So apparently there is now such a thing as a car “splatometer” test to determine just how many insects are left in the world.

A scientific study of insects hitting car windscreens in rural Denmark used data collected every summer from 1997 to 2017 and found an 80 per cent decline in the abundance of insects, The Guardian reported this week.

The scientists are calling it an “insect apocalypse”.

Now, here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.

 

1. StockDoc Podcast: Could AI-backed smart homes be the key to improving aged care outcomes?

AI is definitely big money and investors are obviously keeping a close eye on its potential.

And we all know listening to a podcast is so much easier than reading a bunch of text, so it’s no surprise our podcasts continue to be a hit.

This week, seasoned financial advisor, investment manager and corporate director Dr Nigel Finch sits down with InteliCare CEO and managing director Jason Waller.

The pair discuss just how handy AI can be for keeping older people in their own homes (and not those gloomy and depressing old people’s homes) for longer.

 

2. Money Talks: Here are 3 mining and exploration stocks with plenty of upside

Things are looking a whole lot better for the junior explorers (it’s about time) and we just love having a chat with the experts to find out which stocks they like.

So, this week Reuben Adams sat down for a one-on-one with Guy Le Page, director and responsible executive at Perth-based financial services provider RM Corporate Finance.

And believe it or not a sustained price recovery is expected in copper, cobalt and nickel – so for those investors who have been watching their gains dissipate, hang in there!

Read on to find out where Le Page thinks the money can be made.

 

3. Zero to Hero: This is how copper play Sandfire went from 4c to over $8 in 18 crazy month

For those of you not holding this stock, hindsight is a wonderful thing! They are few and far between, but these ASX success stories are out there.

And we’ve decided to highlight them for you in our new “Zero to Hero” column.

This particular story is pretty impressive – going from almost bankrupt to a $1bn mining company.

In early 2009, struggling explorer Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) discovered what would later become the world-class DeGrussa copper-gold mine, rapidly transforming its fortunes from a 4c penny stock into a ~$1bn mining company.

If you missed the back story, keep reading.

 

4. Quality over quantity: These ASX small caps think Australia can be a world-leader in advanced manufacturing

Australia’s manufacturing sector has not had an easy time of it lately, I mean just take a look at the mass exodus of big carmakers like Ford and Holden.

But the sector is still very important to the Australian economy – in fact, it contributed more than $20bn of gross added value in the September quarter last year. Nothing to be sneezed at.

Despite the broader challenges it faces though, there’s one sense in which manufacturing is no different from any other sector; how it adapts to changes in technology.

In manufacturing, the tech focus is largely around advances in production machinery. And there are a number of companies trying to build market share with new technologies.

Read on for a rundown of the players.

 

5. WA biotechs are booming; now government wants to make the state a life sciences hub

Biotech is another lucrative business if a company can get its product to market, so of course the state governments are jumping on board.

WA is the latest to want to cash in on the lucrative sector.

It has formed an Industry Reference Group to come up with a five-year growth plan for the industry over the coming months.

And there’s more than a few ASX small cap biotechs in WA.

Check out who’s doing what.

 

6. Bug killers: Zoono has become a 13-bagger in 4 months as China seeks a coronavirus solution

Coronavirus might be bad news for the masses, but it’s certainly doing wonders for some companies’ bottom lines and share prices.

Zoono, for instance, is now a 13-bagger in just four months, all because orders are “pouring in the door” for the company’s hand sanitiser.

And on Monday it struck another deal which propelled its shares even higher.

Read all about it.

 

7. EV growth set to get out of first gear this decade and drive battery metals demand forward

Finally… some momentum in the EV space! It’s been a (really) slow start to the mass uptake of EVs we were promised a few years ago should have happened by now.

But take heart, experts are saying this year will be the year for “mass-market” roll outs by major carmakers.

And moves by (the second craziest world leader) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles is clearly a good catalyst.

Europe is pretty much leading the way in encouraging EV uptake, now Australia just has to wake up and smell the petrol.

Hopefully this will be the year the battery metals players pull themselves up out of the doldrums.

Bevis Yeo tells us all about it.

 

8. North American reefer madness takes toll on Aussie pot stocks

Sadly, things don’t look as good for the pot stocks on the ASX. Once upon a time you could’ve sworn cannabis was going to be a winner, I mean after all plenty of people wanted it when it was illegal.

But the old adage “what goes up must come down” rings true in this case.

Not their fault though, those darn regulators can’t get their s#*t together and who knew recreational pot wouldn’t be a hit in Canada? Weird.

And to make matters worse, Aussie stocks are feeling the pinch with major industry investors selling out of speculative antipodean plays.

Find out who these poor souls are.

 

9. Health Kick Podcast: Coronavirus, HIV and hepatitis are in the sights of Aussie biotech Biotron

You may be lucky enough to have physically escaped this deadly virus, but you definitely won’t be able to escape reading or hearing about it.

At least in Stockhead’s case, it’s mostly about the companies that want to help solve the problem.

And this week our resident health and biotech expert, Tim Boreham, spoke to Dr Michelle Miller, chief executive officer and managing director of Biotron (ASX:BIT).

Biotron has again blipped on investor radars, this time for its work on the coronavirus.

The company reports it is testing “several promising compounds” against the coronavirus, although any approved drug would still be some years away.

Tune in to catch up on what you missed.

 

10. The Secret Broker: Tale of two Citi’s

Looks like Citi has learned from its past mistakes – because of course, if it didn’t fire someone for stealing a sandwich from the firm’s canteen it was definitely going to lead to a “Lehman Bank type hurricane”.

stealing_a_sandwich
Source: Giphy

This week TSB brings readers an extremely interesting tale on the (petty) things some brokers do that get them fired.

Hmmm, these could be good tips for discipling my kids – though I’m not sure what the kid-equivalent of firing them would be…

Have a good weekend!