iFive: Wheat Genome Mapped, How BP Capped Well, Chilean Miners Look Well, Apple’s New Kit, MIT Tech Review’s Young Innovators

Innovation. It’s out there.

While you were sleeping, innovation was changing the lightbulb above its head for a candle as it prepared for Burning Man.


1. Scientists have mapped the wheat genome. The discovery could pave the way for drought- and disease-resistant crops, putting a stop to worldwide food shortages. The discovery of wheat’s “DNA” is the final of the three big cereals to be discovered, following maize and rice. The sequence is three times as long as human DNA, and is composed of three separate genomes.

2. A month after the cap was fitted over the Deepwater well, details of the nightmare operation are emerging. The New York Times has all the gory details of the campaign, with one BP executive comparing it to a war. The details, which include shouting matches between engineers, 51-pound bolts, and near misses, puts Tony Hayward’s “I want my life back” comment into perspective.

3. More drilling, this time in Chile. A video of the 33 miners has been released, and don’t they look happy to have been discovered? The Guardian has spoken to two Tasmanian miners who spent 14 days buried underground in 2006 and it’s sobering stuff. Details are now emerging about how the men are to be freed, and it’s a nail-biting procedure. And the first lawsuit against the mining company has been filed by the family of one of the miners, alleging negligence and safety issues.

4. An intriguing tidbit about a potential iPod Nano redesign has emerged. According to a note filed by a Kaplan Bros. analyst, the upcoming Nano will eschew its clickwheel for, possibly, a touchscreen. The claim, of course, comes with the obligatory caveat: “We are not sure whether this Nano will see the light of day.” Elsewhere, must-have iPhone 4 accessory is looking for a manufacturer in China. The i-Migo makes a noise if your iPhone strays further than 30ft from you. A mandatory piece of kit for iPhone 5 engineers, methinks. And Apple has parted company with a firm that had collaborated on many of its iconic products. Farewell SurfaceInk, but since you’ve seen fit to produce your own tablet, it’s Sayonara. All the best, Steve.


5. And finally, MIT publication Technology Review has published its annual list of Young Innovators Under 35. There’s someone for everyone here.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.