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Movie: Julian Melchiorri on the first synthetic biological leaf

Movie: Julian Melchiorri on the first synthetic biological leaf
The "first man-made biological leaf" could enable humans to colonise space Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: RCA graduate Julian Melchiorri says the synthetic biological leaf he developed, which absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant, could enable long-distance space travel. "Plants don't grow in zero gravity," explains Melchiorri. "NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space. This material could allow us t0 explore space much further than we can now." Melchiorri's Silk Leaf project, which he developed as part of the Royal College of Art's Innovation Design Engineering course in collaboration with Tufts University silk lab, consists of chloroplasts suspended in a matrix made out of silk protein. "The material is extracted directly from the fibres of silk," Melchiorri explains. Like the leaves of a plant, all Melchiorri's Silk Leaf needs to produce oxygen is light and a small amount of water.

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Seven fabrics inspired by nature: from the lotus leaf to butterflies and sharks With technology poised to change the way we dress in the future, here are seven examples of innovative fabrics that take their cue from the natural world. Hooked on Velcro Invented in 1948, Velcro has become a textbook example of biomimicry – an emerging science that emulates nature to solve human problems. And yet Velcro's invention was something of a happy accident, for which we must thank the dog of Swiss inventor George de Mestral. After a walk in the fields, de Mestral noticed burrs stuck to his trousers and his dog's fur, which led to his creation of a new hook and loop fastening device, Velcro. Exploring the lotus effect

Google's thrifty virtual reality headset is built from cardboard News: Google has devised a way for smartphone users to make their own virtual reality headset using household items. The Cardboard project was created by Google to allow anyone to try out virtual reality by creating a DIY headset – which works in a similar way to an Oculus Rift – from inexpensive materials. The project is accompanied by an app that lets users write their own virtual reality software to play through the basic headset.

Movie: CuteCircuit on smart textiles and digital fashion With smart textiles we can "download new colours or patterns" to our clothes Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Francesca Rosella of interactive fashion brand CuteCircuit claims advances in digital "smart" fabrics will revolutionise the fashion industry, allowing us to download new styles for our clothes rather than buying new garments. "We are living in a digital future, so we do not need to sell 10,000 skirts," says Rosella. "We could sell 500 skirts, but then could sell thousands of patterns that you download to your skirt." By embedding nanotechnology into fabrics, we can create "smart textiles" that are conductive, or even computational, Rosella explains. "Some fabric that you can imagine 50 years ago was just a stretch knit, now through nanotechnology can be coated with particles of silver or gold to become a conductive fabric, which we can use instead of wires," she says.

Stephen Hawking says Higgs boson has potential to destroy entire universe Scientists believe they now have enough evidence to confirm the existence of the so-called 'God Particle'. Josh Dugan and Tyrone Roberts both found themselves in the sin bin after a huge all-in brawl broke out during the Knights' final round clash with the Dragons at Hunter Stadium. All the news you need to know. Simone Battle of US girl group GRL has died, aged 25. Hagfish Slime: Biomaterial Of The Future? I don’t like to admit that there are many things that are as badass in the marine world as sharks, but hagfish definitely give them a run for their money. Hagfish are primitive, eel-like creatures that spend most of their lives slithering along the ocean floor, scavenging dead and dying fish. They’re spineless, virtually blind, have no jaws and have barely changed over the last 300 million years. They’re not sounding very tough right now, so what makes them so special? Well, hagfish have a sticky trick up their sleeves.

The Field (a new Blur Building in Neuchâtel) A borderless pavilion: colonizing space through Density and Dispersion Based on the idea of a series of minimum and multipurpose infrastructural elements for a process of progressive colonization, the project fosters the idea of immateriality and autonomy through an expanded pavilion without walls. Opposed to the need for an affirmative monumental structure, the project is not iconic but explores the potentiality of the site through minimal, multiplied interventions. Movie: Daniel Widrig on 3D printing and advances in design software Software advances are "blurring boundaries between design disciplines" Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: architect and designer Daniel Widrig explains how he uses technology borrowed from the special effects business to design everything from jewellery to skyscrapers. In this movie we filmed in Miami, Daniel Widrig says that designers can break down boundaries between disciplines by borrowing technologies and tools traditionally associated with one industry and using them in other industries, in unexpected ways.

Future Collision Andromeda Planet-sized computers dominate the Local Group of galaxies; humanity's descendants are a Type 3 civilisation on the Kardashev scale Purely biological (non-cyborg) humans are exceedingly rare now. The very few which do remain comprise only a tiny fraction of the total sentient minds in existence. Though free to come and go as they please, they have practically zero influence in any governmental systems on Earth or elsewhere, being regarded as wholly subordinate to AIs and other entities. As a species, homo sapiens has continued to evolve over time. Y Combinator, Move Over For IndieBio: A Second Biotech Accelerator Bernadette Tansey10/9/14 Y Combinator, which set off a whirlwind of skeptical commentary when it opened its highly ranked tech accelerator program to biotechnology startups last spring, now has some company. SOS Ventures, the international VC firm that already holds accelerator programs for software and hardware company founders, is launching a separate accelerator called IndieBio in San Francisco and the city of Cork, Ireland, for entrepreneurial teams in fields that include synthetic biology. Like Mountain View, CA-based Y Combinator, SOS Ventures is betting that innovators in certain biotech sectors—bioinformatics, automated lab technology, and the intensive form of genetic engineering known as synthetic biology—can profit from the jumpstart delivered by accelerator programs. “These accelerators are a third way for people to build their own dreams and secure their own futures,” Gupta says. “None of us are competing,” he says.

Vl1 ball&nogues Vorlesungen svk – space&designstrategies WS 06/ 07 `künstlerische Strategien im digitalen Raum´ VL4 - Di 09.01..2007 Diller+Scofidio re: art & architecture Movie: protocells used to make Shamees Ade's running shoes Synthetic materials can "behave like living cells" Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: scientists are combining non-living chemicals to create materials with the properties of living organisms, says the creator of a self-repairing shoe made from protocells. Protocells, as the chemical cocktails are known, are made by mixing basic non-living molecules in lab conditions. These then combine to create substances that exhibit some of the characteristics of living cells: the ability to metabolise food, to move and to reproduce.

Have Scientists Discovered a Way of Peering Into the Future? Deep in the basement of a dusty old library in Edinburgh lies a small black box that churns out random numbers. At first glance the box looks profoundly dull, but it is, in fact, the ‘eye’ of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future. The machine apparently sensed the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened, and appeared to forewarn of the Asian Tsunami. “It’s Earth shattering stuff,” says Dr Roger Nelson, Emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the USA.

Two New Letters for the DNA Alphabet Scientists keep getting better at rewriting the book of life. Adding, deleting, and splicing genes has become routine, and some researchers are now even designing DNA for creatures. While many are hard at work rearranging letters on the page, a new experiment is redefining the concept of synthetic biology by writing new letters. As they reported today in the journal Nature, a team of biologists led by Floyd Romesberg at the Scripps Research Institute have expanded the genetic alphabet of DNA—the As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that write the book of life—to include two new letters. The scientists showed that their letters could be integrated into the DNA of a living creature (an E. coli bacterium) and increase exponentially the amount of information the genetic code can store.