of Silicon Laser Uses Sound Waves to Amplify Light

New Type of Silicon Laser Uses Sound Waves to Amplify Light | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
Yale scientists have created a new type of silicon laser that uses sound waves to amplify light. The laser design corrals amplified light within a racetrack shape — trapping it in circular motion.
Joel Barker's insight:

This is a paradigm shift in silicon technology. (the authors use the term) and creates a huge new territory for the combining of hypersonic sound and laser light.

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Dementia-related brain damage reversed in mice using 20-year-old asthma drug

A fascinating new study from researchers at Temple University has successfully reversed cognitive impairments in mice with dementia. The research utilized a 20-year-old asthma drug to treat the animals and the hope is to fast track clinical trials to verify the results in human subjects.
Joel Barker's insight:

Here again we see a drug that was develpoed for one purpose has applications in a totally diffferent situation. Let us hope that it isn't only the mice who are helped.  JB

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Russian blended wing aircraft concept keeps on the down low

Russia's TsAGI is developing a new blended-wing heavy transport aircraft that is designed to carry up to 500 tonnes (492 tons) of cargo, yet only reaches an altitude of between three and 12 m (10 and 40 ft) over water and land.

Joel Barker's insight:

This is a really big plane. You'll have to go to the site to see it in proper scale. But the fact that it can carry 500 tonnes of cargo gives you some idea of its size.  JB

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Anti-aging stem cell treatment proves successful in early human trials

​The results of two human clinical trials into a stem cell therapy that can reverse symptoms of age-associated frailty have been published indicating this landmark treatment is both safe and strikingly effective in tackling key factors in aging.
Joel Barker's insight:

This is a big deal because it is being trialed on humans, not mice. Notice that the article doesn't tell us the exact changes that were so remarkable. But it is clear they are moving to stage B of the testing.  JB

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Toshiba's new fast-charging battery could triple the range of electric vehicles

​A key focus of electric vehicle (EV) makers is maximizing the range users can get from each charge. To that end, Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging battery it claims could allow EVs to travel three times as far, and then be fully recharged again in a matter of minutes.
Joel Barker's insight:

To remind you of yin and yang, here is the yang, Toshiba's new fast charging battery to partner with the electric motor below.  JB

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Gallery: Plant-covered skyscraper tops list of world's best tall buildings

​Each year, the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat celebrates the world's grandest towers with its Best Tall Building awards. Claiming top honors in 2018 was a red and green skyscraper in Singapore, with two converted silos and conjoined New York towers rounding out the winners’ list.​
Joel Barker's insight:

The momentum is building. skyscrapers to reduce human footprint and organic growth on the outside to increase CO2 capture.  JB

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New antibiotic found in tobacco flowers tears into superbugs

New antibiotic found in tobacco flowers tears into superbugs | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
The world is in desperate need of new antibiotics, as bacteria continue to evolve and develop resistance to the ones we have. Now, researchers at La Trobe University have found a peptide in the flower of a tobacco plant that could be the first of a new kind of antibiotic.
Joel Barker's insight:

I've said for a long time that every living thing has a gift for us so we should not cause species extinction. This is a good example coming from a tobacco plant!  JB

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UPS announces upcoming Arrival of electric delivery trucks

UK startup Arrival is working with UPS to develop a new mini fleet of electric delivery vehicles. The e-trucks are to be rolled out in London and Paris this year and are reported capable of rolling much farther between charges than other electric service vehicles currently in operation.
Joel Barker's insight:

And so the new electric vehicle paradigm continues to unfold.  JB

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Zunum Aero’s Hybrid Plane Uses a Helicopter Engine Cut Fuel Use in Half

Zunum Aero’s Hybrid Plane Uses a Helicopter Engine Cut Fuel Use in Half | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
The Washington-based startup is using a modified helicopter engine to generate power, supplementing the batteries packed in its fuselage.
Joel Barker's insight:

So, we have electric cars, electric trucks, and now electric planes are getting close to taking off. And this one seems to have the right formula for commercialization although there are at least four other big players.  JB

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MIT Scientists Discover New Antibiotic Candidates

MIT Scientists Discover New Antibiotic Candidates | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
MIT scientists have discovered that peptides normally secreted by cells that line the stomach have previously unknown antimicrobial activity.
Joel Barker's insight:

This is great news because of the development of resistant pathogens. But it does beg the question: why are we only now looking for these antibiotics within ourselves?  JB

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Engineers Develop New System to Provide Low-Cost Drinking Water

Engineers Develop New System to Provide Low-Cost Drinking Water | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
A new system devised by MIT engineers could provide a low-cost source of drinking water for parched cities around the world while also cutting power plant operating costs.
Joel Barker's insight:

A wonderful example of verge innovation and Limits Technology. Here is a source of pure water that comes from a totally different industry. And it has wide application.  JB

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This lab-grown beef will be in restaurants in 3 years

This lab-grown beef will be in restaurants in 3 years | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it

Mosa Meat has raised a round of venture capital and plans of bringing $10 burgers (without any cows involved) to tables by 2019.

