What If We Never Run Out of Oil? →
New technology and a little-known energy source suggest that fossil fuels may not be finite. This would be a miracle—and a nightmare.
Nature. There is no (external) nature. All ecology is synthetic. Space. Geographic scale has been reified. The totality of flows of energy, matter, and information that shape socio-environmental processes cannot be captured by any artificial boundary. There are no closed systems. Energy. Energy is the master resource. Its availability is the main driver of historical change. Radical...
A Dream of Glowing Trees Is Assailed for... →
A project to create a plant that glows in the dark, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace streetlamps, has been denounced for tinkering with genes.
Arctic Ocean 'acidifying rapidly' →
Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!
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Mars One opens applications for one-way ticket to... →
Two women and two men will be selected to make the journey, but questions remain about mission’s viability
Genetically Modified E. Coli Bacteria Can Now... →
By combining genes from different bacteria species, scientists created E. coli that can consume fat and excrete diesel fuel
Obama: NASA should capture asteroid, place it in... →
The Curse of Fertilizer →
If we don’t watch out, agriculture could destroy our planet. Here’s how to grow all the food we need with fewer chemicals.
Biological computer that 'lives' inside the body... →
Scientists believe they are close to building the first truly biological computer made from the organic molecules of life and capable of working within the living cells of organisms ranging from microbes to man.
3D printer produces synthetic tissue capable of... →
Scientists have used a custom-made 3D printer to make a synthetic tissue that could have a variety of applications — including the ability to transmit long-distance electric signals much like nerves. The process, published in Science by an Oxford University team led by Hagan Bayley, prints a network of droplets made out of aqueous solutions — a liquid mixture — instead of the solids that standard...
Skylar Tibbits: The emergence of "4D printing"
We're Scarily Close to the Permafrost Tipping... →
Permafrost—the ground that stays frozen for two or more consecutive years—is a ticking time bomb of climate change. Some 24 percent of Northern Hemisphere land is permafrost. That’s 9 million square miles (23 million square kilometers) found mostly in Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and other higher mountain regions. Unfortunately, thawing permafrost releases...
The Inevitable 2014 Headline: ‘Global CO2 Level... →
The Man Who Thinks He Never Has to Eat Again →
You know what’s an irreversible waste of time, money and effort? Eating food you take pleasure in eating. I mean, wouldn’t you rather just ingest a tasteless form of sustenance for the rest of your life and never have to go through that tedious rigmarole of opening and eating a pre-made sandwich or enjoying a huge hungover fry-up ever again? Rob Rhinehart – a 24-year-old software...
We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction →
Unthinkable as it may be, humanity, every last person, could someday be wiped from the face of the Earth. We have learned to worry about asteroids and supervolcanoes, but the more-likely scenario, according to Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at Oxford, is that we humans will destroy ourselves.
Elon Musk of SpaceX interviewed by TED's Chris...
McArthur Grant recipient and MIT inventor Saul Griffith on the world’s energy budget.
Study finds fungi, not plant matter, responsible... →
A new study undertaken by a diverse group of scientists in Sweden has found that contrary to popular belief, most of the carbon that is sequestered in northern boreal forests comes about due to fungi that live on and in tree roots, rather than via dead needles, moss and leaf matter.
Cheaper desalinization with graphene filters →
The process would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin - just one atom in thickness - it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the...
Quantum biology: Do weird physics effects abound... →
Disappearing in one place and reappearing in another. Being in two places at once. Communicating information seemingly faster than the speed of light. This kind of weird behaviour is commonplace in dark, still laboratories studying the branch of physics called quantum mechanics, but what might it have to do with fresh flowers, migrating birds, and the smell of rotten eggs? Welcome to the...
Jeremy Grantham and Peak Phosphorus →
Phosphorus is a critical ingredient of fertilizer, and there is a finite supply of it. The consensus is that we will hit “peak phosphorus” production within a few decades, after which point our phosphorus supply will inexorably decline. As it declines, we will be unable to feed ourselves. Shit, quite literally, could be about to hit the fan.
Everyone is a futurist now →
In 1963, in the depths of the Cold War, all of the futurists in the world could probably assemble in a largish conference room and still have space for an overhead projector. Half a century later, it would take a small stadium to hold all of the people who use the title in some form. Why and why now?
The strengths of left analytical antisepticism have not left much room for the...– Smith, N. 1998. “Nature at the Millennium: Production and Re-enchantment.” In , edited by B. Braun and N. Castree. Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium. London: Routledge.
Mark Lynas: truth, treachery and GM food →
Today, his parents live in North Wales. “They have a little organic farm. Post-organic, really. My dad’s with me in arguing the need for biological solutions, like GM, to reduce chemical use.”
Patient has 75 per cent of his skull replaced by... →
A MAN has had 75 per cent of his skull replaced with a custom-made 3D-printed implant. The un-named patient in the United States had his head imaged by a 3D scanner before the plastic prosthetic was crafted to suit his features.
Robot silkworms to print architectural structure →
Researchers at MIT plan to 3D print a 3m-high pavilion by imitating the way a silkworm builds its cocoon. The Mediated Matter Group at MIT’s Media Lab will use a robotic arm to print a structure using silk fibres bound together with a biodegradable glue. Unlike traditional 3D printing the CNSILK Pavilion will be “freeform” printed without the use of support material to hold it up during...
The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable life...– Abraham Lincoln
Those who are in a position to intervene in people’s psyches include not...– Felix Guattari, “The Three Ecologies”
ecology is another name for complexity; thought plays a pivotal in the...– Karl Chu
How to turn living cells into computers →
Synthetic biologists have developed DNA modules that perform logic operations in living cells. These ‘genetic circuits’ could be used to track key moments in a cell’s life or, at the flick of a chemical switch, change a cell’s fate, the researchers say.
Ecological Modernity: The City as Matrix of Urban... →
We can witness today a fundamental transformation of our understanding of the city from its century- long focus on opposing nature, of city being non-nature, to becoming understood as some sort of nature by its own, of city becoming another-nature. It is interesting to observe that the current obsession of cities rethinking their metabolic relationship with nature and their role as hosts for...
It’s (Almost) Alive! Scientists Create a... →
Three billion years after inanimate chemistry first became animate life, a newly synthesized laboratory compound is behaving in uncannily lifelike ways. The particles aren’t truly alive — but they’re not far off, either. Exposed to light and fed by chemicals, they form crystals that move, break apart and form again.
Foster & Partners designs 3D printed lunar base →
Foster & Partners has revealed its designs for a 3D-printed moon base made from lunar soil. In 2009 the European Space Agency enlisted the help of the practice, which has devised a weight-bearing ‘cantenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against small meteoroids and space radiation.
Inflatable dwelling for astronauts to be tested on... →
Prototype habitat, which is a just a third of the weight of a traditional capsule, to be roadtested in orbit in 2015
Better Than Human →
Imagine that 7 out of 10 working Americans got fired tomorrow. What would they all do?