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Around the world: how to reimagine our cities, AI powered biology and high-tech clothing labels

From our cities having the potential to become hubs for biodiversity conservation and climate resilience to AI helping biologists classify the world’s tiny creatures, and clothing labels evolving to be an integral part of a brand's digital presence—discover the stories that caught our eye this week.

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Carbon Labels, Digital Passports And Traceability

Gone are the days of simplistic clothing labels that merely share washing temperatures, dry cleaning instructions or details of a garment’s country of origin.

Clothing labels are now fast becoming a distinct part of the digital brand experience and a new medium for fashion companies to share their sustainability story by connecting the purchaser with the provenance of the item.

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Words by Amy Nguyen

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Biodiversity conservation and climate resilience

Biodiversity – all living organisms, including plants, animals and microorganisms – is essential for human existence. Yet when we think about biodiversity, we rarely picture a city in our minds. Nature has often been associated as purely a feature of rural landscapes, when in fact urban areas are home to a myriad of ecosystems and natural wealth, harbouring rich biodiversity. We are embedded in nature and yet we know very little about it.

Today marks the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which serves as a reminder that we must mobilize urban decision-makers and citizens to put nature at the heart of urban life. We have a unique opportunity to ensure that cities become true drivers of growth, resilience and well-being that operate within healthy social and planetary boundaries.

Read the full article here
Words by Mauricio Rodas Espinel and Lena Chan

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AI could help classify the world’s tiny creatures

With biodiversity in decline around the world, researchers are desperate to catalog all of Earth’s insects and other invertebrates, which represent 90% of the 9 million species yet to be named. To do so, scientists typically face long hours in the lab sorting through the specimens they collected.

Enter DiversityScanner. The approach involves a robot, which plucks individual insects and other small creatures one at a time from trays and photographs them. A computer then uses a type of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to compare each one’s legs, antennae, and other features to known specimens.

Read the full article here
Words by Elizabeth Pennisi

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