Lab-grown wood could let us grow furniture in a lab instead of in a forest

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Why cut down trees when you can grow wood in the exact shape you need? Scientists have already figured out how to grow meat in a lab, nurturing animal cells to multiply into chicken cutlets and burger patties . Now, MIT researchers are hoping to do the same with wood, to quickly produce in a lab what would take decades to grow in nature. From there, they could even coax wood tissue to grow into fully-formed shapes—like, say, a table—in order to mitigate the environmental harm of the logging and construction industries Read Full Story

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This see-through wood could replace glass windows

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It’s lighter, stronger, easier to make, and would make it easier to heat and cool buildings. A sheet of transparent new material at a University of Maryland lab looks like it might be plastic. But it’s actually wood—and it could eventually be used to make energy-efficient windows or even see-through buildings. Read Full Story

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These three timber buildings could represent the future of green architecture

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Timber buildings are popping up around the world. Are they the solution to construction’s carbon problem? Construction materials alone, including carbon and steel, contribute 11% of global carbon emissions (by comparison, air travel contributes about 2.5%). That’s why architects and development companies around the world are opting for a novel but not-so-new solution: wood. A study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, found that with proper forest management, a global boom in wood buildings could sequester up to 700 million tons of carbon a year (wood naturally stores carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere). The idea is catching on: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has proposed a 12-acre timber neighborhood in Toronto, while in February, France mandated that all public buildings after 2022 be constructed of at least 50% wood or other organic materials. The University of Arkansas completed the largest timber building in the …

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CB2 brings back pieces by ‘Mad Men’-era designer Paul McCobb

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Paul McCobb shaped the modern American aesthetic. For the first time in 50 years, his work will be mass-produced in the United States—and the pieces are surprisingly affordable. Even if you don’t know the midcentury American designer Paul McCobb, you may still find his furniture familiar. He specialized in simple, minimal wood and metal pieces that defined the Mad Men era of American design. Read Full Story

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3 Cathie Wood Internet Stocks to Buy Now

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Cathie Wood is betting on technology companies with disruptive innovations that are expected to kick start the fourth industrial revolution globally. Given the market’s current high volatility, Wood has hedged a portion of her portfolio through investments in large-cap tech stocks with impressive performance histories, namely Facebook, Inc. (FB), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), and Baidu Inc. (BIDU). Read on to learn why these stocks could be solid bets now.

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This lab-grown chicken just got the world’s first regulatory approval

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In a few Singaporean restaurants, the chicken on the menu will come from a bioreactor, not a farm. Four years ago, the San Francisco-based alternative protein company Eat Just (formerly named simply Just, and Hampton Creek before that) was most well-known for the plant-based egg alternatives that served as the base for Just Mayo , its flagship eggless, vegan mayo substitute. But the company wanted to go further than just finding plants that could mimic the taste and feel of meat products: It pushed into lab-grown, or “cultivated meat,” and started working on growing real chicken from cells. Two years ago, Fast Company tried some of the chicken prototypes at Eat Just’s headquarters . Now, it’s become the first company to gain regulatory approval to begin selling meat grown in a bioreactor. Read Full Story

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How businesses could emerge better after COVID-19, according to B Lab

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“This is an opportunity for us to focus on both how business and government play a role in building a more resilient economic system for the next crisis.” As the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing economic fallout grows, many companies shifted their policies—in some cases, giving low-wage hourly and gig workers temporary access to paid sick leave for the first time. But when the crisis is over, will the companies that survive make more lasting changes? Read Full Story

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This onion-shaped sculpture is actually a delivery drone launch station

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It’s part of Matternet’s system of using drones to deliver medical samples to labs faster. In a few weeks, when a new drone station is installed outside a hospital in Lugano, Switzerland, hospital staff will put samples that need to get tested inside, and the station will autonomously load those samples into a drone. Then the top of the onion-shaped tower will unfurl to launch the drone into the air—sending the package to a nearby lab for quicker results than would otherwise be possible. Read Full Story

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The alarming link between C-sections and hospital design

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The size and shape of a labor and delivery unit, the standardization of patient rooms, and the distribution of nursing stations can all influence C-section rates at hospitals. In the United States, one third of babies are born by cesarean delivery; but up to 45% of these surgeries may not medically indicated. The rates of cesarean delivery vary dramatically from hospital to hospital—from a modest 7% at some facilities to a whopping 70% at others. A study conducted by Ariadne Labs, a health system innovation center, and MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture firm, looked at how different aspects of the physical design of a hospital labor and delivery unit could lead to a higher rate of cesarean deliveries. Read Full Story

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How one lab is turning algae into flip-flops—and taking on Big Plastic in the process

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Traditional plastic is terrible for the environment. This biodegradable plastic could be a solution. If you stand on a beach in India or Thailand, you’ll likely see dozens of flip-flops wash up onto the shore . An estimated three billion end up in waterways or the ocean every single year, choking sea life and breaking into tiny particles that end up in the food chain. Read Full Story

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