Beer Can Now Make You Healthier

If you’re planning to lose your beer belly, you may want to think twice. This probiotic beer might change the game.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore recently announced that they’ve created a new beer infused with probiotics, or the sort of “good” bacteria that’s been shown to promote digestion and various other bodily functions.

The recipe, which took nine months to perfect, contains 3.5% alcohol. It undergoes an alternative fermentation process and contains a probiotic strain that regulates the immune system.

There’s been a huge increase in interest in probiotics lately with more and more people consuming things like fermented vegetables, yogurts, and kombucha.

Clearly, probiotics are becoming quite the fad. While we’re all dying to know when this new brew is hitting shelves, we can rest easy knowing the recipe has been patented.

Perhaps a cheers to this Singaporean group of geniuses?

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Cattle Farmer Saves Cows From Slaughterhouse

I have met quite a number of vegetarian chefs who serve meat on a regular basis. In fact, it isn’t really uncommon. U.K. native Jay Wilde is also vegetarian. The difference is, he owns a cattle farm. After sending his cows to the slaughterhouse for 6 years, he recently decided he could no longer do so. Instead, he sent his remaining 59 to an animal sanctuary.

“I began to see that cows recognize each other, and they’ve got very good memories. They experience a range of emotions – they can be sad, happy, bored or excited. They do also have facial expressions. You can tell what a cow is thinking by looking at them. I’ve even seen cows cry.”

Giving up his cattle meant Wilde would also have to say goodbye to a potential £40,000 paycheck for his herd. However, Wilde seems to be at peace with his decision, knowing his beloved “pets” are now with Hillside Animal Sanctuary.

“I know farmers are supposed to have a very matter-of-fact attitude about their animals and think they’re only here as a crop but, when you know them, you do realize that they do have individual personalities. They’re alive, not in a human way, but they do have their own experience of the world and it must be terrifying to be sent for slaughter. It just didn’t feel a good thing to do.”

Wilde is now a vegetable farmer who works alongside 11 free-roaming cows. He plans to open up a vegan restaurant accompanied by a teaching kitchen and accommodation.

Looks like I’m getting on a flight to England!

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Restaurants Saving Reefs With Oyster Shells

If there’s one industry proving itself to be an environmental hero, it’s the food industry. Restaurants have been teaming up to donate food to the needy as well as come up with more sustainable recipes. Now, restaurants in the Gulf Coast are giving back to nature by returning empty oyster shells.

While it’s common practice among seafood restaurants to send their empty shells to landfill with the rest of their waste, a handful of regions are beginning to put the shells to more productive use by returning them to the ocean, where they become the building blocks of restored oyster beds.

But if the discarded shells are empty, how are they helping to repair reefs? Not to worry. Young oysters will cling to unoccupied shells. The Nature Conservancy has since called for a $150 million investment in the hopes of repairing 100 miles of reefs.

the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the program has collected over 2.8 million oyster shells–enough to cover 5.5 acres in the Gulf. Each oyster shell returned to the ocean, Berte says, can become the habitat for 10 baby oysters. Additionally, adult oysters can filter around 15 gallons of water a day–significant for a region plagued with water-quality issues.

The reef restoration program has continued to prove the success of sustainable businesses. If more shell donations mean more oyster servings, I know I’m definitely off to a seafood joint tonight.

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You Can Now Grow Your Own Furniture

Looks like Home Depot is going to see a dip in sales because homegrown furniture is now a reality. Evocative Design is offering consumers a “Grow It Yourself” initiative using mushroom-based materials. (Unfortunately, you can’t choose to eat them.)

[The kit] designed to use the same mycelium (that’s the vegetative part of a fungus) technology to give customers at home the chance to create their own projects and products.

“College design students [have] created everything from a piggybank to jewelry to a guitar. Makers have created chairs, clocks and even a wedding dress.”

For busybodies, pre-grown kits are available for no-hassle assembly. Otherwise, customers can order a bag of mushroom material to grow… well… pretty much anything.

“In nature, fungi and mushrooms are nature’s recyclers. With Ecovative’s patented Mushroom Material, we can take any regional waste stream and upcycle it into a higher value product.  At the end of that product’s life cycle, it will passively return to the earth.”

Can I build a hair dryer with this stuff?

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Tripod Dogs Can Now Get Prosthetics

From learning sign language to aiding baby cheetahs, I think it’s safe to say dogs make the world a better place. (Not to mention cuter) But some dogs need our help, too. With the amount of dogs needing prosthetics at a high, animal medical centers are doing what they can. OrthoPets in Colorado is now the biggest prostheses manufacturer for tripod dogs.

“We have about 20 different devices that we can fabricate,” said OrthoPets founder Amy Kaufmann. The procedure is multi-step and involves advanced computer scanning and 3D printing.

OrthoPets has worked on more than 13,000 animals from 35 different countries since 2003. And not just dogs; peacocks and llamas are among the animals they’ve built devices for.

While the devices don’t come cheap (they start at around $1,500) owners claim they are worth it.

“Clients are treating their pets as they would their child, and when they learn that they can do something to help their pet in the same way they would for their child, they choose to do it for their dog as well.”

Who says a dog isn’t a real baby?

