Experts

Cell-based meat approved in the US for the first time ever

Earlier this week it was announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared UPSIDE Foods’ cultured chicken safe to eat. This approval came in the form of a No Questions Letter from the FDA in response to the application for GRAS, or Generally Regarded as Safe, status submitted by UPSIDE Foods. …

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A mother hugging a baby

Oral Contraception Doubled the Sales of Ballpoint Pens (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 9)

Russell Marker was a man who was good at finding answers and, in late 1941, he found in the book of a botanist friend an answer he had been seeking for a long time. Dioscorea mexicana, or the Mexican yam, is found throughout Mexico and down to Panama and can grow to several hundred pounds …

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a coffee cup filled with plastic pens, mostly Bic Cristal pens

Rocket to the Cristal (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 8)

By all accounts the crowds were buzzing with excitement one day in late October 1945 at Gimbels department store, located in Manhattan near the Empire State Building, to see the shiny new “Reynolds Rocket”. With a silver-plated steel body and refillable chamber, an estimated five thousand people showed up on the day it debuted for …

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An image of a future Sri Lanka

Clean technology disruptions can springboard Sri Lanka from economic collapse to unthinkable prosperity

Sri Lanka is deeply embroiled in a crisis. Fuel shortages have led to protests. Food protests have led to riots. The President fled the country and then resigned by email. A new President was just elected on Wednesday, July 20, but he is no outsider – he has been Prime Minister six times already. The …

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a woman wearing a silk kimono robe

Dropping Silk Stockings Created an Oral Health Revolution (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 7)

For most of human history, it was not routine for people to brush their teeth. But by the 1960s, majorities of most Western countries had a daily oral hygiene routine. Because oral hygiene is so central to wider health, the mainstreaming of dental care had a huge impact on the global disease burden, reducing the …

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Largest EU economy can reach 100% ‘clean energy’ by 2035 for less than fossil fuel spending

Germany can shift its entire electricity system onto solar, wind and batteries by 2030 for less than 1% of its GDP. And the country’s entire energy system can go 100% clean energy by 2035 for less than what it spends on fossil fuels. In 10-15 years, Germany can change everything, permanently ending the era of …

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feast

The Shipping Container Disruption Helped End Famines (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 6)

Images from Unsplash by Spencer Davis and Avel Chuklanov   The basics of life – energy, minerals, water, food – are not evenly distributed around the world, so peace and prosperity depend strongly on the ability to move goods and people quickly and cheaply. That’s how a seemingly obscure technology revolution starting in the mid-1950s …

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could spark global food riots – the solution is precision fermentation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is about to set in motion a chain of feedback effects leading to a sudden, rapid escalation of global political instability. Various UN agencies, and now the IMF, have warned of social unrest at a similar scale to the ‘Arab Spring’ events in 2011. What few understand is the role of key technology …

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The Coming Global Fertilizer Crisis – and How to Solve it (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 5)

A global food crisis is looming, with high natural gas prices driving up the cost of ammonia fertilizer and the war in Ukraine threatening this year’s crops from both there and Russia. The consequences of mishandling this crisis could be dire. Research by complexity theorist Yaneer Bar-Yam suggests that high food prices are directly connected …

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