Tag: Designed-by-Evolution

baboon eating bread
Designed-by-Evolution

Bonobos (And Maybe Baboons) Domesticated Themselves

While evidence indicates that humans domesticated themselves, we’re not the only primates capable of self-domestication. Bonobos and baboons have shown they are just as capable of turning a kinder, gentler, and more cuddly culture into hardwired changes in their genomes.

Bonobos, aka the “sexy ape”, look a lot like chimpanzees and share the same forest habitat. It stands to reason that they should be similar in most other regards, but the two species are wildly different. On a physical level, bonobos have smaller skulls and canine teeth, but their greatest differences lie in the social realm. Bonobos are the laid-back lovers compared to the chimpanzee’s neurotic warmongers.

Bonobos spend more time playing and grooming than chimps. They have sex for just about any reason: so say hello, to solve conflicts, to celebrate finding food. A “bonobo handshake” is not how humans would want to start a business meeting. In the bonobo’s reduced physical stature and playful spirit, researchers have recently recognized the same changes that occurred when wolves became dogs, or when aurochs became cattle. But while dogs needed humans for domestication, bonobos have done it all on their own.

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Designed-by-Evolution

What is Next Nature?

At the Next Nature Power Show 2011 our master of ceremony, Koert van Mensvoort gave a mini lecture on our changing notion of Nature.

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huge
Anthropomorphobia

One Chicken Feeds 100 People

Our peculiar image of the week is not what it seems. Rather than a man with a gigantic chicken on a leash, you are looking at a normal chicken with an incredibly…

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Designed-by-Evolution

Human Nature Forecast

Interview witth TEDx on how people are technological by nature, yet how we also need humane technology to remain human, or become even more human than we are today.

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NRC_Next_4_nov_2011__HR
Designed-by-Evolution

Razorius Gillettus in NRC Next

Dutch newspaper NRC Next features a shortened version (in dutch) of the Razorius Gillettus essay, written by Koert van Mensvoort. Download the scan. A longer version of the essay (in english) can…

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banksy-caveman_5301.jpg
Back to the Tribe

Ancient Man Impacted Environment Already

The human environmental impact on our planet is hardly underestimated nowadays. Scientist agree humans are to blame for Global Warming – some are already dreaming up scenario’s of geo-engineering to undo the damage. Untouched old nature is almost nowhere to be found anymore besides perhaps some small areas on the South pole, in the deep sea or if one looks up at the stars – although the brighter ones may well be satellites. “We were here”, is written all over. So when did the writing begin? Much earlier than thought.

According to the common perception the human impact on the environment is fairly recent and thought to have started in concert with the 19th centuries industrial revolution. Presumably, in earlier times humans lived in harmony with their environment. That popular romantic view however, is increasingly being challenged.

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biolum bacteria
Designed-by-Evolution

City Planning with Bright Bacteria

Renegade architect and futurist Rachel Armstrong has proposed that our cities, currently constructed of dead trees, baked mud, and refined ore, need to be coated in a layer of glowing, hungry bio-goo.…

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E.Coli
Bionics

E.Coli produced Spider Silk

In a previous post we have reported on spider silk, it’s applications and the way it is produced. Adding the gene responsible for the production of the spider silk protein to other…

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eyeborg
Anthropomorphobia

Deus Ex: The EyeBorg Documentary

Back in 2009 Rob Spence, a cyborg film maker, worked together with a team of ocularists, inventors, engineering specialists on a prosthetic eye which can capture and stream video. He then started…

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b1
Anthropomorphobia

Bulletproof Skin

Recent work of artist Jalila Essaïdi exemplifies of how science and art can meet and create meaningful inventions for society. Jalila Essaïdi used the spider silk produced by Randy Lewis’ goats to develop a partially bulletproof supernatural human skin.

The goal of the project is to “Improve the sense of security”. The project raises questions as: How far do we want to go, as individuals and society in general, to feel secure? With this project Jalila Essaïdi is one of the three winners of the Designer and Artists 4 Genomics (DA4G) Award 2010, an initiative by the Centre for Society and Genomics and Waag Society’s Wetlab to stimulate young artists and designers to work with living organisms, living tissues and biotechnology (bio-arts). The money attached to this award gave Jalila Essaïdi the opportunity to make prototypes of the skin and test these at a firing range. The Bulletproof Skin and the other winning projects are exhibited until January 8th 2012 in the museum of the Dutch centre of biodiversity Naturalis.

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Spidergoat
Designed-by-Evolution

Spidergoats & Superskin

While some of us might have heard of the humorous but fictional ‘spider pig,’ spidergoats are the real deal. Although you might expect to see them lounging in giant webs or dangling…

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