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Wormfood - December 16th, 2012

News > Global News Digest

Happy Holidays from Except Integrated Sustainability!

In this last 2012 installment of the Wormfood News Digest, we take a look at a number of current global developments, as well as some emerging stories and trends that we will surely hear well into 2013. Like always, we also include a wide variety of intriguing environmental, science, and technology news that you won't want to miss - all found below.

Global News

  • It's the end of the world as we know it! The world is on track to see "an unrecognisable planet" that is between 4 and 6 degrees hotter by the end of this century, according to new data on greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A highly anticipated UN report concludes: Rwanda is commanding and arming the rebel force that overtook a major city in eastern Congo this week. Uganda is providing more subtle backing to the rebels, whom the report accuses of recruiting hundreds of young boys and girls as soldiers
  • Despite being banned from conducting missile and nuclear tests, under the terms of U.N. sanctions, North Korea fired a rocket last week. U.S. Officials now say that the object that North Korea sent into space appears to be “tumbling out of control” as it orbits the Earth. 

Business & Economy

  • It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system.
  • Transcripts Expose Rate-Rigging at Libor, the Benchmark for Over $300 Trillion in Gobal Contracts

Energy & Environment

  • Australia’s first utility-scale solar farm officially opened in Western Australia

  • Princeton’s nanomesh nearly triples solar cell efficiency
  • A new report on China’s ecological footprint opens with some grim news for the planet as a whole: The demand humans place on the planet — in terms of land use, resource consumption, pollution, and so on — overshot the Earth’s threshold for sustaining that demand back in the early 1970s. Since then the gap has only grown wider.

Science, Technology, & Design

  • Obesity is now killing triple the number of people who die from malnutrition as it claims more than three million lives a year worldwide, according to a landmark study.
  • "By mimicking the mussel's ability to cling to objects, we created a substance that stays in place in a very dynamic environment with high flow velocities," Kastrup, a member of UBC's Centre for Blood Research, said in a statement.
  • Thirteen people with a form of the cancer called multiple myeloma were treated with genetically engineered T-cells, and all improved. "The fact we got a response in all 13, you can't get better than that," says James Noble, CEO of Adaptimmune in Abingdon, UK, which developed the treatment.
  • A Canadian company is reporting that it has developed Quantum Stealth, a material that renders the target “completely invisible by bending light waves around the target.” If the mock-up photos are to be believed, Quantum Stealth basically works like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

Urban Environment

  • Advances in OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology will transform the home with glowing walls and windows replacing single-point light sources 
  • Safer than kerosene and cheaper than solar, the GravityLight could help illuminate thousands of households in developing countries. Supporters can get a GravityLight of their own to try out.

Unexpected and Intriguing

  • Introducing the C-1, the world’s first gyroscopically-stabilized vehicle. At first glance, it looks great!
  • Researchers launching a new vector-based video codec this week are claiming their work will lead to the death of the pixel within the next five years

 

This bi-weekly digest is made by assembling items from all of Except’s people. Have questions, comments, or news items to suggest? E-mail matthew.fraser@except.nl. Read past Wormfood global news reports here.