Tag: Guided Growth
GM Mosquitoes: No Olfaction, No Sting
Summer is coming… along with the mosquitoes! The solution to clouds of biting insects? Mosquitoes that ignore human beings, a dream come true. At the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, researchers have genetically altered mosquitoes’ sense of smell. If unable to sniff out the scent of human skin, they won’t bite us.
Engineering Beneficial Parasites
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that causes rats to become less afraid of cats. It also might change the behavior of humans, making women more outgoing and warmhearted, while men get jealous and suspicious. Toxoplasma gondii is shed in cat feces, which get eaten by rats. Infected rats become fearless to cats and then get caught easily, thus completing the parasite’s cycle through its different hosts. If a parasite can make you feel friendly, what other unusual benefits might they have?
Microchips Learn to Repair Themselves
Right now, one of the reasons that robots and other artificially intelligent devices cannot qualify as living beings is their inability to self-repair. However, a recent breakthrough from the Caltech High-Speed Integrated Circuits laboratory have brought us one step closer to the reality of machines that can cure themselves after being damaged.
Bright Streetlights Make Us No Safer, and Why That’s Good News
Artificial lighting at night makes us fat, depressed and sick. What are the alternatives?
“Algae Opera” Nourishes Algae with a Singer’s Breath
Are you blessed with a Maria Callas kind of voice? If, like us, you don’t go beyond croaking the occasional ” I want to break free” in the shower, watch out. If…
Protocell Shoe Mends Itself
The self-repairing sole is a dynamic solution to an everyday problem.
The ‘proto-sole’ is suitable for all footwear ranging from mainstream consumer trainers to haute couture footwear. It consists of a fluid reservoir, like a bubble, which is situated in the heel of the shoe, where the ingredients to make the active agents ‘protocells’ are pumped by the foot and mixed on demand as they leave the storage vessel. The newly formed protocells move through the spongy sole of the shoe where they are delivered to and activated at sites of wear and tear.
Protocells are a form of organic hardware that is not technically ‘alive’ since they do not possess any DNA. Yet they are capable of life-like behaviour that draws from the self-organizing potential of their ingredients. In keeping with Stuart Kauffman’s notion of ‘order for free,’ the protocells are equipped with remarkable, emergent properties such as, movement, sensitivity and the production of microstructures.