A group of chemical engineers and biochemists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a new study presenting a way to improve the efficiency of plants light harvesting during the photosynthesis.
Embedding carbon nanotubes – microscopic tubes thinner than a human hair able to absorb sunlight and convert it to electron flow – inside the leaves, they were able to augment the amount of light energy captured by the plant.
“Plants have, for a long time, provided us with valuable products like food, biofuels, construction materials and the oxygen we breathe”, explains plant biologist and chemical engineer Juan Pablo Giraldo. “We envisioned them as new hybrid biomaterials for solar energy harnessing, self-repairing materials and chemical detectors of pollutants, pesticides, and fungal and bacterial infections.”
Rebuilding plants into bionic superpowered energy photosynthesizers.
Read more on: Scientific American
Imagine you are spending a nice sunny day at the park. Like all good Society of Simulations inhabitants, you want to take a picture of your friends and the amazing picnic you are having, to post it on your social networks. Bummer! The battery of your mobile phone is dead. And of course, there isn’t any electric socket anywhere near. This difficulty soon might be a problem of the past. Dutch technostarter Plant-e designs and develops products that use living plants to generate electricity.
Performance philosopher Jason Silva has inaugurated a powerful new series on AOL called The Future Of Us, with new videos weekly. In this series, Silva shares his excitement about recent discoveries and inventions, describing how they’ll help us today but, more importantly, how they’ll impact our near and distant future. One episode, The Dawn of Nanotechnology, gives us a glimpse of a new world of unbounded imagination. We know a thing or two about that!
A global wine shortage is coming. Rising global consumption is contending with European wine production that has been acutely affected by changing weather patterns. Because wine consumption depends on regional grape varieties that are often climate-specific, poor harvests in Italy and France (the two largest global producers of wine, and among the largest consumers too) will lead to a global wine shortage as the 2012 vintage is released.
In future electric cables could be made ??of spider webs. 100% natural electric cables, sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s possible! Researcher at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory of Tallahassee, Florida, found out that spider silk becomes a robust and flexible electricity conductor if coated with carbon nanotubes.
Remember the Twitter tooth implant, the handy little (speculative) device that spied on your drinking, eating and smoking habits? The implant made its first debut in real life with a “tattoo” consisting of electrical sensors. Now, a team of Taiwanese researchers have gone beyond surface electronics to create a whole implantable tooth, complete with a tiny accelerometer.
Because everything we do with our mouths, from chatting to chewing, produces a unique motion profile, the team was able to predict what participants’ mouths were getting up to with close to 95% accuracy. Future prototypes of the “wearable oral sensory system” will include Bluetooth (no pun intended) to wirelessly transmit data to a cell phone or computer. Just imagine waking up to a chiding letter from your parents when they find out you’ve been smoking, or a worried note from your doctor if she suspects you’re coming down with a cold. Of course, you can always talk to yourself if you want to fake a healthy dose of social interaction.