The very first building in the world with a shading system consisting of live micro-algae is being built in the suburb of Wilhemsburg in Hamburg. The “algae house” will be complete in 2013 and will comprise approximately 200 square meters of such elements.
Designed for the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg, the zero-energy house will be the first real-life test for the new façade system. Algae in the bio-reactor façades grow faster in bright sunlight to provide more shade. The bio-reactors power the building by capturing solar thermal heat and producing biomass that can be harvested.
The BIQ house was designed by Splitterwerk Architects, in collaboration with Colt International, Arup, and SSC. Arup’s Europe Research Leader, Jan Wurm, said: To use bio-chemical processes for adaptive shading is a really innovative and sustainable solution so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario. As well as generating renewable energy and providing shade to keep the inside of the building cooler on sunny days, it also creates a visually interesting look that architects and building owners will like. The building is due to be completed in March 2013, and it will allow scientists, engineers, and builders the opportunity to assess the full potential of the system as a green alternative.
Algae are high on the genetic engineering agenda as a potential source for biofuel, and they should be subjected to independent studies of any environmental risks that could be linked to cultivating algae for this purpose, two prominent researchers...
The Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDV) constitute an apparently monophyletic group that consists of at least 6 families of viruses infecting a broad variety of eukaryotic hosts. A comprehensive genome comparison and maximum-likelihood reconstruction of the NCLDV evolution revealed a set of approximately 50 conserved, core genes that could be mapped to the genome of the common ancestor of this class of eukaryotic viruses.
Results We performed a detailed phylogenetic analysis of these core NCLDV genes and applied the constrained tree approach to show that the majority of the core genes are unlikely to be monophyletic. Several of the core genes have been independently acquired from different sources by different NCLDV lineages whereas for the majority of these genes displacement by homologs from cellular organisms in one or more groups of the NCLDV was demonstrated.
Conclusions A detailed study of the evolution of the genomic core of the NCLDV reveals substantial complexity and diversity of evolutionary scenarios that was largely unsuspected previously. The phylogenetic coherence between the core genes is sufficient to validate the hypothesis on the evolution of all NCLDV from a common ancestral virus although the set of ancestral genes might be smaller than previously inferred from patterns of gene presence-absence.
Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at have discovered a new class of polymers that are resistant to bacterial attachment. These new materials could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections and medical device failures.
Scientists have described three human antibodies that provide broad protection against Influenza B virus strains. The same team had previously reported finding broadly neutralizing antibodies against Influenza A strains.
State and local agencies are struggling to stop the spread of mosquito-borne viruses in Southeastern Massachusetts as they face what some health officials say is an unprecedented level of infection in the insect population.
Contrary to popular belief, purified drinking water from home faucets contains millions to hundreds of millions of widely differing bacteria per gallon, and scientists have discovered a plausible way to manipulate those populations of mostly...
There have been "marathon mice", "Schwarzenegger mice" and dogs whose wasted muscles were repaired with injected substances that switch off key genes. It may not be long before we get the first genetically modified athlete.
An effective AIDS vaccine remains one of the highest priorities in HIV-research. Our recent study showed that vaccination of rhesus macaques with recombinant simian varicella virus (rSVV) vector -- simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) envelope and gag genes, induced neutralizing antibodies and cellular immune responses to SIV and also significantly reduced plasma viral loads following intravenous pathogenic challenge with SIVMAC251/CX1.
Scientists have collected the first precise data ever on the function of a transport protein for formate – an important metabolite in bacteria. The findings could potentially lead to the development of new antibiotic active ingredients.
A team of researchers led by scientists at Rockefeller University have discovered that a protein once thought to be mainly involved in antiviral immunity is in fact more important in fighting bacterial infections and could provide new mechanisms for treating diseases like tuberculosis, which is increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotic medication.
A team of undergraduates from Stanford and Brown universities are applying synthetic biology to space exploration, outfitting microbes to survive extreme Martian conditions and produce resources needed to sustain a human colony.
by Jaime E. Zlamal Coccolithovirus, a giant double-stranded DNA virus, infects Ehux. The virus (pink) was first observed in 1999 by W.H. Wilson and was found to be a “giant-virus” having 472 protein-coding genes.
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