Manufactured Animals

From the Super Muscular Pig to the Hypoallergenic Cow: New GMOs May Soon Be on Your Plate

The acronym that keeps Europe awake at night is TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), a trade and investment deal that the EU is negotiating with the US. From Rome to Brussels consumer groups rise up against it. The reason? This deal could get never-seen-before genetically modified organisms on the supermarket shelves.

Although the trade and the human consumption of GMO animal products are outright banned, there are some bugs in the system, such as the recent “jellyfish-lamb” case. France went into a panic because a lamb that was the offspring of a sheep modified to express a green fluorescent protein made it to market. All over the world biologists are experimenting with animal genomes and the risk of bumping into a “bodybuilder pig” exists. To what extent is there the possibility of having genetically modified animals on our plates? Here an estimate by Wired.

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Wild Systems

Artificial Brain Able to Perceive, Learn and Forget

A team of international scientists, at Tomsk State University in Russia, has taken a next step in the development of artificial intelligence by creating a “brain” that is able to educate itself. The prototype has the shape of an electronic device and is based on computer and mathematical models of the human brain.

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Plastic Planet

The Plastic Problem #1: Biobased and Biodegradable Plastic

People involved into plastic matters predict that in the next thirty years the consumption of this particular and malleable material will go from the current 300-400 million tons to the double amount, at least. Plastic, or rather plastics were born from petroleum-derived polymers and had immediate success thanks to their mechanical and chemical properties and the low purchase cost.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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Nongenetic Evolution

Car Paleontology

This skeleton car was dug up created by auto rental company Sixt for their ad campaign. Apart from the message they promote (“Thanks to Sixt expensive car rentals became extinct”) this peculiar image of the week makes us realize how cars – more and more autonomous, self driving, uncontrollable – are bound to become the animals of the future.

Image via Flickr


3D Printed Fish Remove Toxins and Deliver Drugs

Researchers at UC San Diego announced that they have developed 3D printed microrobots in the shape of fish able to detect and remove toxin from liquid. Smaller than a human hair – only 120 microns long and 30 microns thick – these little creatures multiply quickly: scientists can 3D print hundreds of these fish in seconds.

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Suburban Utopia

The Bamboo Skyscraper

Inspired by the natural bamboo forests, where a wide range of trees coexist and create an overlapping network, a group of architects looked at natural forests to design the Bamboo Skyscraper. With this project the team at CRG Architects rethought the way we build and asked: what if we stopped cutting into our forests and started recreating them?

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