Tag: Designed-by-Evolution

Designed-by-Evolution

Neo-Evolution with Harvey Fineberg

In his TED moment of fame, medical ethicist Dr. Harvey Fineberg presents three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: 1. to stop evolving completely, 2. to evolve naturally, or 3. to control the next steps of human evolution using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, smaller, better. According to Fineberg, the third scenario, also denoted as neo-evolution, is within our grasp. But what will we do with it? From a next nature perspective, which I guess Dr Fineberg is not familiar with, the term co-evolution is the elephant in the room.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Buckle up for Black Sky Thinking

So you might have heard about the Technological Singularity, but did you ever wonder what happens after the fact? Black Sky thinking is a term that is being developed to shape an approach for dealing with unfamiliar territories – both real and conceptual.

Black Sky thinking seeks to understand more about our situation without prejudging or even needing to know the future. It travels into the unknown, not as a reckless gesture but as a creative act, so that we may envision the world we wish to inhabit. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather, signals a fresh exploration of things we thought we knew, so that we can look and imagine afresh.

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Designed-by-Evolution

The Insect with Natural Mechanical Gears

At first glance the picture might look like the delicate gear wheel from an old Swiss watch, but it is actually the first and only mechanical gear ever found in nature. It belongs to a three-millimeter-long hopping insect, known as Issus Coleoptratus. The gears are located at the top of the insects’ hind legs and include 10 to 12 tapered teeth, allowing the insect to jump forward.

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Augmented-Bodies

Moving From Password to Biometric Data

If Apple is right we are making strides towards a future without passwords. We’ll only need our biometric data to access to our personal devices, services and websites, for instance using our  fingerprints. It seems like we are going to identify ourselves with technology every day more.

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Hypernature

Interview: Arne Hendriks, Researcher and “Father” of The Incredible Shrinking Man

The next guest in our interview series is Arne Hendriks, Dutch artist, exhibition maker, researcher and historian. He teaches at the Next Nature Lab of the Technical University in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Hendriks’s activity explores the positive transformative power of creative impulses and the importance of fundamental free scientific research. In his speculative design research, the strange and the familiar continuously swap places to provoke conflicting perspectives.

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Biomimicry

Artifice Earth: Adam Rutherford on the Promises of Synthetic Biology

In the basement recording studio of the journal Nature scientist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford sat down with speculative architect Liam Young to discuss the mythical beasts of synthetic biology. Rutherford recently worked with the BBC on a series called the ‘Gene Code’ which explored the consequences of decoding the human genome. Recognizing the potential externalities of communicating science poorly, Rutherford works at conveying the poorly understood field of synthetic biology to a broader audience.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Brick Era

By crafting brick objects in the shape of traditional stones, artist Maarten van den Eijnde, makes us realize that human presence has expanded the variety of stones found on the planet.

According to the artist these bricks will probably survive us, since they have been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout human history. Peculiar image of the week.

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Food Technology

Oranges Are Going Extinct – Unless a Gene from Spinach Can Help

The apocalypse is on its way – at least for oranges. Citrus greening, a disease that kills citrus trees and makes their fruit green, shrunken and inedibly bitter, is racing across the globe. The disease, which is transmitted from tree to tree by a tiny insect called a psyllid, was first reported in China in 1943. Since then, it’s spread across the globe, finally making its way to Florida’s famous orange groves in 2005.

There is no known cure. A worldwide search failed to turn up a naturally immune tree. Measures like burning infected trees and dousing the psyllids with insecticide slow but do not stop the disease. With such seemingly bleak odds, does this mean the end of oranges, lemons and grapefruits?

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