Author: Jiqing Hansen

Having worked passionately for 15+ years in Medicine, I felt that I yearned to do something a little bit different, something that satisfies my curiosity and creativity, maybe something that helps to inform me and others what our world will look like in the future. That's when I took on the challenge of being the editor & expert relationship manager at Supertrends. I love the fact that I can still be in touch with my academic background when I am trying to understand and reach out to the experts in the most exciting fields. I also love the diverse and enthusiastic team at Supertrends. The best of all, I get to have a peek into the future, and I am at the position of helping many others to get the opportunity to look into the future.
thermal energy

Three Promising Trends in Renewable Thermal Energy

For over a century, non-renewable thermal energy sources including oil, coal, and natural gas have been used to generate electricity. As the focus of energy generation moves away from fossil fuels to renewable resources, thermal energy is increasingly turning green – thanks to innovations that can convert heat into electricity from unusual resources. Geothermal heat re-powers old oil and gas power plant Geothermal energy, the heat within the earth, is a reliable source of clean energy because the planet continuously radiates heat from its core. However, currently, only volcanic regions...

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Lightning-In-A-Bottle: New Fusion Tech Gets US$160M Funding

Lightning-In-A-Bottle: New Fusion Tech Gets US$160M Funding

Nuclear fusion start-up Zap Energy has completed a successful test on a prototype of its Z-pinch fusion technology. The company also raised US$160 million in Series C funding to further commercialize its technology. Nuclear fusion, the energy process that powers the Sun, has the potential to provide unlimited sustainable and safe energy. Researchers have been developing fusion projects by generating high pressure and temperatures or using lasers. US-based Zap Energy is taking a different approach that has been called “lightning-in-a-bottle”. Z-pinch technology is a type of...

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Food insecurity

Top Three Scalable Innovations to Tackle the Food Insecurity

The global population is expected to exceed 8.5 billion by 2030. By then food insecurity is expected to affect almost 10 percent of the population or 840 million people. Climate change and soil degradation have already caused a decline in the availability and quality of food. The situation further deteriorated following the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What should we do to tackle the food crisis? Here are three scalable innovations that can help to feed the world.  Data-driven soil remediation plans Although technology based on artificial intelligence (AI)...

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Two New Types of Crops Benefit Farmers and the Environment

Climate change is reducing crop yields and threatening global food security. At the same time, farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and the climate problem. Innovations in biotechnology could help to address this dilemma by developing more productive and resilient crops that have a lower environmental impact. Gene-editing for higher resistance For the first time in history, man-made climate change is occurring at a faster pace than plants can adapt to, causing a reduction in both yields and seed protein content. Many scientists are betting on the technology of gene...

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fermented food

Fermented food: From cheese to future proteins

Precision fermentation is the process of using genetically engineered microorganisms to produce specific molecules, such as milk. You may think it will take years, if not decades, until food products made from this technology can be found in your local grocery store. The truth is, you may have been eating food produced by precision fermentation for years, in the form of cheese.  The story of cheese The first step in making cheese from milk is coagulation, which separates the solids from the liquids. Rennet, an important enzyme responsible for curdling milk, is added in this step....

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innovation 2022

Innovations To Expect in 2022

Which innovations will emerge in your industry in 2022? A look at the Supertrends timeline reveals predictions such as “NASA’s space probe collides with an asteroid” in a manner similar to the popular Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up”, “Hyperimaging and AI provide humans with X-ray vision”, and “First commercial flight of a passenger air taxi”. In fact, the advances in technology may exceed your expectations in many areas. Let’s take a look at the most striking innovations that we can expect in 2022. Healthcare industry: COVID-19, next-generation vaccines, and digitalization  Innovations...

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Supertrends in 2021 – breakthroughs, moving trends, and trends to keep an eye on

In 2021, a 50-year-old challenge – the protein folding problem – was solved by AI, starch was produced synthetically from air, the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge opened in Amsterdam, and one in four people in the US used cannabis.  These are some of the many predictions on the Supertrends timeline of the future that were fulfilled this year, while some others were not. In the following, we will look at the breakthroughs, the trends that moved faster than expected, the trends being pushed backward, and the trends you should keep an eye on as 2021 draws to a close.  The...

