Tag: 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


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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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


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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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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Hydrogel farming
Food Technology

Soil-Free Farming in the Desert

Throughout the lands of the Persian Gulf, desertification is a fact of life. As a result, the countries of this region import 90 percent of their food supply. A new technology developed by visionary researchers at the Waseda University, in Japan, might have found the solution to this problem. A special absorbent film that require no soil may be able to grow plants more efficiently than soil farming.

The research team, lead by Professor Yuichi Mori, has developed a hydrogel film that can hold 1,000 times of its weight in water. The scientists are already testing these films in 180 film farms.

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Food Technology

The World’s Largest Indoor Farm

Humans have mastered agriculture for the last 10.000 years, during which different climates, cultures, and technologies have driven and defined farming development. Nevertheless, a summer storm, voracious pests or a bad drought can still ruin the harvest and destroy months of hard work. But not anymore, according to Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, who transfered intensive agriculture under the roof.

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‘Flowerworks’, by Sara Illenberger. Photography: Sabrina Rynas

Happy Next Nature!

Time measurement tools are perhaps among the most inventive technologies mankind has produced, as it enables us to articulate ‘natural’ time (in the form of lunar years, sun eclipse, tidal waves, seasons and of course the day and night rhythm) in measurable units of milliseconds, hours, days, weeks months and years. A process most of us tend to perceive as ‘natural’ but is in fact highly constructed. A calendar year has just passed and a new one has just started, time goes by but evolution goes on. I wish you a very livable Next Nature and a happy new year!

Image: ‘Flowerworks’ by Sarah Illenberger (photography: Sabrina Rynas)