• Tech News

    Could Manure Power Our Homes?

    As the world gradually transitions to renewable energy—with some places shifting more gradually than others—creative solutions are vying with the more mainstream renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Biogas has arisen as one of these creative solutions. Production of biogas prevents methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and some CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere while providing a renewable fuel source. This is because biogas can be made from poop.Biogas offers an alternative to the fossil fuel natural gas. SoCalGas, a southern California natural gas utility, calls it a [...]

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    Scientists Use Frog Cells To Create Living Robots

    Scientists have created living robots: blob-like lifeforms of frog stem cells that can be "programmed" to move. The robots are a far cry from the boxy, metal and plastic robots we're accustomed to. These living robots, named xenobots for the frog species that donates the necessary cells, might transform medicine in a way synthetic robots can't. For example, the xenobots can even heal themselves when injured. Biologists have been working with robotics for at least the past couple of decades. Biologically-inspired design has led to robots that mimic the agility of cockroaches or gecko-like [...]

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    The Start-Up Making Solar Power and Clean Energy More Accessible

    Solar power isn't a new concept, yet it still hasn't gone entirely mainstream. High costs, the panels' aesthetic, and under-performing technology are all factors that are holding solar energy back from reaching its full potential. Now, over a century since its conception, solar power's capacity to generate clean energy is finally grabbing the attention it deserves, thanks to a start-up aptly named Powerhouse. Unlike most other clean energy start-ups, Powerhouse isn't representing a single product or a distinct technology. Rather, the company is a resource for growth in the solar power sector. [...]

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    How Selective Breeding Affects Dog Health

    Today, bulldogs are known for their flat, wrinkly faces and stout bodies. They aren't the sturdiest dogs, and require human assistance to reproduce. Less than two hundred years ago, however, bulldogs had an athletic physique with an elongated muzzle and relatively wrinkle-free face. But after a century and a half of selective breeding, bulldogs have lost their sturdy frame.   For thousands of years, people have been breeding animals to produce the fastest horses or the best hunting dogs. But, according to a Scientific American article, over the past 200 years, dog breeders began [...]

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    Synthetic Alcohol Promises No Hangover or Liver Damage

      We all know that alcohol isn't good for our health. Years of research and drink warnings tell us of the dangers of alcohol, yet it remains a normal part of life. But researchers at Imperial College London are thinking outside of the box with a new alternative that promises to leave you hangover-free and without any liver damage: Synthetic alcohol. At first thought, it sounds too good to be true. A night out with friends that doesn't result in a bed-ridden Sunday? It turns out that synthetic alcohol can give your brain that feel-good sensation, while not actually making you [...]

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    Pesticides Are Everywhere: But Do We Really Need Them?

    With a global population of 7.5 billion people, it's no wonder that growing enough produce for the planet is proving to be a challenge. The way that we grow and harvest foods now is far different than it was even a few years ago. Instead of relying on family-owned farms and local harvests, things have gone global. Groceries stores have blueberries from Spain, bananas from Costa Rica, asparagus from Switzerland. You name it; your grocery store can probably stock it. But this global culinary paradise is not natural. On average, a single apple has a natural shelf-life of about 1-2 weeks. With the[...]

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    Cockroach Milk and 4 Other Dairy Alternatives for Eco-Friendly and Healthy Living

    Dairy products have long been a staple of diets around the world. For decades, sporting the infamous “milk mustache” has been a sign of what schools teach to be a healthy, nutritious choice. However, new science cautions against the 3 per day guideline, for both nutrition and environmental reasons.  Instead of reaching for dairy creamer, cheese or butter, consider trying out one of these dairy alternatives for healthy, eco-friendly living:  Yes, you read that right. No, it isn’t as bad as you think! Cockroach milk isn’t made like traditional dairy [...]

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    Are 3D Printed Foods the Way of the Future?

      Whether you're an excellent chef or a hazard in the kitchen, there's one thing we all have in common: Food. We need it to survive, and enjoying a delicious meal is a universal source of joy. But, as food science and technology progress, we are given new opportunities to explore when it comes to our culinary desires. One example? 3D printed foods. Although it may not sound appetizing at first mention, 3D printing is gaining popularity in the culinary industry. From your favorite pasta dish to recreating awe-inspiring cakes (including their designs), 3D printed foods aren't [...]

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    The Ocean Cleanup Traps Plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—What Now?

    Between the coasts of California and Hawaii, a massive, swirling soup of garbage holds almost two trillion pieces of plastic. When litter enters the ocean, currents carry it away from the coasts, where gyres, or rotating ocean currents, pull them into swirling patches. Dutch inventor Boyan Slat intends to change that. With his organization, The Ocean Cleanup, he plans to remove half the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years. By 2040, he hopes to have removed 90% of the plastic. In 2018, the organization launched its first plastic retrieval system, System 001 or "Wilson," [...]

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    Farming with Rocks to Reduce CO2 Levels

    With climate change concerns mounting, any means to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are gladly welcomed. Just last year, the CO2 levels were reported to be at the highest they've been in over 800,000 years; A startling reality for the future of our planet's health. But recent research shows that farming with rocks may be a simple, natural method to soak up some of our excess CO2.  Looking at our environmental records, we are living in conditions that no human has ever experienced before. For 800,000 years, we saw the average CO2 fluctuation between 170 ppm and 280[...]

