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19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans

19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling. At school, Boyan Slat launched a project that analyzed the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches. His final paper went on to win several prizes, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. Slat went on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. + Boyan Slat

http://inhabitat.com/19-year-old-student-develops-ocean-cleanup-array-that-could-remove-7250000-tons-of-plastic-from-the-worlds-oceans/

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Bioengineers Build Open Source Language for Programming Cells Drew Endy wants to build a programming language for the body. Endy is the co-director of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology — BIOFAB, for short — where he’s part of a team that’s developing a language that will use genetic data to actually program biological cells. That may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the project is already underway, and the team intends to open source the language, so that other scientists can use it and modify it and perfect it. The effort is part of a sweeping movement to grab hold of our genetic data and directly improve the way our bodies behave — a process known as bioengineering. With the Supreme Court exploring whether genes can be patented, the bioengineering world is at crossroads, but scientists like Endy continue to push this technology forward. According to Ziv Bar-Joseph, a computational biologist at Carnegie Mellon University, gene expression isn’t that different from the way computing systems talk to each other.

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Boyan Slat “Human history is basically a list of things that couldn't be done, and then were done.” Boyan Slat (Delft, 1994) combines environmentalism, creativity and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. Currently working on oceanic plastic pollution, he believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. “It will be very hard to convince everyone in the world to handle their plastics responsibly, but what we humans are very good in, is inventing technical solutions to our problems. And that’s what we’re doing.” Besides leading The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan is an Aerospace Engineering student at the Delft University of Technology, and is an avid photographer and diver.

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