Author: Chris Findlay

I'm a journalist, editor, and translator based in Zurich, Switzerland. I write about technology and future timelines at Supertrends.com, where I also help expand the community as Expert Relationship Manager.

Groundbreaking Recycling Method Could Expand Access to Rare Earths

SUPERTRENDS – One of the main levers for making electric vehicles more sustainable and commercially viable is the sourcing of rare chemical elements used in components. Nissan Motor and Waseda University have begun testing a newly developed method for recycling rare-earth elements (REEs) from the motor magnets of electric vehicles, which, if successful, could help stabilize prices for electric motors and ease the increasing demand for certain scarce metals that are indispensable for the successful transition to a more sustainable energy system.  The innovative recycling process,...

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Jim Mellon, author of Moo's Law

Jim Mellon Invokes ‘Moo’s Law’ for CellAg Meat

Jim Mellon is a British investor and entrepreneur. His latest book, Moo’s Law: An Investor’s Guide to the New Agrarian Revolution, is available via Harriman House and Amazon. The latest book by British tech investor Jim Mellon, Moo’s Law, explains why and how cultured meat technology will transform farming and revolutionize our food supply on a global level. In an interview with Supertrends, he discusses the growth and future prospects of cellular agriculture. The title of Jim Mellon’s new book on the cultured meat business – “Moo’s Law” ­– really says it all: He wrote his “investor’s...

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Blue Nalu head quarters

BlueNalu nets new funding for cell-based seafood products

Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu’s President + CEO, standing in front of their headquarters and pilot food production facility in San Diego; Photo Courtesy of BlueNalu With a new round of funding secured, the California-based company aims to make the first products available to US diners in the near future. BlueNalu, a US provider of cell-based seafood cultured in bioreactors, announced last week that it had recently secured US$60 million in financing. This comes in addition to the financing round of US$20 million announced in early 2020. “This will help us finance our work until the next...

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Robot Hand

Containing superintelligent AI is impossible, researchers find

“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Ever since the release of Stan Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey” more than 50 years ago, the sentient supercomputer HAL-9000 has embodied the fear of a superintelligence computer that emancipates itself from human oversight in order to complete its assignment. In this classic movie, HAL was depicted as turning increasingly neurotic. But today, powerful artificial intelligence is no longer a futuristic concept, and the idea that a superintelligent computer might wrest control from humans to fulfill the tasks it has been set with the highest...

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This image shows part of a protein from (Cellulophaga baltica crAss-like) phage phi14:2, a virus that infects bacteria. This phage is part of a group of viruses that includes the most abundant virus in the human gut. The protein itself (gp66) is a newly-discovered DNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

AI network unlocks secrets of protein structures

An algorithm has provided the key to predicting the three-dimensional shapes of folded proteins, opening new pathways for science, including in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and the discovery of new drugs.  Molecular biologists announced a major breakthrough in the mapping of proteins in the human body on 30 November 2020, after an artificial intelligence (AI) network managed to deduce the three-dimensional structure of a protein from the sequence of its amino acids. The AlphaFold 2 “deep learning” program, developed by Google subsidiary DeepMind, demonstrated the...

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Germany sets new record in renewable energy generation

In Germany, one of the world’s economic and industrial powerhouses, renewable energy production increased appreciably in 2020, both in absolute terms and relative to the country’s overall power generation capacity. But as the “Energiewende” (energy transition) progresses, when will consumers see a significant decline in prices? And when will Germany become fully climate-neutral?  News reports at the end of October indicated that Germany was on track to generate significantly more solar energy than in the previous year. So far in 2020, solar energy...

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Senolytics showcase link between life extension and therapeutics

A significant part of ongoing anti-aging research has conventional applications in the treatment of gerontological conditions while also opening up potential avenues for life extension. Two entrepreneurs – Lewis Gruber of Siwa Therapeutics and Marc Ramis Castelltort of Senolytic Therapeutics and Rejuversen AG – discuss how their cutting-edge research serves two purposes – to improve health at old age, and to move one step closer to the dream of vastly expanded human longevity. Over the past three to four decades, scientists have refined their understanding of cellular aging processes and...

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Extreme longevity: Why Aubrey de Grey believes we may live to age 1,000

British biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey is the unofficial doyen of the rejuvenation community, and one of the best-known advocates of the idea that vastly increased longevity could be attained in the near future. In an interview with Supertrends, he discussed the current state of the anti-aging industry. At age 57, does Aubrey de Grey believe that he will live to see the fruits of the labors of anti-aging science? “That, of course, is the question I am always asked,” he responds. “The answer is that we don’t really know.” After many years of promoting gerontological research, he has become...

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Green hydrogen: A freely convertible energy currency?

The EU announced on 8 July 2020 that it was launching “A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe”, which includes a substantial investment program to stimulate the emergence of a European hydrogen economy. This was only the latest in a series of developments suggesting that the technology is on the cusp of breakthrough. But what accounts for the growing hydrogen boom, and why is it taking off now? The advantages of hydrogen are clear, especially when it is generated through electrolysis in the form of “green hydrogen” using wind or solar power, with a conversion rate that currently...

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Cultured meat: Implications for businesses

Many business sectors will be affected by the rise of cultured meat companies as they try to take over market share in the coming years. The extent to which the new players will impact these sectors depends on certain key variables, such as the cost and acceptance of the new technology. A new way of self-sufficiency A breakthrough of Cultured Meat (CM) on the food market, especially if accompanied by a widespread proliferation of private bioreactors, would be yet another instance of a trend that is making consumers increasingly self-sufficient in their own homes. Just as 3-D printing...

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Cultured meat: A whole different animal?

Synthetic meat grown in-vitro in a petri dish, rather than gained from slaughtered animals, has a number of advantages and could be a game-changer in combating global hunger as well as climate change. Given recent advances, cultured meat technology and cellular agriculture could be mature and market-ready within just a few years. Humans have been eating meat for nearly two million years. In the early days of our species, we supported ourselves as scavengers and hunter-gatherers before gradually refining our skills in animal husbandry. Today, our carnivorous diet is almost entirely based...

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