Weekly Round Up: How science brings real hope

Things we have hoped for since our youth that may be coming true

Hope For Energy Forget our earlier testy blogs about nuclear fusion. There’s real hope that working reactors may be really possible. Here’s Nature

An experimental reactor in the United Kingdom has generated the highest-ever sustained energy from nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun. The Joint European Torus (JET) produced 59 megajoules of energy over a fusion ‘pulse’ of five seconds. JET’s success suggests that a follow-up project that uses the same technology and fuel mix — the ambitious US$22-billion ITER, scheduled to begin fusion experiments in 2025 — should eventually be able to achieve the ultimate goal: generating more energy than is put in.Nature | 5 min read

Helping the disabled to walk When we were young, a spinal injury was a sentence to life in a wheel chair. Still so? Read below

Three people once paralysed by complete spinal-cord injuries can walk, swim, pedal a bicycle and even paddle canoes, thanks to a device that stimulates neurons in their spinal cords. It is the first implant specifically designed to control movement by mimicking the signals the lower body usually receives from the brain and upper spinal cord. Each participant recovered some level of movement within one day of activating the implant, such as walking on a treadmill while their weight was supported.Nature | 5 min read
Reference: Nature Medicine paper

Hope for the hungry Imagine if everyone in Africa could at last get some sort of decent meal, the way we do in European Countries, Maybe imaginative uses of crops will help, as Nadia Radzman describes in The Conversation


Hope For Michael Gove All of the above were developed by experts. People of whom British Minister Michael Gove famously said “I think the people of this country have had enough of experts… from organisations with acronyms saying they know what is best and consistently getting it wrong. (Sky news 3 June 2016)

So where’s the hope? That we will learn to stop listening to people like Michael Gove.

#fusion #spina; implants #world hunger #michael gove

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