Over the past decades animals living in the rainforest unwittingly changed their diet, from healthy to “junk food”. That’s not because Burger King opened a new restaurant in the rainforest of Uganda, but because climate change has made leaves less nutritious than they used to be.
Noise, with 7.423.642.565 people living on the planet we produce a lot of it, and everyone knows how exhausting and tiring the exposure to noise can be. We, humans, are able to escape loud places, but other species have to deal with the sounds we produce and its consequences. For instance, the sound of motorboat engines disturbs coral reef fish so acutely it changes their behavior, making them loose their parenting skills.
You would be surprised to hear that planting orange petunias is illegal. While at first this might sound like one of the most useless laws, there is a good reason behind it. Let’s start by saying that petunias simply cannot get that orange color naturally.
Ever wondered what future geologists will find in the Earth crust of the 20th century? Surely nuclear waste, plastic, but also a lot of fossilized chicken bones. The Pink Chicken Project wants to genetically modify chickens with pink bones and feathers in order to mark our geological age, the Anthropocene, and leave a message to the next ones to come – whoever they might be.
From stone axes to mobile phones, throughout history humans have given birth to a wide range of technologies that extend our physical and mental capabilities. Today it is almost impossible to imagine a world without technology. That’s why we developed the Pyramid of Technology kit, a workshop-in-a-box to visualize how technology becomes nature in seven steps. Launching this week at What Design Can Do in Amsterdam, now available for pre-order in our web shop!
What if you had the choice of sparing your child from diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or autism? Scientists are working on new DNA techniques that will allow you to choose embryos with edited genes. This gene technology can lower the risk of severe illness as well as increase certain desired factors, like a higher I.Q., athletic ability, eye and hair color and gender.
Can you imagine having a ghost heart beating in your chest? By bringing back pig hearts to life, this could be possible soon. Worldwide around 25 million individuals suffer from heart failure. With donor organ shortage and rejection approximately 2500 hearts are being transplanted each year. This gap shows the need for sustainable and effective ways to implement heart transplantations, but with all new technologies we need to do some ethical reflection.
The female pelvic canal is not so well designed for giving birth compared to other primates. Therefore obstructed labour used to be a high death factor. Luckily, the introduction of Caesarean section in the fifties saved the life of many mothers and babies. Though C-section has an unexpected side effect on human evolution: newborn heads are getting bigger, while the mothers birth canals are becoming smaller.
Your dog may prefer rare steak to cake but his stomach is actually suited for the latter as well. Farming introduction made dogs eat as much wheat and millet that they evolved extra copies of starch-digesting genes about 7.000 years ago. That helped them stay on our side even though life conditions changed.