Tag: Hypernature

Anthropocene

Anthropo-scene #9: Sense, Sensors, Sensitivity

In 1928 Alfred Döblin, one of Germany’s great authors, wrote a book that in my eyes should become part of the official intellectual ancestry of the Anthropocene. It’s called “Das Ich über der Natur”, the Self Above Nature. But it’s not about human arrogance and domination of Earth, quite the opposite. Döblin describes ways how to immerse ourselves in Nature.

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Hypernature

Horizontal Trees

Biologist Alina Schick developed trees that grow sideways, instead of growing upwards. Called GraviPlant, these plants seem to challenge the force of gravity indeed. Schick used a clever trick to make that happen and she hopes this unusual technique will become a new way to go green in the city.

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Hypernature

Controlling the Weather with Drones

Humans have dreamed of taking control of the weather for ages. Now that UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are on the rise, this might become one of their next tasks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) picked six test sites throughout the US to experiment with drone-based cloud seeding.

Cloud seeding is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from the clouds. Previously this technique was applied in other ways like launching silver iodide rockets into the clouds from the ground. This happened during the chinese olympics for example. The goal of this study is to make weather control more affordable and easier to control by using UAVs.

Imagine the possibilities of this technology, it could have significant effects on agriculture and arid areas. Soon there might be UAVs able to turn deserts into oases or the 25th of December into a white Christmas at the flick of a switch!

Read more at Accuweather and TheCreatorsproject

Augmented-Bodies

Hacking Human Cells to Use Solar Power

Our cells are not that different from a car engine: they depend on carbon-based fuels for energy. But using carbon for energy is an inefficient process. This is what the biotech startup BiPlastiq seeks to resolve, using solar energy instead of carbon and oxygen, by hacking our cells.

The founder of BiPlastiq, Christopher Powell believes that by hacking our mitochondrial structures to use solar energy, the power output of our bodies might increase dramatically. This upgrade could arguably transform human bodies into regenerative machines and extend human lives by decades.

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Anthropocene

Next Nature Talk at Nature 3.x Symposium

This weekend, Next Nature Network creative director Dr. Van Mensvoort will lecture at Nature 3.x: Where is Nature Now? at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The multi-disciplinary conference is co-organized by Professor Matthew Tucker and Professor Christine Baeumler at the University of Minnesota. The event will bring together professionals from various disciplines to meditate on how the global environmental problems of the Anthropocene change our involvement with nature. The discussion will include post-industrial feral landscape ecology, eco-toxic tourism, manufactured urban ecosystems, post-natural disaster resiliency planning, hypernature and technology, and genetically modified environments.

The symposium is free and public, so make sure to drop by if you live around!

Next Nature @ Nature 3.x: Where is Nature Now?
Saturday, April 18 
5 pm – 6 pm
U of MN Northrop Best Buy Theater, Minneapolis, USA

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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Biomimicry

Turning Cockroaches into Rescue Robots

Certain natural disasters such as earthquakes and Tsunamis often trap high numbers of people under unstable rubble, making search-and-rescue operations very difficult. Cyborg cockroaches might be of critical help for these disasters.

North Caroline State University carried out a study in 2012, where researchers attached electrodes to the antennae of Madagascar hissing cockroaches to steer them. Currently, the team is working on tiny backpacks attached to the back of cockroaches, to transform these critters into moving networks of sensors.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Genetic Modification Could Prevent TB

Tuberculosis might sound like a thing of the past but it is still a serious problem, causing an estimated 1.3 – 1.5 million deaths in 2013 alone. The main root of tuberculosis is infected cattle, which is transferred to humans via consumption of unpasteurized dairy products. However, it has recently been announced that genetic modification allowed scientists to produce cattle resistant to tuberculosis.

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