Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 440

May 30, 2018

Microbes in Space: Bioengineered Bugs Could Help Colonize New Planets

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, sustainability

As humans spread out into the cosmos in search of life, the most alien organisms we encounter may be those we bring with us. Researchers at NASA and elsewhere are engineering microbes so they can carry out many of the functions needed to support human life off-planet.

Humans have been harnessing microbes to do useful work for us for millennia. We’ve used them to make bread, beer, and cheese, and more recently they’ve been put to work to produce medicine, provide fertilizer for crops, and even generate biofuels.

But the emerging field of synthetic biology holds the promise of greatly expanding the things microbes can do for us. Advances in gene editing technology are allowing scientist to re – engineer microbes’ genomes to carry out entirely novel functions like producing chemicals not found in nature, acting as biosensors, and even carrying out computation.

Continue reading “Microbes in Space: Bioengineered Bugs Could Help Colonize New Planets” »

May 30, 2018

Oil industry is finally starting to be affected by Norway’s rapid electric car adoption

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Norway’s electric vehicle adoption rate is so far ahead of most countries that it gives us glimpses into the future of bigger markets – sometimes even decades ahead of time.

Now it is starting to show signs of demand for gasoline and diesel slowing down as electric vehicles are taking over.

Read more

May 30, 2018

Solar-Powered Robot Pulls Weeds Autonomously

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability

This weed-pulling robot is cheaper and better for the environment.

Read more

May 28, 2018

Bowery Farming is putting an urban twist on agriculture

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

This high-tech farm is growing crops in an entirely new way. 🌱.

Read more

May 28, 2018

The EU Is Planning a Ban on Single-Use Plastic Products

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability

The European Commission is proposing a ban on around 10 single-use plastic items that it says account for approximately 70 percent of all garbage in the European Union’s waters and beaches, including cutlery, straws, cotton buds, plates, some coffee cups, and stirrers, CNN Money reported on Monday.

According to CNN’s report, it’s part of a broader plan to shift the European economy away from single-use products that end up going straight into the garbage or the street:

The legislation is not just about banning plastic products. It also wants to make plastic producers bear the cost of waste management and cleanup efforts, and it proposes that EU states must collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through new recycling programs.

Continue reading “The EU Is Planning a Ban on Single-Use Plastic Products” »

May 25, 2018

The strawberry-picking robots doing a job humans won’t

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

The strawberry-picking robots coming to a farm near you. 🤖🍓.

Strawberry producers say labour shortages are driving them to find robotic fruit pickers instead.

Read more

May 23, 2018

Urban food from vertical farming

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Your local supermarket and favourite restaurant could soon be growing their own food, thanks to an EU-funded project that has completely redesigned the food supply chain to develop the concept of in-store farming.

Our busy, modern lives demand that fresh produce be available 365 days a year, even though some varieties may only be seasonal and/or produced on the other side of the world. The result is a system centred on quantity, low prices and efficiency rather than on quality, sustainability and traceability.

The EU-funded INFARM (The vertical farming revolution, urban Farming as a Service) project reflects a growing desire for highly nutritious locally grown food, which is free of herbicides and pesticides and addresses the lack of accountability in the current food system. “By growing produce directly where people eat and live, we can cut out the lengthy supply chain, significantly reduce food waste, offer nutrient-dense food without any chemical pesticides and improve the environmental ‘foodprint’ of our ,” says the INFARM’s Chief Technical Officer and co-founder, Guy Galonska.

Read more

May 23, 2018

Single-system solar tech cuts clean energy costs in half

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

Generating power from the sun isn’t the problem. The technology has been there for decades. Storing that power efficiently, however, has been a challenge.

That’s why the Department of Energy has awarded $3 million to engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin to overcome the Achilles’ heel of the story since Day One: how to store its energy.

To date, most major systems are bulky and expensive, with inefficient storage capacity. Energy coming from existing must be housed in storage systems outside of the generators that create the power. In other words, two separate systems are required to ensure successful operation.

Read more

May 23, 2018

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Wind and solar energy are growing rapidly in the U.S. As these energy sources become a bigger part of the electricity mix, their growth raises new questions: How do solar and wind influence energy prices? And since power plants last for decades, what should policymakers and investors think about to ensure that investments in power infrastructure pay off in the future?

Our research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory decided to look at what effect a higher share of and solar will have on these questions. In our latest study, we found that high shares of these energy resources lead to several profound changes in electric systems.

In particular, our study shows how solar and wind tend to lower energy prices, but they add new complexity for operating the grid, which has big implications for regulators. For consumers, this research is a reminder that making the grid cleaner with wind and solar is an evolving process that requires significant changes to how the power grid is currently run—but one that offers large opportunities, if we as a country can become more flexible when we use electricity.

Read more

May 22, 2018

Triggering Autophagy to Potentially Combat Neurodegenerative Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, sustainability

Researchers at Brown University have discovered a way to stimulate cellular autophagy, which is a natural recycling system built into every cell in the body. This has the potential to combat many age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

What is autophagy?

Autophagy means “eating of self” (from Ancient Greek “auto” = self, “phagein” = to devour). Autophagy is how cells break down broken or dysfunctional organelles and proteins in the cell [1,2]. This essentially means that autophagy can consume organelles, such as mitochondria, peroxisomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum, as part of this process. There is also evidence to support that high levels of autophagy are linked to longevity.

Read more