Artists Envision Human-Algae Symbiosis

Artists Envision Human-Algae Symbiosis

In the future, humans may be able to enter into a personal symbiotic relationship with algae by using “new bodily organs” that can host living algae systems. Our booming population and dwindling water and soil resources may cause us to explore extremely different approaches to food, and the design duo of Michiko Nitta and Michael Burton proposes that one answer may lie in the construction of new organs for the body, perhaps containing a culture of algae that we both feed and eat. “Algaculture designs a new symbiotic relationship between humans and algae. It proposes a future where humans will… read more

Smart Designs From Squid, Zebrafish and Fruit

Smart Designs From Squid, Zebrafish and Fruit

Unlikely combinations not normally associated with fibers, these unusual substances have been examined for their rich color enhancing capabilities. Able to change the color of their outer appearance, squid and zebrafish can appear lighter or darker. Researchers from the University of Bristol (U.K.) have discovered a process for simulating the muscles and cells of squid that can produce the colorful effects. They looked at these specific animals since they are inherently capable of reactively controlling their skin’s color. The cells in color changing animals that hold pigments are called chromatophores. When the muscles are contracted they expand and look larger. The… read more

Photosharing Sites Aid in Studying Biodiversity

Photosharing Sites Aid in Studying Biodiversity

A new study claims that the popular photosharing sites we all know and love could be a powerful tool for studying insect biodiversity. With the widespread adoptance of smartphones that are capable of not only taking high-resolution photos, but also uploading them to the internet with location and other data attached to them, the study of our planet’s biodiversity is getting a boost. “Scientific information has traditionally being retrieved from specialized books and journals. In the case of entomology, the publication of field sampling results has been the cornerstone of biodiversity datasets. Availability of modern digital photograph technologies, together with… read more

The Sun’s Magnetic Flip

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You may have received warnings of upcoming changes in weather, or even noticed recent irregularities yourself over the last few days. Such has been made noticeable with severe storms, which in parts of the U.S. last night were marked by incessant pulsations of lightening, the sky intermittently flushed with white and brilliant shades of blue. If so, don’t panic. This is normal and may be the mere result of the sun’s ever-progressing reversal in magnetism. Every 11 years, there comes a peak in the solar cycle. This peak is known as the sun spot cycle, which results in the reversal… read more

Modifying Orange DNA To Prevent Their Demise

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Did you know that over the past few years while you were sleeping, a new virus strain was slowly ravaging the world’s supply of oranges? Yeah, neither did we. It’s affecting farmer’s crops globally, and in the United States, the state of Florida (one of the world’s largest producers of orange juice) has been hit pretty hard. The disease essentially sours an orange and leaves it half-green, and totally inedible. Back in 2005, the disease finally reached “the sunshine state”, forcing orange growers to come up with a plan. Together, a community of roughly 8,000 farmers searched high and low… read more

Electronics That Are Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Electronics That Are Here Today Gone Tomorrow

What if your smartphone was engineered to biodegrade when you wanted an upgrade? Or what if its components could even dissolve when they came into contact with water? That is what a team of investigators from 3 universities have been examining, and they have actually made it a possibility. The U.S. based researchers who developed the technology are from Northwestern University, Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The research study has been given the name “born to die” and essentially, that is what it is. A new way of manufacturing smartgear and other devices, called transient electronics,… read more

Visualizing a Breathing Earth

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Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own little corner of the world, and forget about the Earth as an organism. But this GIF, from data visualization expert John Nelson, uses hi-res satellite imagery of the Earth from NASA to show the seasonal transformations of our world, which could go a long way toward putting things in the proper global context. “Here’s a view looking at one year of seasonal transformations on Earth. Made possible by the tremendous folks of the NASA Visible Earth team, I downloaded the twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth (“Blue Marble Next Generation”) at… read more

America’s Road To Energy Independence

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This is a four-part video series Popular Science created. The series follows Jacob Ward, the magazine’s editor-in-chief as he travels across the country and around the globe, discovering the next-generation of alternative energy solutions that will bring the United States into an era of eco-independence. Part One This first segment takes us on a journey to discover how solar cells will one day be embedded in fabric. Right now, Popular Science has only uploaded the first segment to their youtube channel. Follow this link to view the rest of these educational, and incredibly insightful videos. Have a thought? Share it… read more

Greener Batteries Could Be Made From Plants

Greener Batteries Could Be Made From Plants

The roots from a plant may someday be used to make greener batteries. That is what scientists who discovered that purpurin, a substance that can be extracted from the root of the madder plant, found. The group of researchers learned that it is possible to make rechargeable lithium ion batteries from this material as it can be implemented as a natural cathode. The plant, categorically known as Rubia tinctorum, has traditionally been used as a natural dye. When examining ways to use organic molecule properties and their capacity to work with lithium ion, they discovered purpurin’s effectiveness as a better rechargeable… read more

Crash Course Ecology: Pollution

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Hank and John Green collectively run a Youtube channel called “Crash Course” that teaches you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about science, history, math, how things work, etc. It’s quite brilliant, and we highly recommend it. In this segment, Hank gives us a crash course on pollution and how it affects the environment around us. You may think you know pollution, but in case you need a refresher, check out the short video below. Have a thought? Share it in the comments below.