- Skip the pharmacy. Let a drone pick up your medication
- You’ve never seen solar energy quite like this
- A cure for Alzheimer’s? It might not be impossible after all
Before we get to today’s insights, I just wanted to offer one last reminder…
My friend and colleague Teeka Tiwari is hosting a free online investing summit tonight at 8 p.m. ET. You’ll want to be sure to attend.
I’m always happy to recommend that investors read Teeka’s research. His analysis is top notch. And importantly, Teeka always stresses risk management and position sizing. As my longtime readers know, that’s very important to me.
Tonight, Teeka is going to unveil a trading system that’s never been disclosed publicly before. And Teeka is so confident in this trading system that he even took money out of his cryptocurrency investments to devote to this.
You can get all the details from Teeka tonight. Go here to save your spot.
Now let’s get to The Bleeding Edge…
UPS is now delivering prescription medicine by drone…
Big news… UPS is making great progress with its drone delivery program. And its partnership with CVS Pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs is underway.
In fact, UPS successfully delivered prescription medicines to two paying customers by drone on November 1.
These deliveries took place in Cary, North Carolina. Pharmacists at a local CVS filled the prescriptions, and a UPS employee loaded them onto drones right on site.
UPS Delivery Drone
The drones then flew autonomously from the CVS to the customers’ homes. Once there, the drones hovered at a height of 20 feet and slowly lowered the packages to the ground via ropes. Then the drones wound up their ropes and returned to a UPS truck.
I find this incredibly exciting. And I think there’s a huge market for this.
Personally, I don’t like going to the pharmacy. It takes time, and it’s inconvenient. I bet many people out there feel the same way.
I’m sure many of us would love to have our meds delivered right to the house within a few hours of seeing the doctor and without ever having to go wait in line at a pharmacy.
And, of course, UPS’s drone delivery program isn’t just for medicine. It will be used for any packages small and light enough for the drone to carry.
Here’s the future I’m envisioning…
A UPS truck will drive to a central location. A hatch on the roof will swing open, and a swarm of delivery drones will fly out with their packages in tow. The drones will go make deliveries and then fly right back to the truck for the next stop.
And for larger packages, we’ll see bipedal robots file out of the back of the truck carrying those boxes… But that’s a story for another day.
As for investment implications, Matternet is the company supplying UPS with drones. This is an early stage drone company that I’ve been watching since 2015.
Matternet raised $16 million in a Series A venture capital round last year. That’s a great raise for an early stage company. But the fact that it was a Series A round tells us that this company is still a few years away from initial public offering talks.
That said, this is absolutely a company to watch. Matternet could make an exciting investment opportunity down the road. And when that day comes, my readers will be the first to know.
A big solar energy breakthrough…
Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, just created a molecule that can store solar energy for decades. When sunlight hits this molecule, it traps the Sun’s energy and holds it until a catalyst causes it to release the energy.
Carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen make up this molecule… three of the most abundant elements in the universe. And this molecule has the potential to vastly outperform lithium-ion batteries when it comes to energy storage.
For perspective, lithium-ion batteries typically have a life span of 5–10 years. But that also depends on use. The more we use a battery, the shorter its life span will be.
That’s because lithium-ion batteries degrade quickly over time. We see this with our smartphones. It is why our phones need charging more frequently over time… They just don’t last as long.
I typically swap out the battery in my laptop at least once every 18–24 months, and I change my phone at least every two years.
By comparison, this new technology could store solar energy for decades without degradation. And it has some interesting applications…
The research team developed a transparent coating material using this molecule. The coating could be applied to home windows, car windows, and even clothing. Once in place, the material would collect solar energy and release heat.
Imagine if your winter coat could emit heat without a battery pack. Or what if your car could warm itself on a chilly day without the car heater?
And this, of course, would reduce power costs and the amount of fossil fuels needed to produce heat.
So this is an exciting breakthrough. The next step for the team will be turning its technology into a commercial product. The team has a long way to go, but this is certainly an exciting development.
A breakthrough toward a cure for Alzheimer’s disease…
This last story is remarkable…
A study published in Nature Medicine earlier this month may be the biggest Alzheimer’s breakthrough we’ve had yet. The study centers around a genetic mutation that appears to stop the dementia that’s usually associated with the disease.
As we know, Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease. I’d wager that many of us know at least one person who has been impacted by it. And, of course, dementia is the progressive decline in the ability to think and remember that’s associated with Alzheimer’s.
There’s no cure. That’s one of the biggest issues in health care right now… trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Well, we are starting to get some clues…
We know there are specific genetic mutations that increase the likelihood of a person getting Alzheimer’s.
But researchers just discovered a unique case where a different genetic mutation may stop the symptoms of dementia even if the patient has the high-risk genes associated with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Researchers identified a woman in Colombia who was predisposed to developing Alzheimer’s in her forties. But she went more than three decades without ever experiencing any symptoms. No dementia. No confusion. No memory loss. Nothing.
And it all came down to a rare genetic mutation that scientists were not aware of.
This is huge. Now that we know the exact gene and mutation, scientists can target their research. We can gear therapies toward this specific gene.
And as longtime readers are probably thinking, CRISPR could be a perfect solution. As a reminder, CRISPR is a genetic editing technology that can “program” our DNA as if it were software code.
In the case of Alzheimer’s, I can envision two CRISPR approaches.
First, we could use CRISPR to “knock out” the genetic mutation responsible for increasing the likelihood of a person getting the disease in the first place.
Second, we could modify the gene just identified in the Colombian woman to exhibit the same mutation. In other words, CRISPR will give Alzheimer’s patients the genetic mutation that stops dementia in its tracks.
So this is a huge breakthrough on the path to a cure.
Precision medicine researchers can now focus on specific genes linked to Alzheimer’s. Obviously, it won’t happen right away, but we will certainly see a cure in our lifetimes. Now we have a catalyst for making that happen in the near future.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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