Canberra, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Australia's national science agency has teamed up with a fast food restaurant to develop a plant-based alternative to beef hamburgers.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Hungry Jack's, a franchisee of U.S. chain Burger King, have joined forces make and market a legume-based burger patty under a joint venture named v2food.
The burger aims to mimic the taste and texture of beef with the added benefits of fiber and nutrients as well as being environmentally friendly.
According to research by the George Institute for Global Health the sales of meat-free burger products in Australia grew by 289 percent between 2010 and 2019.
The CSIRO projects that Australia's plant-based protein industry will be worth more than 6 billion Australian dollars (4 U.S. billion dollars) by 2030.
However, Hungry Jack's owner Jack Cowin said that the industry should not be considered an enemy of the beef industry.
"We sell 30,000 tonnes of meat and we hope to be able to continue to sell the same amount of beef as we always have," he said recently, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
"We will attract a different audience that aren't currently buying products because of sustainability reasons."
Nick Hazell, the chief executive of v2food, said that the venture was born out of necessity because of the global increase in meat consumption.
"The population is growing towards 10 billion and meat consumption is also growing per capita. When you do the maths, it's actually impossible for us to feed the planet," he said.
However, the assumption that "fake meat" is healthier than the real thing, is warned against by Curtin University nutrition and public health researcher Christina Pollard.
"The problem is that often these products are not healthier than the meat-based original, because they are still heavily processed and high in fat and salt," Pollard said.
San Francisco, Oct 2 (AP/UNB) — Google is rolling out more tools for users to control their privacy settings.
The company and other tech giants are facing increased scrutiny over the amount of data they collect from their users. Google and Facebook both debuted new privacy tools this year.
Now, YouTube users will be able to set their search and viewing histories to auto-delete after a set period of time.
Google Maps will have an incognito mode, which means a user's movements won't be recorded when it's turned on. It will be available on Android this month. Google did not give an exact date for iOS.
Google also says people will be able to delete their voice histories from artificial intelligence system Assistant using a voice command.
It is also adding a way for users to check their passwords via a password manager to make sure they are still secure.
Washington, Sept 12 (AP/UNB) — Researchers report two newly discovered species of electric eels in South America, one of which can deliver a bigger jolt than any other known animal.
The researchers collected 107 eels in four countries and found differences in their DNA, along with minor physical variations.
One species had the ability to generate 860 volts of electricity, more than the 650 volts discharged by the only previously identified type of electric eel.
While 250 species of fish in South America generate electricity, only electric eels use it to stun prey and for self-protection.
Study leader C. David de Santana of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History says the discovery illustrates the importance of protecting and studying the Amazon rainforest area.
The study was published this week in the journal Nature Communications.
Moscow, Aug 27 (AP/UNB) — A Russian space capsule carrying a humanoid robot has successfully docked at the International Space Station after a failed attempt last week.
Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday that the capsule carrying the robot and other cargo docked at the orbiting lab early morning Moscow time.
The robot, called Fedor, sent out a tweet upon arriving saying: "Sorry about the delay. Got stuck in traffic. Ready to work now."
The capsule was launched Thursday as part of tests of a new rocket that is expected to replace the workhorse Soyuz-FG next year, but failed to dock.
Now it has safely arrived, Fedor will perform two weeks of tests aboard the space station.
Cremona, Aug 26 (AP/UNB) — Eggs removed from the last two female northern white rhinos have been fertilized with sperm from the now-dead last male, but it will be about 10 days before it's known whether the eggs have become embryos, an Italian assisted-breeding company said Monday.
"We expect some of them will develop into an embryo," Cesare Galli, a founder of Avantea and an expert in animal cloning, said.
Avantea said that only seven of 10 eggs extracted last week from the females in Kenya could be used in the fertilization attempts Sunday using frozen sperm that had been taken from the male, which died in March 2018.
Wildlife experts and veterinarians are hoping that the species can reproduce via a surrogate mother rhino.
The Associated Press was granted exclusive access to the laboratory to film the procedure being carried out on Sunday.
Galli, a founder of the company, said that to improve chances for a species' continuation, it is better not to "get to the last two individuals before you use this technology."
The male, a 45-year-year-old named Sudan, gained fame in 2017 with his listing as "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World" on the Tinder dating app in a fundraising effort. Sudan was euthanized after age-related complications.
Decades of poaching decimated the northern white rhino's numbers.
The ultimate goal is to create a herd of at least five animals that could be returned to their natural habit in Africa. That could take decades.
Sudan was the last of his kind to be born in the wild, in the country he was named after.
Other rhinos — the southern white rhino and the black rhino — are also prey for poachers, who kill them for their horns to supply illegal markets in parts of Asia.