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Meet The Serial Tree-Planter From Bangladesh

After India’s record-breaking tree-planting stunt, it seems more independent environmentalists are walking into the spotlight. For 60-year-old Abdul Samad Sheikh, tree-planting is just part of a daily routine.

He has planted at least one tree every day since he was 12-years-old, which means that he has so far planted a small forest of over 17,500 trees.

Fondly known as “Tree Samad” in his native town of Faridpur, central Bangadesh, [Abdul] worked as a rickshaw driver for most of his life.

Abdul earns barely a buck a day, yet dedicates his earnings to purchasing at least one tree per day. He claims to suffer sleepless nights if he has not planted anything. But his passion extends far past his love for nature.

“It’s not only the trees,” Abdul’s neighbor, Sakandar Ali, adds. “Samad is a very helpful man. One can ask of him anything and he will do his best to help without reservation. His is that rare type of personality that is so much needed in our society.”

They say one man can’t make a difference. Abdul has clearly proved us wrong!

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Teach Kids To Program With These Tech Toys

I find that the world’s most difficult task is getting my niece to put down her smartphone. Enticing her with a book is impossible. Kicking a ball in my sister’s backyard is no longer something she finds interesting. If we can’t get kids to experience the ‘real world’, Tech Toys has come up with a different solution. The Kitronik MOVE mini and Piper Computer Kit are bring the “learn by building” concept to a whole new level.

The Kitronik MOVE mini for BBC micro:bit is an autonomous (or remote controlled), two-wheeled robot that provides an introduction to basic programming and robotics.

In English, the Kitronik MOVE mini is an entry-level lesson on robotics. Kids can follow a standard code or choose to write their own.

The Piper build starts with a Top Secret message giving you a mission to save the world… The sturdy wooden case is really fun and the screen, Raspberry PI, battery, speaker and circuitboard all connect easily.

The Piper integrates storytelling technology and, to put it simply, looks really cool.

Children’s gadgets are far from what they used to be. They are no longer just a means of entertainment, but a method of learning.

While both products target children, I can’t say I’m not looking to get my hands on both!

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DIY Therapy For Mental Health Sufferers

Growing up, I’d been told my paranoia was all in my head. Therapy was never an option due to my conservative background. I took mostly to self-help books and meditation, with no plan of action. Now, graduate designer Sara Lopez Ibanez has put together a kit that allows users to assess their mental health.

“The tools are a set of exercises to help understand emotional distress and how to feel better about it,” [Ibanez] said. “They were designed with people who have had experiences of mental health, in order to help others navigate their problems and reach out for help.”

The kit, dubbed Mindnosis, includes several tools. Discover comprises six colored triangles representing different aspects affecting the user’s wellbeing. Users can paste these onto a record journal. Try Out is a collection of activity cards, and Learn is a handful of informative cards.

“I believe it is important to be able to explore your concerns and try to make sense of them, before you feel ready to open up to others. As well as giving you information about wellbeing initiatives happening locally, so you have plenty of free resources while you wait for an appointment.”

Speaking about one’s emotions is never a simple task, but certain tools make it easier to do so. Nowadays, mental illness sufferers are getting the help they need–whether by virtual therapy or other means.

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Woman Goes The Distance To Save Swan

People putting their lives on the line for animals is not unheard of. Owners have made risky moves to save their pets, crossing busy roads and battling venomous snakes. But Coleby woman Pammi Moss pushed boundaries to save a swan trapped in fishing wire by jumping into Brayford Pool.

“At first I thought they were just admiring the swans but then I realised that the cygnet was on its side and it’s head was in the water. It raised its head a couple of times but it kept going under. I yelled that someone needed to do something… but we didn’t have time so I just went through the railings.”

Pammi’s bravado caught the attention of bystanders, who eventually wanted in on the rescue. She eventually gave the cygnet mouth-to-mouth, but to no avail.

“I just wish I’d been able to do more though – maybe if i’d been five minutes earlier?”

The cygnet is thought to be called Solo, who was around two months old.

The Yorkshire Swan Rescue now considers Pammi and unlikely hero. So whether you are delivering baby gorillas or fighting for elephant rights in Africa, consider yourself a champion for animals.

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Potential Cure For Diabetes Involves Mice

Often the guinea pigs of science, mice have surely seen better days. However, in a recent study on treatment options for diabetes, the mice tested experienced no side effects. In fact, they may have led us to a cure.

The discovery, made at The University of Texas Health Science Center… increases the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.

UT Health San Antonio researchers have a goal to reach human clinical trials in three years, but to do so they must first test the strategy in large-animal studies, which will cost an estimated $5 million.

Talk about cash for a cause! To achieve the cure, researchers used a therapy method called gene transferring.

A virus is used as a vector, or carrier, to introduce selected genes into the pancreas. These genes become incorporated and cause digestive enzymes and other cell types to make insulin.

The therapy regulates blood sugar in mice with extreme accuracy, which is something insulin hasn’t quite mastered. Gene transferring, however, replicates the characteristics of lost beta cells in diabetics.

So far, 2017 has been a milestone year for medical advancements. Alongside diabetes, treatments for ALS have also seen some improvements. So whether we’d like to think otherwise, a lot of medical breakthroughs wouldn’t be possible without our good old friend Mickey.

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