Tag: Designed-by-Evolution


Plastivore – A Bird that Feeds on Plastic

Imagine humankind would magically disappear from the planet today. We would leave the ruins of cities, roads, cars and… plastics. Since its invention in 1907, plastic steadily worked its way into the geology of Earth. As plastics hardly break down they could survive humankind.

Artist Britt Duppen envisions that, in due time, new species might evolve that could feed on plastic. Her speculative ‘Plastivore’ bird (Latin for ‘plastic eater’, plasticio meaning ‘plastic’ or ‘food that contains particles of plastic’ and vorare meaning ‘to devour’) thrives on a diet of fungi and plastics.

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Recreating Woolly Mammoth DNA

Bioengineering might soon enable us to bring long gone animals back to life, à la Jurassic Park. Recently, a team of scientists at Harvard University managed to insert wooly mammoth DNA into the genome of its closest relative – the Asian elephant.

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High-Speed Driverless Taxi for the Sky

How do you feel when you get stuck in the traffic jam? Have you ever fantasized about escaping to another space? An innovative solution to a better way for transportation has been proposed by NASA Space Act company skyTran: an autonomous, high-speed, elevated Personal Rapid Transportation system.

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Augmented Bodies

Diseases Of The Future

Nowadays humans suffer from diseases that didn’t exist in the past, a trend that will probably continue into the future. A wide range of new disorders, especially related to the latest technologies, may affect us.

The disease of the future are related to our modern lifestyle, they affect the psyche but, in the long run, can also debilitate the organism. Computers, video games, office work, virtual realities, and their lumbering presence, are just some of the elements that have changed the context in which we live and the way we spend our time. Technology has found our new weaknesses and will exploit them.

Even if it’s impossible to know which pathogens will afflict us in the future, we can explore the health issues that could emerge as a consequence of technological advancements and our inability to cope with them. Virtual Reality Addiction, Nature Deficit Disorder, Computerization of the Personality, Nanotech Poisoning, shown below a selection of third millennium diseases.

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Biomimicry in Action

We live in a world that is already designed! An inspiring topic about recent developments in biomimicry, American natural sciences writer Janine Benyus gave a talk on how nature influenced our future.

She provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already playing a part in determining the products, technology and systems we build. Video via TED.

Bruce Sterling
Augmented Bodies

Interview: Bruce Sterling on the Convergence of Humans and Machines

Bruce Sterling is a prominent science fiction writer and a pioneer of the cyberpunk genre. His cyberpunk novels Heavy Weather (1994), Islands in the Net (1988), Schismatrix (1985), The Artificial Kid (1980) earned him the nickname “Chairman Bruce”. Apart from his writings, Bruce Sterling is also a professor of internet studies and science fiction at the European Graduate School. He has contributed to several projects within the scheme of futurist theory, founded an environmental aesthetic movement, edited anthologies and he still continues to write for several magazines including Wired, Discover, Architectural Record and The Atlantic.

In the interview below, we had the honor of hosting Bruce Sterling in our Next Nature Network headquarters to talk to him about the concept of the convergence of humans and machines. Sterling weighs in on the issue with a rather challenging perspective.

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What if Humans Disappeared?

Life would normally continue with humans and their evolving surroundings, but this movie envisions what could happen if we would just disappear.

Humanity made a strong impact on the planet, but we should not underestimate the incredible power of nature. With our disappearance, animals that depend on us will suffer drastic population declines. At the same time, without human presence on Earth, some animal species that are close to extinction would suddenly grow in population. Most of our remains will decompose because of nature power initiated by fire, weeds and termites. The only thing that would remain of us would be our trash of plastic, chemicals and radioactive material. But of course the question is, why would we all of a sudden disappear?

Source: Asap SCIENCE

Wild Systems

Cities Evolve in Similar Ways as Galaxies

Satellite images of Earth at night evoke ambiguous feelings: While on a ground level our cities appear as purely cultural artifacts, a traveler from outer space might just as well marvel at them as beautifully glowing organic fungi-like structures that sprouted on our planet. Less than a millennium ago, the Earth at night was all dark. Today it is all glowing and blossoming.

Scientists think the laws governing the structure of galaxies in outer space are the same laws underlying the growth of cities. Henry Lin and Abraham Loeb at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have used models for showing how galaxies evolve based on matter density to propose a unifying theory for scaling laws of human populations.

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