The blood diamond trade is tearing the Central African Republic apart

The Central African Republic (CAR)—one of the poorest countries in the world—has been embroiled in intense religious conflict since Dec. 2012. Fighting between the predominantly Muslim rebels (known as the Séléka) and Christian/animist anti-balaka militia broke out when the former accused Christian president François Bozizé of violating peace agreements laid down in 2007 and 2011. […]

http://qz.com/514441/the-blood-diamond-trade-is-tearing-the-central-african-republic-apart/

After braving death to reach Europe, this is the final test refugees must pass to win asylum

Europe is the middle of its biggest refugee crisis since World War II. As hundreds of thousands of migrants come to seek a better life, European governments have to determine who to let in and who to keep out. In order to be granted asylum as refugees, they have to convince border agencies they are fleeing serious […]

http://qz.com/508785/these-companies-use-language-to-determine-which-migrants-get-to-stay-in-europe-but-does-it-work/

This breakfast machine makes pancakes in any shape you want

Pancakes are both the simplest and most difficult breakfast food to make. Just about anyone can slop batter onto a hot griddle, but cooking to the right level of fluffiness and crispiness requires levels of patience and skill that few have first thing in the morning. A new robot called Pancake Bot may be the solution to that. […]

http://qz.com/514557/this-breakfast-machine-makes-pancakes-in-any-shape-you-want/

New US credit cards are about to make tipping a lot more awkward

In the US, where waiters and bartenders earn a good chunk of their bread and butter off tips, the handing over of the bill to customers is a sacred ritual in which much income is made or lost. Unlike in Europe, Americans typically add their tip on paper at the table when they approve the final charge. But that ritual will […]

http://qz.com/513592/the-way-you-tip-your-waiters-is-about-to-change/

Apple’s new setting means you’ll never lose your cursor again

I swear: It was there a second ago. Every computer user has that moment of panic every so often when you reach for the mouse, move it around, and can’t find the cursor onscreen. We all know it has to be there, and that it will probably reappear, but still we flail the mouse around in frustration. A […]

http://qz.com/514812/apples-new-setting-means-youll-never-lose-your-cursor-again/

NUSwan: Robot Swans for Highly Advanced Water Monitoring

Biotechin.Asia

Fig 4spare A researcher placing a NUSwan in Padang Reservoir for advanced water monitoring. Credits: NUS Environmental Research Institute

Assistant Professor Dr Mandar Chitre and his team of researchers from NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI) developed robot swans that conduct highly advanced water monitoring. They recently tested this new technology at Singapore’s Padang Reservoir. The robot swans move around areas of interest in water bodies and send data wirelessly via cloud computing. Operators and programmers can remotely control the robot swans. This invention is potentially a new paradigm for freshwater testing in Singapore and around the globe.

We conducted an interview with the NUS team behind the robotic swans, also known as NUSwan. Read our conversation below for exclusive insights into this new ground-breaking technology!

Fig 4C Researchers using a remote to control a NUSwan. Credits: NUS Environmental Research Institute

Describe NUSwan and share the different compounds NUSwan measures.

This is a research project…

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Indian scientist receives European award for biomedical research

Biotechin.Asia

Dr. Vijay Tiwari (photo: Thomas Hartmann, JGU) Dr. Vijay Tiwari (photo: Thomas Hartmann, JGU)

Dr Vijay Tiwari, a Indian scientist, was recently honoured with Wilhelm Sander Award in recognition of his outstanding research in the biomedicine field. He received this award at a ceremony in Munich with Prof. Dr Harald zur Hausen as a chief guest, who received the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine 2008 for his research on cancer of the cervix.

Dr Tiwari currently heads a team of international scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Germany where he and his team are researching the cellular processes underlying development and cancer. Ordinarily, cells in the body have a clear identity, e.g., a cell in the skin belongs in the skin and is different to a nerve cell in the brain. In metastatic cancers, tumorous cells have lost this tissue identity, and are able to move to other parts of the body, where they…

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