Seven From Seven: New motor-neurone therapy and quarter-pounder environmental impact

12th August 2022

Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…

  1. Energy company Scottish Power is planning to build a £150m green hydrogen plant at the Port of Felixstowe to power trains, trucks and ships. The 100-megawatt plant at the Suffolk port will provide enough fuel to power 1300 hydrogen trucks from 2026. This is a fantastic large-scale use-case of hydrogen being used to cut fuel bills and carbon emissions.
  2. A survey from Novuna Business Finance found that nine in ten UK small business owners are taking action to cut carbon emissions. Many of the businesses say they were encouraged to increase sustainability ambitions and actions by their staff.
  3. A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry looked at the potential prebiotic benefits of a new artificial sweetener – Mogroside V. The sweetener passed both the sensory testing panel and promoted the growth of helpful gut bacteria. If commercialised, Mogroside V would reduce our reliance on sugar for making things taste better, while adding to the general health of the population. In theory, usually unhealthy highly sweet food could become healthy!
  4. A study of the environmental impact of 57,000 food products in the UK and Ireland has highlighted the extent to which plant-based meat alternatives are better for the planet than consuming real meat. Specifically, it was found that meat alternative products, such as veggie sausages and burgers, are up to ten times better for the environment than their meat counterparts.
  5. Puffin Produce, the brand behind Root Zero potatoes, has planted the first phase of its new ‘broadleaf woodland’ strategy in Pembrokeshire as part of the company’s plans to move into full carbon neutrality without third-party offsets. The Root Zero woodland will be managed for the next 15 to 20 years and is expected to sequester around 380 tonnes of carbon over the next 100 years.
  6. Tesco has debuted a first of its kind zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries from its distribution centres to stores in city centres, which the retailer said could replace 30,000 diesel-fuelled road miles with clean energy each year. The supermarket said the electric lorryt is now delivering to more than 400 stores in Greater London.
  7. Researchers believe they have found an “exciting new potential therapy” for motor neurone disease (MND), with a drug – named Terazosin – commonly used for other health treatments, such as treating enlarged prostates and high blood pressure. The treatment could slow the progression of paralysis associated with MND. The benefit of working with terazosin is that it is already prescribed for a different health condition, so it is safe for humans and could quickly move to the clinic.

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