Typically the impact of humanity on plant life is not always positive: Deforestation, decrease of diversity, soil pollution. Doom and gloom are all around. Hence, our delight to learn there are also people dedicating their time and energy to the expansion of plant life. Surely if they do it in such remarkable ways.
Astrobiologist Dr. Louisa Preston and Designer Vanessa Harden propose to build a garden on Mars. Thats not easy. One would need a gardening robot, fitted plant species and some kind of dome structure for the plants to grow in. These two young women now started a kickstarter campaign to realize their project.
Arguably, we owe it to our fellow carbon bases plant species, to employ our space rockets to their benefit, helping them to inhabit new worlds. Additionally, the astro plants may also provide human space travelers in their nutritious needs.
Go to the kickstarter campaign.
There are plenty of robot arms out there, but what about the skin to cover them in? A new kind of piezotronic transistor mesh could make for robotic skin that’s as sensitive as your own is, covered in thousands of tiny mechanical hairs.
The inventor of the technology, Zhong Lin Wan from Georgia Tech, says it has immediate applications in human-machine interfaces. It could for example be used to capture electronic signatures by recording the distinctive force an individual applies while signing. In due time, Wan expects the pressure sensor arrays could equip robotics and prosthetics with a human-like sense of touch.
Four years ago we wrote about a vision to create bioluminescent trees that would replace streetlights. This dream is getting just a little bit closer, now that a team of Stanford trained synthetic biologists led by Antony Evans launched a Kickstarter campaign to grow glowing plants.
Using Genome Compiler software, the team is ready to input bio-luminescence genes into a mustard plant and have it be naturally glowing. Natural lighting with no electricity. Hypernature ahoy!
Every cloud you see is an airplane. Peculiar image of the week.
Like bees and the flowers, we are entangled in a co-evolutionary relationship with our technology. But as in any relationship, we should make sure both parties are actually benefiting from the affair.
Looking at this next natural comic, it seems like our relationship might need some work. Thanks Ad.
Who would have thought synthetic organisms would ever be employed to save endangered species? Conservation biologist worried about the extinction of exotic frog populations are calling the help of synthetic biologists to avoid disaster.
Currently, a fungus epidemics with the eerie name batrachochytrium dendrobatidis threatens more than 2,800 amphibian species. The depicted Panamanian golden frog has already been pushed close to extinction by fungal disease, but conservationists believe the tragedy could be countered by a new generation of synthetically manipulated organisms.
“We face the prospect of losing a great deal from the natural world and we have to think of solutions that could be generated by all sorts of different techniques, including those involved in synthetic biology.” conservation biologist Kent Redford told the Guardian.
Arguably the most accessible synthetic biology explanation video we have seen so far. From selective breeding to genetic modification, as our understanding of biology is merging with the principles of engineering into a new discipline called synthetic biology.
Written, animated and directed by James Hutson, Bridge8.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Are you that brilliant visionary mind pondering on a comprehensive solution that will radically advance human well-being and ecosystem health, but lacking the money to realize it? No worries! Simply submit to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, pick up your $100,000 and turn your revolutionary vision into a reality. This is not a spam message, its a design competition. Submissions are due April 16.
So you thought is was just you, feeling domesticated by the systems around you? Now imagine how this tree must feel wondering “What is the Matrix?”. Peculiar image of the week. Spotted by Piebe van der Storm.
Beyond imitating known meat products like steaks and hamburgers, in-vitro meat could give rise to entirely new food products and dining habits.
Paint with meat! is a speculative product for children of 5-10 years old. It allows them to prepare their own meat dish in a very creative, fun and safe way: by painting! The meat paint lets children put some extra effort into their meal, which makes the dinner more valuable and meaningful again. By painting their own meal children get more affinity with their food and are therefore more willing to eat it.
Scientists claim to have discovered a “prehistoric version of Facebook” used by ancient tribes to communicate with each other. After analyzing over 3000 rock art images in Sweden and Russia, Mark Sapwell and his team from Cambridge University concluded that the sites functioned like an “archaic related stories version” of social networks where users shared thoughts and emotions and gave stamps of approval to other contributions – very similar to today’s Facebook like.
The godfather of news, Walter Cronkite, had a show on CBS that showed off technology of the future. One episode that aired on March 12, 1967 showed off what a kitchen would look like in 2001.
Cronkite predicted that “Meals in this kitchen of the future are programmed. The menu is given to the automatic chef via typewriter or punched computer cards.” and not only the meal, but also the “cups and saucers are molded on the spot.”