Skin surface nanochip for healing injuries or organ regrowth.

electric skin chip

A new device that reprograms skin cells could represent a breakthrough in repairing injured or ageing tissue. The new technique, called tissue nanotransfection, is based on a tiny device that sits on the surface of living skin. An intense, focused electric field is applied to the device, allowing it to deliver genes to the skin cells beneath it – turning them into different types of cells. This is an exciting opportunity when it comes to repairing damaged tissue – turning a patient’s own tissue into a “bioreactor” to produce cells to either repair nearby tissues, or for use at another site. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/07/nanochip-could-heal-injuries-or-regrow-organs-with-one-touch-say-researchers

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Lighter washing machine that reduces CO2 emissions.

halo washer

A Nottingham Trent University student has discovered a simple trick to cut the weight of washing machines, making them easier to move and more environmentally friendly. Most washing machines have a 25kg block of concrete near the top to hold the machine steady during a spin cycle. This significantly adds to the weight of the appliance. Much CO2 is released during the production of concrete and more is released by gas powered transport vehicles. This simple change would replace the heavy concrete counterweight with an empty plastic container that is filled with water when the washing machine is installed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/08/04/students-simple-washing-machine-idea-could-save-thousands-tonnes

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Vertical Farming. Turning your walls into gardens for year-round harvest.

vertical farming

In the largest agriculture-tech funding round in history, vertical farming startup “Plenty” attracted US$200 million. Some experts say the investment could make the indoor farming industry more viable as a whole. Instead of growing greens outdoors, the farm grows its food on glowing, LED-lit 20-foot-tall towers inside a former electronics distribution center in South San Francisco. The towers don’t require pesticides or natural sunlight. The technique is called indoor vertical farming. Food grows on trays or hanging modules in a climate-controlled, indoor facility. The process is revolutionary. Certain types of food could be produced year-round, anywhere, in a small space. http://www.businessinsider.com/food-investment-vertical-farming-2017-8/

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Food from Electricity? Shocking new way to deal with world hunger.

electric food spoon

A Finnish research team has taken a step towards the future of food by developing a method for producing food from electricity. If scaling it up proves to be successful, it could help in the fight against world hunger and climate change. The researchers created a batch of single-cell protein that is nutritious enough to serve for dinner using a system powered by renewable energy. The process requires electricity, water, carbon dioxide, and microbes. After exposing the raw materials to electrolysis in a bioreactor, a powder forms consisting of protein and carbohydrates. Textures can also be changed by altering microbes. https://futurism.com/a-team-of-scientists-just-made-food-from-electricity-and-it-could-be-the-solution-to-world-hunger/

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Turning plants into batteries and house lamps.

living-light-796x467

Imagine a lamp. Any lamp. Now imagine having to water it. Dutch product designer Ermi van Oers created Living Light: plants that double as lights. Or lights that double as plants – whichever way you prefer looking at it. The lights run on electricity generated by bacteria in the soil. Healthier plants produce more energy. If you take care of it properly, the Living Light will produce up to 0.1 mW. Enough to use it as a night lamp, but not sufficient to properly light a room. Imagine if we could use boulevard trees for powering street lights?

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