New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing

The new test involves using specialized droplets that bind together in a specific way if harmful bacteria are present. The result can be detected by either the naked eye or a smartphone.
Updated 09 May 2017
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New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new sensor that uses smartphone technology to detect harmful bacteria in food, including Escherichia coli (E.coli). The sensor was developed by the research lab of Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur professor of chemistry at MIT, in a project supported by MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) Solutions program.
J-WAFS Solutions is sponsored by Community Jameel, and aims to help MIT faculty and students commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions that have applications for critical food and water challenges.
Current food safety testing often involves culturing food samples to see if harmful bacterial colonies grow, but that process can take as long as two to three days and is generally conducted offsite in specialist labs.
The new test involves using specialized droplets that bind together in a specific way if harmful bacteria are present. The result can be detected by either the naked eye or a smartphone, offering faster and cheaper food safety testing that could be carried out onsite.
According to the World Health Organization, one in ten people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food and 420,000 die as a result. Children under five years of age are at particularly high risk, with 125,000 children dying from foodborne diseases every year.
Providing a cheaper and more accessible technology could allow early detection of foodborne pathogens from producer to consumer, reducing the risk to the public of consuming contaminated food.
The J-WAFS was created at MIT to spearhead research that will help humankind adapt to a rapidly changing planet and combat world-wide water scarcity and food supply. In addition, the lab elevates MIT’s commitment to addressing the collective pressure of population growth, urbanization, and climate variability — factors that endanger food and water systems in developing and developed countries alike.


Rove At The Park opens in Dubai Parks and Resorts

Updated 25 min 15 sec ago
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Rove At The Park opens in Dubai Parks and Resorts

Rove Hotels, a contemporary midscale hotel brand, has opened its sixth hotel in Dubai — Rove At The Park — in Dubai Parks and Resorts, the largest integrated theme park destination in the region. As the opening offer, guests can stay at Rove At The Park for 199 dirhams ($54) per night inclusive of two tickets to Dubai Parks and Resorts.
Rove At The Park has 579 rooms and interconnecting family rooms. Guests at Dubai Parks and Resorts can access more than 100 fun rides and attractions spread across Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park. This is in addition to free access to themed zones, street ambiance and numerous shops and restaurants at Riverland Dubai.
On the opening of the new hotel, Paul Bridger, corporate director of operations, Rove Hotels, said: “Guests love Rove Hotels for their convenient locations, funky interiors, chilled ambience and great service, which have made the brand one of the most popular in the city. We are excited to open Rove At The Park, our sixth and largest property in Dubai. The hotel offers a launchpad to discover Dubai Parks and Resorts and the rest of the city.”
Ahmed Al-Rayyes, chief retail and hospitality officer, DXB Entertainments, the company that owns Dubai Parks and Resorts, said:
“Dubai Parks and Resorts is a dynamic leisure destination with attractions that appeal to families, couples, and theme park enthusiasts from around the globe. With the opening of Rove At The Park, guests will have easy access to a vibrant new hotel that is perfect for residents looking for a quick weekend getaway. Opening a second hotel is part of Dubai Parks and Resorts’ strategy to have more than 1,300 keys at the destination by the second half of 2020. We look forward to welcoming even more tourists who will now be able to enjoy rides and attractions at the park, with the option of a conveniently located hotel in the vicinity.”
Rove At The Park is just over half an hour drive from the Dubai International Airport and the Al-Maktoum International Airport. Additionally, the hotel is just minutes away from the future Expo 2020 location, making it convenient for visitors traveling to the exhibition.
The design of Rove At The Park is inspired by the local area and uses art to tell stories and offer Instagrammable moments throughout the hotel. All 579 rooms house a 48-inch interactive TV screen with a smart media hub and free Wi-Fi. The rooms have designer mattresses, pull-out beds for extra guests, a mini-fridge, a large safe, and a modern bathroom with power rain showers.