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.
Aging

When Does Your Brain Start Aging?

Some people think the brain aging starts after 65. The onset of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of age-related dementia that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, usually occurs after age 65. However, decades of diligent work on this disorder have not resulted in any effective treatment. Could it be that we diagnose and treat brain aging too late? Do our brains begin to age long before any visible signs can be detected? A recent study found that people in middle age, who have older biological age, can have signs of advanced brain aging, diminished sensory-motor functions,...

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tablet screen showing a digital gut model

Inside the World of the Gut Microbiome

For the gut microbiome, which includes countless bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in our intestines, the abdomen constitutes a complete ecosystem. The gut microbiome has attracted a great deal of attention in scientific research in recent years. Diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and autism have been linked to the gut microbiome. Some companies see big opportunities in this robust field. In recent years researchers have made exciting discoveries that established a link between the gut microbiome and several diseases including cancer, autoimmune disorders, and autism. A young...

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Man and child buying meat in supermarket

Singapore leads the future of food with world-first approval of cultured meat sales

Cultured meat, also known as “lab-grown meat” or “clean meat”, is built up from layers of animal muscle cells cultivated in a bioreactor. Since the debut of a proof-of-concept hamburger patty in 2013, it has increasingly come to the attention of potential consumers and investors. Although the technology of cell culture has been well developed in the medical field, the concept still faces several challenges in making a commercial product as an alternative to animal protein. One of these challenges is regulatory approval.  This week, Singapore became the first country to overcome the...

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aqua drop

Finding the elusive aquaporin modulators

Aquaporins are channel proteins that facilitate the transport of water across cells. The discovery of aquaporins in 1992, for which researcher Peter Agre received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, opened the door to a new therapeutic approach for treating many health conditions. On one particular start-up’s journey in finding applicable aquaporin modulators, the student has become the master. Water is one of the substances that are essential for life on Earth and for the survival of all plants and animals. Although the importance of water transport has been recognized since ancient times, the...

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The new challenge in fighting old sepsis

While we have been battling with sepsis for centuries, now COVID19 added new challenges to this battle. Can Aquaporin-based therapy be our newest weapon against this malicious viral sepsis? “Patients typically develop a high fever, their Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is high. If we can get them to pass the two-week mark, they will survive.” Dr. Masab Moumneh, MD, ICU physician Sepsis – an elusive syndrome Sepsis has been defined as a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. First described by Hippocrates, it is one of the oldest topics...

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Cultivated red meat to be produced in Southeast Asia

Consumption of livestock products has increased tremendously in the last decade. In the next decade, the steepest growth in this sector is projected to come from South Asia and other parts of Asia. However, in the current landscape of cultured meat startups, not many companies from Asia are focused on red meat products. Is there a unique opportunity for cultivated red meat in Asia? Asia is recognized as the leader in fish and seafood production and consumption. However, the increase in its demand on meat in recent years is less recognized. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation...

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Bringing down the price tag of growth medium for cultivated meat

Header image: Cai Linton working in the lab (photo: Thomas Angus, Imperial College London) Cultivated meat has the potential to replace butchered animals as the main future source of protein. New start-ups in this field are aiming not only to deliver the end products, but also to provide technologies. When Cai Linton was introduced to the concept of cultivated meat in early 2019, he was excited about the opportunities presented by this potential revolution in the biosciences. He and his teammates, who are mostly still completing their college studies, decided to contribute to this new...

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Is India ready for lab-grown meat? (part 2)

India has been the fastest-growing major economy in the past few years. Within the next decades, India is also expected to surpass China and become the most populous country in the world. Can cultivated meat help to meet the country’s rising demand for protein? Varun Deshpande, Managing Director at Good Food Institute India, is quite confident that it will. When Varun Deshpande started The Good Food Institute India in December 2017, his mission was to offer producers and consumers an alternative to industrial animal agriculture. Today, with the support of Varun...

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Africa’s future is innovation

With the arrival of the first cultured meat start-up in South Africa, when will cultivated meat make its debut on the Africa continent? Mzansi Meat Co. is one of the companies that could define Africa’s future. Africa’s future is innovation In 2019, the World Economic Forum published an article describing Africa’s future as innovation rather than industrialization. Can Africa seize the opportunity of the fourth industrial revolution, which is merging our physical, digital, and biological worlds? Will Africa’s dominant agricultural, extractive, and manufacturing industries be disrupted...

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Investing in solutions for big problems

As a novel technology, will cell-based meat provide good investment returns? What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the future of food? When will a cultured meat company make its IPO debut? Few experts are better positioned than Andrew D. Ive, the founder and managing general partner for Big Idea Ventures, to answer these questions.  It’s a chilly Wednesday morning in New York, and the coronavirus pandemic is in full swing. Since face-to-face meetings are still out of the question, I met up for a virtual walk with Andrew D. Ive, the founder and GP of Big Idea Ventures (BIV), which...

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A doctor’s view on managing the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 is at the top of agendas worldwide, and many articles have been published in the past weeks on the best way to move forward. In an interview with Supertrends, Jørgen Thorball, a medical doctor with a solid track record of developing medical innovations, makes some practical suggestions from the view of an experienced medical doctor and a visionary life science entrepreneur. “With testing and treatment, I believe it is very likely we will be able to quickly manage the COVID-19 crisis.” Dr. Jørgen Thorball, MD At a time when one of the hottest debates is about when, and...

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Is India ready for lab-grown meat? (part 1)

With two government-backed research facilities, a young and well-developed startup company, and a population of 1.35 billion, will India become the next frontier in cell-based meat after the US? Will India become the next frontier in lab-grown meat? In 2016, India’s domestic poultry consumption was ranked as the fifth-largest in the world. With its growing population, rising disposable incomes, and changing food habits, the country needs more protein products to keep pace. The authorities in India seem to have the political will to encourage cell-based protein. Two facilities...

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One step closer to putting cultured meat on the table

Scalability and costs are two major challenges facing the cultured meat industry. British biotech company CellulaREvolution is offering a novel approach to addressing both challenges. Their technology facilitates continuous production of cells in serum-free conditions. Before co-founding CellulaREvolution together with Martina Miotto and Che Connon, two scientists from Newcastle University, Leo Groenewegen was the Chief Financial Officer of a company involved in cell therapy. When Leo met Martina and Che at a conference, they decided to collaborate, matching his entrepreneurial approach...

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Cultivated muscle cells living on computers

Scaling up is one of the biggest challenges for the cultivated meat industry. Simon Kahan is developing a computer modelling project to simulate the proliferation of cells in bioreactors. This project will enable innovators to test their bioreactors Computer modelling offers solutions for cultivated meat industry Experiments on living organisms, as commonly seen in the field of medicine, are far from ideal. They are time- and resource-consuming; they create waste and pollution; and often, they cause distress or even death for live animals. Computer modeling and simulations have yielded...

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