Swiss artist Dan Acher‘s new project “Borealis” offers a possibility to experience the extraordinary beauty of the Northern Lights anywhere in the world. High-powered lasers project blue and green beams on the night sky to mimic the natural phenomenon. Due to variations in cloud density and changing weather conditions, the outcome is always different and unpredictable.
Bees are dying at an alarming rate, with radical consequences for humans too since these insects are essential to our food production. Without bees pollinating flowers, we could not have strawberries, peppers and apples on the supermarket shelves. While most scientists are focusing on keeping bees alive, Wyss Institute researchers at Harvard are developing a replacement for bees: RoboBees.
He can withstand enormous heat (up to 100°C) and cold (around minus 240°C), high pressure (7.5GPa), immersion in organic solvent, frozen vacuum of space and radiation. And he’s not just an imaginary superhero. Meet Ramazzottius Varieornatus from phylum Tardigrades, commonly known as water bear. This tiny yet powerful invertebrate may help humans to conquer the space.
While the The Ocean Cleanup team is trying to filter the smallest particles of plastic out of the ocean, in the port of Rotterdam you might be able to cross a floating Waste Shark; a drone able to collect up to 500 kilos of trash; one of the two newest innovations in the harbor.
Their work is rooted in design, has a flavor of art and a profound touch of science. It’s a blend of different types of knowledge that brings forth new knowledge. Central to their approach is an open-ended and all-inclusive mindset. Western science is as legitimate as indigenous traditions. In their opinion all knowledge is complementary. Their work ranges from the absurd to the scientific, from the experimental to the groundbreaking. Mike Thompson and Susana Cámara Leret are the minds behind Thought Collider, an experimental, critical art-design research practice based in Amsterdam.
Often their materials of choice are both everyday and completely out of the ordinary. In their project Aqua Vita they used urine as a source of information. With Fatberg, an on-going collaboration between Mike and Arne Hendriks, they are building an island of fat, which should one day roam the oceans. And their latest project: The Institute for the Design of Tropical Disease attempts to create a space where other types of discussion related to tropical disease can take place – discussions that are more imaginative than dogmatic.
If you could have another sense, which sense would you choose? Would you like to have the ability to sense electromagnetic fluctuations like sharks do? Would you prefer to hear the urban soundscape of WiFi signals? Or would you like an extra organ that regulates the usage and sensitivity of the senses you already have? Recently our NNN fellows, people from different disciplines working in and around the next nature theme, came together to explore the uncharted territory of a new project: Next Senses. How do we want to perceive the world? The world we live in has changed drastically over the ages, but our everyday means of perceiving it remained the same. Isn’t it time to reevaluate the way we access to the outer world?
A very realist and graphic synthetic dog is currently being developed by scientists for medical training and practice for veterinarians. This weird-looking dog will be used as a replacement for terminal surgery, where actual animals, mainly from kennels, are anesthetized, used for practicing different operations, from neutering to brain surgery, and finally euthanized.
Erosion and desertification are two of the biggest changes we are facing today. According to the United Nations they are “the greatest threat to our planet”. Intensive agriculture and urbanization are among the causes of this emergency state of climate shift. This causes yearly losses of 12 million hectares of land, right when our population is highly increasing. Given this actual status, Dutch innovator Eric Geboers came up with a solution to use only locally available resources. His idea is to pump seawater to establish a well-functioning, independent ecosystem in desertified areas.
When we cut ourselves the platelets in our blood rush by the thousands to the location of the cut and start aggregating causing the wound to close. This process is very efficient and operates automatically. Inspired by this extraordinary, yet ordinary, feed of our bodies researchers built autonomous nanobots able to locate and repair cuts in circuits, just like our platelets do in our veins.