Editing DNA is now cut-and-paste. We could eliminate disease, cure hunger—or break the world.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:
Beautiful, thought-provoking, and very troubling.
Author Amy Maxman concludes:
"In an odd reversal, it’s the scientists who are showing more fear than the civilians. When I ask Church for his most nightmarish Crispr scenario, he mutters something about weapons and then stops short. He says he hopes to take the specifics of the idea, whatever it is, to his grave. But thousands of other scientists are working on Crispr. Not all of them will be as cautious. “You can’t stop science from progressing,” Jinek says. “Science is what it is.” He’s right. Science gives people power. And power is unpredictable. "
The discovery specific fungi are capable of eating up some of the most toxic of materials is spurring on research into fungi as an answer for our global waste problem connected to our addiction to disposable, cheap plastics goods. Fungi may also become the foundation of a new chain of food supply if this intriguing growing system can move beyond the prototype phase and eventually help grace our plates with the “fruits” of its terrarium growing labor.
Japan’s historic architecture was among the most sustainable and environmentally friendly on the planet. Think of a traditional machiya (merchant’s house) or even a palace, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto; made of local materials such as wood, tatami, paper. The 20th century’s rush to modernize favored new technologies over tradition, and Japan became one of the most exciting architectural landscapes on the globe. There are few environments as adventurous: a place where microhouses are built on microscopic building sites, where skyscrapers rise on seismic quake lines and where material and form are pushed to new heights- it is a constantly changing architectural landscape...
But the price for this constant reinvention is often environmental; with global economic uncertainty and recent disasters, Japan has had to rethink how it wants to go forward. It could be the beginning of a quiet architectural revolution, as architects and urban planners – as well as the public – question architectural ideals since 1945 and ask: how can this be done better?
Now, with reconstruction beginning, the need and desire to find innovative and sustainable ways of building is growing. Japanese architecture has traditionally prized and worked in response to nature, so it's no surprise that architects are not only looking to new green technology but also back to Japan’s architectural traditions; a shoji screen can be as relevant as a solar panel in sustainable architecture...
Visit the link for the complete article for case studies, example projects and more images that address this new phase of architecture and sustainable development in Japan.
"Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. Or, picture a car windshield that stores the sun’s energy and then releases it as a burst of heat to melt away a layer of ice.
"According to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long, thanks to a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as window glass or clothing. ..." (more)
"It's a hypothesis made by Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a team of other marine conservation biologists, who believe the effects of rapidly spreading pollution from humans and unsustainable fishing will have an increasingly devastating impact on the environment.
But Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, a forum that partners with brands to stop the destruction of nature by creating more environmentally sound practices, thinks it's coming sooner than that.
"That [prediction] was nine years ago," he explains to Mashable. "Today I would say that is way too optimistic."
Gutsch, who founded Parley for the Oceans in June 2012 after realizing how dire the ocean's needs are, says that plastic is having a profoundly destructive effect. A comprehensive February 2015 report published in the journal Science found that we dump approximately 19 billion pounds of plastic into the oceans every year.
Plastic doesn't oxidize or biodegrade, unlike paper, metal, glass or wood, making it especially harmful to marine life.
That's why he's partnered with Bionic Yarn, a company that produces high-performance yarn and fabric from the plastic Parley for the Oceans retrieves.
"There is more plastic in our oceans than plankton and more plastic particles than fish eggs in our lakes and rivers," Gutsch says. "
We are destroying the most important life support system of our planet.
We are destroying the most important life support system of our planet. And if we succeed doing this, we will not be able to live on this Earth."
Bionic Yarn, which boasts musician and record producerPharrell Williams as creative director and an investor, takes plastic and infuses it into various fabrics to create real fashions. The process includes creating small fibers from plastic waste, then binding it onto fabrics such as yarn, lycra, cotton and polyester, which make up the majority of clothing. (more)
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:
This story needs to be shared widely - it is innovation at it's best. I've scooped more than my fair share of Mashable's article here. Will you help me spread the fascinating possibilities? 53 tons of ocean plastic debris collected in 18 months. Let's spread the innovations faster than the pollution!
Recycling plastic may be expensive, but we've got oceans of it to deal with, both literally and figuratively. This project will spin out enormous capacity for innovation -- Imagine the 3d printer tough enough to use recycled materials!
The Endesa Pavilion is a progressive prototype that explores the potential of replicating natural processes via digital coding to accomplish accurate and desired results.
With a multitude of workshops, news bulletins, symposiums, et all propounding the intelligent use of natural resources world over, there are several diligent minds painstakingly ticking on actually accomplishing the needful. The Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) with a ‘projects’ division headed by architect Rodrigo Rubio has created a research prototype of a new self-sufficient solar-optimized prefabricated skin system...
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