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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.


Latro Algae Lamp

As advances in nanotechnology bring us increasingly energy efficient products, plant life such as algae could become attractive sources for tapping energy. The Latro lamp by designer Mike Thompson is a speculative product responding to this potential future market. It utilizes living algae as its power source.

The idea was inspired by a scientific breakthrough by scientists from Yansei and Stanford University that allows a small electrical current to be drawn from algae during photosynthesis. Placing the lamp outside in the daylight, the algae use sunlight to synthesize foods from CO2 and water.

The energy produced is stored in a battery ready to be called upon at night. Owners of Latro are required to treat the algae like a pet – feeding and caring for the algae rewarding them with light. A light sensor monitors the light intensity, only permitting the leeching of electrons when the lux level passes the threshold – avoiding algae malnourishment.

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The video shows the Latro Lamp in the Science Gallery Dublin. It is also on display at our own Nano Supermarket and this monday, its maker Mike Thompson will speak at the Transnatural conference.


  1. Todd

    Where can I obtain one of these Latro Lamps?

  2. @Todd: Nowhere, it is a speculative product still and there are only two or three prototypes.

  3. Where can I get one ?

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  5. Frank Glauner

    I’m part of the energy program ( renewable energy )at ivytech Lafayette In. Is it possible for us to get one to display at or energy fair with all the information about it and researchers. We have a fair at Purdue , locale shopping center and wiser trips .