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    The Avocado Pit: A Secret Ingredient for Sustainability

    Sustainability is now a priority on most peoples' lists. As climate concerns continue to mount, more and more people are seeking out sustainable alternatives to their everyday items. From cutlery to straws, the plastic versions just aren't cutting it anymore; And it's this public opinion that sparked the creativity behind Biofase's ground-breaking research for sustainable single-use products using the avocado pit. When we think of sustainability, single-use items hardly come to mind. Single-use plastics account for roughly 50% of all plastics used, which is why consumers are encouraged [...]

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    New Eco-Friendly Air Conditioners Could Offer More than Just Cool Air

    Global warming is just that...Warming. As climate change continues to alter our planet, the rising temperatures are becoming more and more difficult to ignore. Areas that were once considered to be mild climates are now experiencing the occasional scorching summer day or snow-free winter. And with this increase in temperature comes an increase in demand for a new air conditioner, but one that doesn't leave a distressing mark on the environment. Picking up on this niche, a trio of scientists is proposing a new air conditioner alternative in a paper titled "Crowd Oil Not Crude Oil." Basically, [...]

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    Causes of Extinction: 5 Actions that Are Killing off Species

      Every day, humans take advantage of the world's resources. Water for drinking, the foods we eat, and even trees and other natural materials for shelter are used by humans on a daily basis without concern for the future. But along the way, we're using more than can be replenished, causing catastrophic damages to the earth. One of the most tragic contributors to this phenomenon is humanity and all that it entails, making the human race arguably the largest of the many different causes of extinction. This extinction isn't reserved only for animals either. Plantlife is also dying off[...]

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    Solein: Turning Carbon Dioxide into Food

    Within two years, you could be making protein shakes with carbon dioxide. The Finnish company Solar Foods recently developed a new protein powder with carbon dioxide, water, some nutrients, and soil microbes. According to Solar Foods, the product, Solein, can be made anywhere at a low cost, and looks and tastes like wheat flour. The idea for Solein originally came from NASA technology. Scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Lappeenranta University of Technology adopted the NASA concept to try making protein from carbon dioxide, and formed Solar Foods in 2017. Now [...]

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    Dairy Products Surprisingly Bad for the Environment

    Beginning at a young age, society tells us that milk is the cornerstone of a healthy body. Schools and doctors offices are riddled with posters of the infamous food pyramid, with dairy products taking up a significant portion of a healthy diet. And while calcium is beneficial for our health, dairy isn't the only way to consume the recommended amount. In fact, your morning latte is doing more harm than good when it comes to the health of the environment. When we think of climate change fueled by foods, beef is usually the first thing that comes to mind. In recent years, environmental [...]

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    Clean Water Crisis: How Tech is Making an Impact

    Access to clean water is necessary for survival. In 2010, the United Nations even deemed it a basic human right, yet around 790 million people still don't have access to clean water. Whether it's inadequate infrastructure or a lack of funding, the clean water crisis is a pressing concern. Our fresh water sources remain generally the same as they've always been.While it's true that some of our largest lakes and streams are drying up, the main issue at hand appears to be population. Across the planet, the number of humans has risen enormously over a short period of time. As a result, clean water[...]

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    Breaking Down the Planet's Cases of Extreme Weather

    Climate change does more than just affect temperature; it creates a new set of environmental conditions that humans have never been experienced before. Just a matter of a few degrees difference is enough to set new weather patterns into motion. Flash flooding, hurricanes, and unusual storms are all popping up across the United States (and the planet as a whole), earning the aptly named title of extreme weather. It isn't completely unheard of for unusual storms to strike at certain times of the year. Record high heat waves during the summer or unexpected snowstorms in early spring are all [...]

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    Carbon Engineering Can Turn CO2 Into Fuel

    Unprecedented amounts of carbon dioxide are warming the atmosphere, and Carbon Engineering wants to fix it. The Canadian company Carbon Engineering promises to use their new method to suck the CO2 out of the air. Since 2015, Carbon Engineering has been testing a CO2 removal pilot plant in Squamish, British Columbia. Its direct air capture technology uses massive fans and chemical reactions to extract CO2 and turn it into fuel. The technology to take CO2 out of the air has been around for about 70 years now. Commercial capture of CO2 from the air began with cryogenic air separation, a [...]

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    Plastic-Free Alternatives to Everyday Items

      We live in an increasingly disposable world. Nearly everything we buy in grocery stores and shopping centers is wrapped in plastic or cardboard. Almost all of our containers are justified for single-use, basically to get the item from the store to your home. Shipping, transportation, and even just aesthetics are all common reasons for our plastic-enveloped goods, all of which are negatively impacting the environment. Thankfully, companies are now expanding more into the sustainable, eco-friendly sphere through the use of plastic-free packaging. Sure, plastic is convenient. It's a[...]

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    Food Waste Reduced as Apeel's 'Second Skin' Hits Stores

    Everyone knows the feeling of disappointment of purchasing your favorite produce, only to find it spoiled before you get to it. And while we have the best of intentions, the short shelf- life of fruits and vegetables usually gets the better of us. The result? Food waste, and lots of it.  Even though the world's food production is at an all-time high, our wastage is too. Despite our best refrigeration efforts, spoilage is still dominating our resources, with an estimated 2.6 trillion dollars of food waste per year. On top of that, roughly a billion people aren't getting enough to eat. But,[...]

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