Innovation At Its Best

Grind for January 22nd, 2019
“The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte

Got Milk?

The Headline

New discovery about estrogen could lead to a cure for osteoporosis

The Grind

Osteoporosis is an age-related condition in which a patient’s bones gradually become weaker. The disease primarily affects women over the age of 65.

There is currently no cure for the disease, but that could change thanks to a recent discovery about the hormone estrogen.

The Details

You probably learned in school that estrogen is the primary female sex hormone. But did you know that it also plays a key role in the brain?

During a series of studies intended to learn more about estrogen, a team of scientists in California discovered that blocking the effects of estrogen in the brain led to increased bone mass – in some cases as much as 800%.

“I was immediately struck by the size of the effect,” says researcher Stephanie Correa, describing the effects in mice.

“The two groups didn’t overlap at all, which I had never seen. We knew right away it was a game changer and a new, exciting direction with potential applications for improving women’s health.”

The effects were only observed in female mice.

“Our current understanding of how the body controls bone growth can’t explain this,” adds lead researcher Holly Ingraham. “We may have uncovered a completely new pathway that could be used to improve bone strength in older women and others with fragile bones.”

Further experiments implied the added bone density remained consistent as the mice aged.

Ingraham’s theory is that after puberty, estrogen in the female brain shifts resources away from bone growth and towards things like reproduction, which could contribute to a higher risk of osteoporosis later in life.

High Hopes

The Headline

Denmark wants to build 32+ million square feet of artificial islands

The Grind

Authorities in Denmark last week unveiled an ambitious plan to build nine artificial islands that will occupy 32.3 million square feet off the coast of Copenhagen.

The island chain, called “Holmene” will be a space for commerce and sustainable business, leisure, and energy production.

Authorities hope to attract about 380 companies to the area.

“We’re targeting hi-tech companies but there’s always a need for the production of products we use in our daily lives too,” said Danish politician and Business Minister Rasmus Jarlov.

The Details

If all goes according to plan, the $490 million project will begin in 2022 and end in 2040.

Plans call for 900 million cubic feet of soil, which will be collected from nearby subway and building projects. Construction will include reefs to support wildlife and wind turbines for power.

“I think this could become a sort of European Silicon Valley,” said Brian Mikkelsen, head of the local chamber of commerce.

The Holmene project is in line with Denmark’s sustainability goals, which include having 50% renewable energy by 2030 and zero zero fossil fuel energy by 2050.

Denmark is one of few countries on track to surpass its EU energy targets. In 2016, the Nordic nation broke records by generating 43.4% of its electricity using wind power.

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