Joel Barker's insight:

And it was $300,000 to create one a couple of years ago. If they can hit the taste and texture standards, non-animal meat will change the world's diets.  JB

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Saving flood water to get through the droughts

Saving flood water to get through the droughts | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
The couple whose "bhungroo" invention is protecting thousands of farmers from drought and monsoon floods.
Joel Barker's insight:

A surprsingly simple solution to controlling heavy rains and droughts using the same system. Important in the short run but we will still have to deal with the influx of seawater along the coasts around the world.  JB

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Scientists Discover a New Type of Photosynthesis

Scientists Discover a New Type of Photosynthesis | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
The discovery changes our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite the textbooks. It will also tailor the way we hunt for alien life and provide insights into how we could engineer more efficient crops that take advantage of longer wavelengths of light.
Joel Barker's insight:

All of a sudden, what was invisible becomes obvious. Mother Nature didn't evolve just one kind of photosynthesis. The result is new boundaries, enlarged boundaries for this essential biochemical process. It will be interesting to see what else this discovery leads to.  JB

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Ultra-capacitor hybrid radically boosts power and efficiency of lithium batteries

Combining the unique strengths of lithium batteries with crazy-fast charging, carbon ultra-capacitors could save a ton of weight and add significant range and power to electric vehicles, according to this fascinating French startup.
Joel Barker's insight:

Here comes the next genertaion of battery-super capacitors. Because the super cap can be filled in SECONDS, it is a perfect candidate for charging while moving. City buses as a good example. But also long distance driving where a charging strip can be driven over at 70 miles per hour. Very promising!  JB

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The head-first VTOL personal aircraft concept not for the faint of heart

The head-first VTOL personal aircraft concept not for the faint of heart | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
Yes, that's a head poking out the end of this terrifying personal flight concept. Called the Dart Flyer, it's essentially a quadcopter with a winged pilot cocoon on top of it. Definitely not one for nervous flyers, it's been submitted as a contender in the GoFly challenge, sponsored by Boeing.
Joel Barker's insight:

Oh, boy! And so it follows logically that the drone paradigm scales up to include a human being as pilot in a very small vehicle. looks like fun!  JB

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Natural Sorting Mechanism Allows Bacteria to Preserve Diversity

Natural Sorting Mechanism Allows Bacteria to Preserve Diversity | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
Yale University researchers have discovered a natural sorting mechanism that allows colonies of E. coli to preserve individual differences, yet move in concert while migrating over long distances.
Joel Barker's insight:

I made a video  on diversity and how it affects innovation and wealth. This article extends the importance of diversity.  JB

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Magnax prepares to manufacture radically high-powered, compact axial flux electric motor

After nearly a decade in development, Belgian startup Magnax claims it has developed an ultra-high power, lightweight, compact axial flux electric motor with performance figures that blow away everything in the conventional world. Crucially, it says it's worked out how to manufacture them, too.
Joel Barker's insight:

Yin and yang; batteries and electric motors. Here is a breakthrough on a old electric motor paradigm, now made modern and vastly more efficient.  JB

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Fuel Cells Finally Find a Killer App: Carbon Capture - IEEE Spectrum

Fuel Cells Finally Find a Killer App: Carbon Capture - IEEE Spectrum | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
At an Alabama power plant, FuelCell Energy and ExxonMobil aim to capture 90 percent of CO2
Joel Barker's insight:

This article is one chapter in Blueprints for a Miracle. Through this web address you can access the other 9 miracles. There is a lot of practical vision in these essays.  JB

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New technology could slash carbon emissions from aluminium production | Environment | The Guardian

New technology could slash carbon emissions from aluminium production | Environment | The Guardian | Short Look at the Long View | Scoop.it
Development could transform how one of the world’s most common materials is made
Joel Barker's insight:

And so we see, one by one, industries taking their part in climate change correction. Good deal!!  JB

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