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Good morning, this is Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN in Geneva and a board member of the GESDA Foundation. This year, with all efforts focused on fighting the pandemic, science has been in the spotlight as never before. Below I argue why it is not just the progress we make in science but also the values it promotes that are crucial for our future.

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Fabiola Gianotti,

05.12.2020


Anticipatory reads by GESDA


In the pan, a hamburger. The first one having been produced with meat cells grown not in an animal, but in a laboratory! We are in a London suburb, in August 2013. A group of about 200 journalists – lucky me amongst them – was invited to attend the live tasting of this first “cultured” piece of flesh. And to discover all the promises that go along with it, the two main ones being first to produce meat without having to feed animals and hence reduce the impacts on the environment, and, second, to… not kill any animal.

Now, seven years later, the first tiny pieces of lab-grown chicken have been approved for consumption in a restaurant in Singapore. Reading this fascinating news, it shows that we have come a long way. But there is a caveat: the costs. The high price of the growth factors required to develop the cells mean the price tags for pure cultured meat products are still measured in hundreds of dollars per kilo! So the Singapore restaurant’s first chicken meals will be chicken “bites” that use cultured chicken cells mixed with plant protein.

“We need a space-race-type commitment toward making meat from plants or growing it from cells,” says Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that works in meat alternatives. “We need a Manhattan Project focused on remaking meat.” Not impossible at all. But still another long way to go.

-Olivier Dessibourg

(EN)
Photo article

Two “chicken bites”. (Credit: JUST)

Cultured meat approved for consumers for the first time. The first to try will be restaurant-goers in Singapore.

MIT Technology Review (EN)

Researchers restore lost sight in mice, offering clues to reversing aging.

Science (EN)

Autonomous balloons take flight with artificial intelligence, opening up the prospect of unsupervised environmental monitoring.

Nature (EN)

How much do our genes restrict free will? New research reveals the extent to which our behaviour is influenced by our genes.

Singularity Hub (EN)

China stakes its claim to quantum supremacy, with a quantum computer it says outperformed a conventional supercomputer.

WIRED (EN)

Turning moon dust into oxygen. This would help to enable exploration and sustain life on the Moon.

SpaceRef (EN)

Green hydrogen: could it be key to a carbon-free economy? The fuel could play an important role in decarbonising hard-to-electrify sectors of the economy

e360.Yale (EN)

The dawn of digital medicine. The pandemic is ushering in the next trillion-dollar industry.

The Economist (EN)

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This selection is proposed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator GESDA, working on anticipating cutting-edge science and technological advances to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.


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