Tag: Designed-by-Evolution

The-Panamanian-golden-fro-010
Biomimicmarketing

Next Nature saves Old Nature

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.

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early egyptians brewing beer
Augmented-Bodies

Did Booze Make Us Modern?

Psychiatrist Jeffrey P. Kahn believes that beer, far from being an agent of late-night chaos and early morning regrets, is what gave our ancestors modern civilization. Beer, he writes, triggered the leap from rule-bound hunter-gather groups into the creative, complex societies we’ve been enjoying for the last 10,000 years. Is there some truth in this statement, or is it no more solid than a foamy head of ale?

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Designed-by-Evolution

Synthetic Biology for Dummies

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.

maya_yoghurt
Anthropomorphobia

Maya YogHurt: Fermented Drink Made with Human Lactic Acid

Slovenian bioartist Maja Smrekar modified the genome of yeast with a part of her own DNA. This synthetic gene codes for the production of lactic acid, one of the most common food additives. The lactic acid was used to create “Maya YogHurt“, a fermented drink that was sampled by visitors to the Kapelica Gallery in Slovenia.

In a series of works entitled Human Molecular Colonization Capacity (Hu.M.C.C.) Smrekar explored the possibilities that our own enzymes might hold as a natural resources. She claims that our body is one of the few “uncolonized biotechnological materials” and could become a “trade tool” based on a system of genetic credit.

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kugeltiere
Designed-by-Evolution

Rollin’ Safari

Assuming that true wildlife hàs gone extinct… Who needs the real thing when you can have a Next Safari? Let’s go and hunt for the plastic birds on the beach or watch genuine Scottish highlanders in the Dutch dunes. Or even in the mall; go shopping for real fur collar coats and some fancy stingray sneakers.

How is your scrollin’ safari going?

Students of the Filmacademy in Baden-Württemberg / Germany gave it a shot with 4 trailers for the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film 2013.
Makes the question pop into mind: What was on these animal’s menu?

snail-teeth_anastasia
Biomimicry

The Future of Solar Power? Snail Teeth!

Gumboot chiton is a marine snail with an appetite for algae growing on rocks. Grazing on rocks would destroy the teeth of others, but not the gumboot chiton. This snail produces the hardest biomineral yet discovered to deal with its punishing eating habits.

This mineral, called magnetite, has inspired a new type of solar cell and a new type of lithium battery. By understanding how the snail produces this mineral, researchers could develop similar ways to make nano-materials at room temperature. This will allow researchers to develop low-cost, high-efficiency microscopic structures.

Dr. Kisailus, of Riverside’s Bourne College of Engineering in California, believes that understanding the gumboot chiton will lead to solar cells that can capture and convert more sunlight into electricity, as well to more efficient batteries. “If we can reduce the size of particles in batteries, which at present, are massive on a nano-scale, this will reduce their recharge time and increase their power efficiency”.

Via Elements Science

Designed-by-Evolution

The Six Epochs of Evolution

Monday afternoon, feeling a a bit jaded? Buckle up for a delightful cinematic espresso shot from Jason Silva (*) on the six epochs of evolution.

* Warning: Video essays from Mr. Silva may cause rushes of Techno-utopism.

Carnivorous Plants
Designed-by-Evolution

Carnivorous Plants Turn Vegetarian

Carnivorous plants are among the more unique plant species in nature. Through evolution plants like the Venus Flytrap have developed mechanisms to capture small animals (usually insects) from which they take nutrients. But pollution is making some of these plant species change their diet.

Most carnivorous plants trap animals because the soil does not contain enough nutrients like nitrogen. These plants get 57% of their nitrogen intake from animals. Because of pollution caused by industry and transport plants in polluted areas are able to get more nitrogen from rainfall and this reduced their nitrogen intake from animals to 22%.

The change in diet actually changed the appearance of the plants themselves. Their leaves lose some of their stickiness and the plants in polluted areas also started changing their colour. Will extended pollution cause these plants to turn to a fully vegetarian diet? More about the subject can be found in this article by Tom Marshall.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.