1. Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes
Photo: RIA Novosti
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Thanks to $70 million in support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, three research teams under Project Malaria have gained permission from Burkina Faso’s government to release up to 10,000 genetically engineered mosquitoes in the coming year. This is the first time any genetically modified animal would be released into the wild in Africa. These genetically engineered mosquitoes would have a “sterile male” mutation, preventing all males from producing offspring. In 2016 alone, nearly 216 million people were infected with malaria, and almost 720,000 people were killed by the parasite (nearly 90 percent of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa). This program further emphasizes the importance of education in science, and hopefully spurs additional support for enhancing the STEM curriculum in schools around the world.
2. Volvo Introduces Vera, the Future of Autonomous Vehicles
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Photo: Courtesy Volvo Trucks
Volvo Trucks in Sweden has unveiled the latest advance in driverless trucking. With the increase in ecommerce from Amazon and Alibaba, there is an increasing shortage of truck drivers. As a solution to the problem, Volvo introduces Vera, an autonomous, electric vehicle that can operate with significantly less exhaust emissions and low noise levels. Vera is controlled and monitored through a cloud-based system, and has the potential to make transportation safer, cleaner and more efficient. To watch a video of Vera, go to Youtube: https://youtu.be/2Gc1zz5bl8I
In front of 78,000 fans in Moscow this summer, France delivered a 4-2 victory over Croatia to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Without a doubt, the World Cup has become the most widely viewed sport on the planet and generated a record $6.1 billion dollars. With a current global television audience of 3.4 billion people, Chinese President Xi Jinping recognized the importance of the event back in 2015 and made soccer a national priority. Though China and the United States didn’t qualify this time, we can expect to see even bigger numbers in the future when they do.