London Interdisciplinary School ©2019

The Week in Good News (18/05)

22nd May

Posted by Kristen Stockdale

Scientists have revealed a proof-of-concept bionic human eye – and it could surpass the sensitivity of a human one. The eye is essentially a 3D artificial retina that features a highly dense array of extremely light-sensitive nanowires. Find out more >>

A Chinese surgeon has performed the world’s first stem-cell treatment for heart disease. The procedures consisted of injecting the men with heart muscle cells derived from stem cells. Find out more >> 

Scientists have rediscovered a rare blue bee, feared to be extinct since 2016. This research could have important implications for the bee’s chances for survival, helping to determine whether the species warrants Endangered Species Act protections. Find out more >>

Carlsberg and Coca-Cola are backing projects to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles. A biochemicals company in the Netherlands plans to kickstart the project which involves making plastics from plant sugars, rather than fossil fuels. Find out more >> 

Neuroscientists think they’ve found a previously unknown form of neural communication – one that can leap from neuron to neuron, even if they’ve been surgically severed. The study offers radical new insights about the way neurons might be talking to each other. Find out more >>

Researchers have found a way to make solar panels ‘sweat’ so that they cool down and increase their output. The atmospheric water collector sucks vapour from the air and condenses it into water. Find out more >>

A Canadian startup called Anahit Therapeutics is almost finished constructing a large psilocybin cultivation farm, where it plans to grow psychedelic mushrooms to use in pharmaceuticals. Evidence suggests that psilocybin can help to treat conditions ranging from depression to eating disorders. Find out more >>

Scientists have developed a new way to create “sights” for blind people. The new approach bypasses the eyes and delivers a sequence of electrical signals to the brain, creating the perception of a flowing light that traces a shape. Find out more >>

New AI techniques are able to identify and classify all of the galaxies and stars in large data sets from astronomy surveys. The deep-learning framework, called Morpheus, uses AI technologies originally developed for image and speech recognition, but is now able to automate some of the tasks traditionally done by astronomers. Find out more >>

OpenAI have released a new neural net, Jukebox, which creates pop music mashups in the style of over 9,000 bands and musicians. And, now, they’ve created a mashup of Britney Spears and Frank Sinatra. You heard that right. Find out more >>