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.
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.
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.
His investigation The Incredible Shrinking Man, that proposes to reduce the human species to a height of 50 cm, where individuals would only need about 2% of what is consumed today, is nominated for the Dutch Design Award, in the category Future Concept – competing with the NANO Supermarket, among others.
Waiting for the winners announce, in late October, we talked with Arne Hendriks about the possible benefits of shrinking, technology, trust and a thorny issues for which he asked for our readers advice.
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.
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.
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?
Chinese inventor Tao Xiangli manufactured a robot in the yard of his house in Beijing. He spent almost a year and about 150,000 Yuan, corresponding to $24,500 dollars, to build the robot. His “newborn” is 6.8 feet tall and around 529 pounds in weight. It is made out of recycled scrap metals and electric wires bought from a second-hand market. The question is: what is he going to do with it?
Source NBC News