Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…
- The University of West Scotland has used artificial intelligence to compare scans amongst a database of thousands of x-rayed images from patients with Covid-19. This technology can identify a range of different lung diseases and potentially even cancers. The tech – which is available through an app – can diagnose patients in minutes with an accuracy of around 98% and could help ease pressure on hospitals by reducing diagnosis time for lung diseases and Covid-19.
- AWS Ocean Energy, a Scottish offshore energy company, has announced encouraging results from its wave energy generator. This wave energy device, which converts kinetic energy associated with a moving ocean wave into useful electrical energy, has been tested for the last six months in Orkney and the results exceeded expectations. The wave energy converter captured a high average power and was still able to deliver power in poor weather conditions. This could be effective for the future of sustainable energy sources and set the precedent for a greener planet.
- A group of scientists from the Black Dog Institute in Australia have found promising evidence that machine learning can predict potential suicidal behaviour, even thoughts! Tragically, suicide is still a main cause of death around the world. In Australia alone suicide is the primary cause of mortality for Australians aged 15 to 44, taking the lives of almost nine people daily. According to some estimates, suicide attempts happen up to 30 times more often than fatalities. So, it’s hoped this new technology could potentially save the lives of millions.
- Scientists have discovered through stem cell research that using technology to manufacture red blood cells could reduce the need for numerous blood transfusions amongst people who require them frequently. This is an exciting step for blood transfusions, as this new development could revolutionise treatments and take pressure off limited blood supplies.
- Postgrads from Dalhousie University are working on a crop-spraying rig that uses artificial intelligence to identify bugs and weeds that can harm crops such as potatoes. Instead of spraying the whole field, pattern-recognition systems spot unwanted invaders and direct nozzles to target them. With populations growing and temperatures rising, shifting to a more sustainable and fruitful future in agriculture has never been more important.
- Stanford University has created a new, wearable device that has a stretchable sensor which can assess the changing size of tumours under the skin. The non-invasive device is powered by batteries which can wirelessly transmit its findings to a smartphone app in real time. This ground-breaking research has opened new possibilities for the future of cancer treatment.
- UK firm Hydrogen in Motion (H2M) is currently converting an old diesel freight train in British Columbia into the Green Goat locomotive to run on a mix of hydrogen and battery power. The so-called switcher locomotive performs tasks such as transporting small loads of lumber or animal feed at rail yards. If all goes to plan, H2M will be put into commercial operation by the end of this year. The conversion of an old diesel-running locomotive into an efficient, green one is a major development for clean energy, proving that even old CO2 emitting machines can be made greener.
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