What’s Going On?

Inside China’s ‘Mosquito Factory’ Fighting Zika And Dengue
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Zhiyong Xi is a man on a mission. He wants to rid China—and potentially the world—of mosquitoes, specifically the ones that carry devastating diseases like zika and dengue. And he’s doing it in the classic style of good versus evil. “We’re building good mosquitoes that can help us fight the bad ones,” the entomologist said in his 3,500-square-foot laboratory in Guangzhou, China.
 
Snapchat Unveils Strange Vending Machine For Its Sunglasses
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Snapchat unveiled a new line of funky sunglasses with a built-in wireless video camera in September, marking its first big move from apps to hardware. At the same time, the company renamed itself Snap Inc. Now those glasses, called Spectacles, are finally going on sale for $129.99, but there’s a catch. The company is only selling the glasses from unusual anthropomorphic vending machines called Snapbots, which look more than a little bit like Minions.
 
Forget IDs. You Only Need A Selfie To Enter This Tourist Destination
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You don’t need to bring a ticket, get your hand stamped or flash a driver’s licence for admission to one tourist destination in China. All visitors need is something they can’t lose—their face. Baidu, a Chinese tech company, began testing facial recognition technology last week in Wuzhen, a historic town with classic canals and architecture. The area receives millions of visitors each year.
 
Scientists To Create Fabric That Generates Electricity
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Scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a way to use diamondoids, the smallest possible bits of diamond, to assemble atoms into the thinnest possible electrical wires, just three atoms wide. By grabbing various types of atoms and putting them together, LEGO-style,the new technique could potentially be used to build tiny wires for a wide range of applications, including fabrics that generate electricity, optoelectronic devices that employ both electricity and light, and superconducting materials that conduct electricity without any loss.
 
Sawdust Reinvented Into Super Sponge For Oil Spills
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Lowly sawdust, the waste that’s sometimes tossed onto home garage floors to soak up oil spilt by amateur mechanics, could receive some newfound respect. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have chemically modified sawdust to make it exceptionally oil-attracting and buoyant—characteristics that are ideally suited for cleaning oil spills in the icy, turbulent waters of the Arctic. The non-toxic material absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months. Containing oil spills in cold waters is especially tricky, as bobbing ice chunks push oil below the water’s surface, making it difficult to collect.
 
Elon Musk Joins Donald Trump’s Team Of Advisories
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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has joined the business advisory team for US President-elect Donald Trump, along with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. After being named to Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, they joined him for a meeting in New York that included more than a dozen tech CEO giants of Silicon Valley offering input on a variety of topics. The conference attendees discussed, among other things, the repatriation of American profits kept overseas by prohibitive tax rates; improving America’s cybersecurity and infrastructure; the need for greater vocational education opportunities; and—most importantly—creating more jobs for American workers.

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