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digitalization agriculture

Nanosensors Benefit Small Farmers and Reduce Pollution

Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers pollute rivers, oceans, air, and soil. Yet small farmers rely on them to produce food. Researchers from Singapore are working on ways to improve the efficiency of these tools and reduce pollution at the same time.  Disruptive technology for a more sustainable agriculture In an age when sustainability is becoming a major concern, traditional agriculture faces a dilemma between preserving resources and meeting the increasing demand for food. This is where innovative technology comes into play. DiSTAP (Disruptive & Sustainable Technologies...

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sepsis

One Step Closer to an Innovative Therapy for Sepsis

Not many people know how dangerous sepsis is. Even fewer people know that there is no specific therapy available to treat sepsis. Sepsis, a disorder that is developed from infections, can lead to limb amputations and deaths in a matter of days. For decades, it has remained one of the deadliest and costliest medical conditions. Now a startup is getting one step closer to finding an innovative therapy. Finding an innovative approach Computer illustration of a cutaway view of the human cell membrane. The yellow channels are aquaporins. Aquaporin is a channel protein found in plants,...

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palm tree farmers

AI-Powered Ear Helps Small Farmers to Detect a Dangerous Pest

How can farmers, especially small farmers, benefit from a modern technology like AI? With this question in mind, Supertrends interviewed Zeid Sinokrot, the founder and CEO of Palmear, who is developing an AI-powered tool to help small palm tree farmers detect a dangerous pest.  The red palm weevil: A global threat that is hard to detect “The red palm weevil has become a global threat and demands a global strategy to eradicate it.” – Jose Graziano da Silva, Head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Originally endemic to South Asia, the Red Palm Weevil (RPW) attacks...

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Sheep farming

Sheep Farming – The Last Frontier in the Chinese Livestock Industry

Gao Yuhong, an agriculture professor at the College of Animal Science and Technology, Hebei Agriculture University in China, has been working almost exclusively on sheep farming for the last few years. Why sheep farming? “Sheep farming is the last frontier in the Chinese livestock industry,” Gao told Supertrends in an interview. Growing production and demand A sheep farm Gao has visited Mutton and lamb meat hold a special place in the Chinese culinary culture. They are not only delicacies but are also considered to be especially nutritious in traditional Chinese medicine. In line with...

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Artificial Intelligence becomes an essential part of future healthcare

In many developed countries, healthcare has become an unsustainable business in recent years, partly due to the aging population and prevalence of chronic diseases. In the US, healthcare spending grew 4.6 percent in 2019 alone, amounting to US$3.8 trillion, or 18 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, this increase in spending did not translate into better patient care, nor has it reduced resource scarcity and imbalance in the healthcare industry. How can we transform the healthcare sector to make it more efficient and sustainable? Artificial intelligence (AI) will play...

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Aquaporins

Aquaporins: Purifying Water with Nature’s Own Filter

While many human activities affect the environment in negative ways, nature’s solutions often are more efficient and sustainable. How do plants and animals purify water? What can we learn from them about filtration? With these questions in mind, Supertrends talked to two executives from Aquaporin, a water tech company delivering innovative technology based on nature’s own water filter.    Aquaporins: the truly natural water filters The cells in Aquaporins are channel proteins that facilitate the transport of water across cells. Through aquaporins, cells in plants, animals, and...

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Sepsis patients

Four Supertrends Experts Share Their Insights on Sepsis

On 13 September 2021, World Sepsis Day will be observed for the tenth time. Sepsis, a disorder that is caused by infections, can lead to limb amputations and deaths in a matter of days. The condition kills at least 11 million people every year globally. However, the condition is still not well known, with only from 7 to 50 percent of respondents being familiar with the term, and many having an incorrect understanding of the condition. Supertrends asked four experts to comment on current sepsis-related trends and challenges.  COVID-19 and viral sepsis Traditionally, bacterial infections...

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