Seven From Seven:Holographic patients for medical students and the UK counts its plastic waste

1st July 2022

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

  1. In May, over 100,000 people made a count of the plastic waste they produced at home. Overwhelmingly, consumers were shocked by the amount of waste that they produced. In response, the British Retail Consortium said that the industry is investing in re-use and refill options to combat plastic waste, while the government is also introducing a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles.
  2. Researchers have developed new advances in non-destructive plant health monitoring to drive innovation in sustainable agriculture. It’s hoped this advancement will be critical in alleviating the conditions of 193 million people in the world who are currently facing food insecurity.
  3. Medical students in Cambridge are using holographic ‘patients’ in lifelike simulations to train for real-world scenarios. These ‘HoloScenarios’ give the students an opportunity to practice in a better environment than traditional simulations, which usually require more resources and expenses. Teams at Cambridge want this technology to have widespread availability so training can improve for medical students all over the world.
  4. ‘Glasshouse’, a greenhouse in West Sussex, has been designed to unfold and provide sunlight and ventilation for the 300 species of subtropical trees and plants growing inside. The house and garden are part of a National Trust site, designed to resemble a jewel in the landscape, and to also educate visitors on how the Silk Road influenced British horticulture.
  5. New artificial intelligence is being developed to listen to and understand signs of distress in chicken squawks. The new technology will assess the welfare of farmed chickens to ensure that all are taken care of effectively. The technology has already correctly distinguished distress calls from other barn noises with 97% accuracy. The developers’ goal is to create an environment in which the chickens can live with a reduced amount of distress and ultimately live better lives.
  6. Genomic research has found a connection between the red wolf – a critically endangered species – and the coyote. The relationship between the two could save the red wolf from extinction with the help of genetic variation.
  7. Nasa has launched a microwave-sized spacecraft into the moon’s orbit. The spacecraft is a test mission for the development of a future space station in the vicinity, and marks the first step of the Artemis mission which aims to return humans to the moon’s surface for the first time in 50 years.

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