Stanford materials scientist Eric Appel and his brother-in-law—Jesse Acosta, formerly a fire prevention forester for the state of Hawaii, now at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo—infused medical gels with fire retardants in an attempt to mitigate wildfires. The result? An environmentally safe gel that acts as a delivery medium for longer-lasting protection against flames, unlike current flame-retardant solutions, which quickly blow away.
A new Biotechnology Solution Could be the end of Plastic
A unique combination of spider silk and wood fiber discovered by researchers at Aalto University and VTT could hold the solution to the age-old material engineering challenge of achieving strength and extensibility at the same time.
Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets
Long before the term ‘biophilia’ entered the scientific lexicon in the 1970s, it served as an innate design practice. In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture, open-air courtyards functioned as the center of the home, providing a calming respite with fresh air, natural light, and views of nature. Though few homes today are built around secluded outdoor oases, biophilic elements enable designers to create similarly stimulating and restorative spaces in built environments, ultimately improving the health and wellness of those within them.
One U.K. start-up, called Stroodles, is betting on the future of pasta straws, which more closely resemble the texture of plastic than other materials on the market. The straws, made by an Italian pasta manufacturer, do not change the flavor of the drink and they’re edible–if you’re into alcohol-infused raw noodles.
Augmented Audio Experiences are the Future of Headphones
Airpods may be the hottest headphones around now, but in the future, Frog Design believes isolating individual audio experiences will fall by the wayside. Instead, consumers will want headphones that support augmented audio experiences without disrupting their real-world communications.
Fashion Makes Way for Innovative Eco Collections
Would you purchase textiles dyed with food waste or clothes that sprout plants? Fashion designers introduced three innovative eco collections that incorporate these elements at the inaugural TILL: bioFASHIONtech Summit in Stamford, Connecticut. The Summit brings together biotechnology, soil science, community building, and fashion.
CBD products are everywhere in 2019, from local bodegas to high-end boutiques. But as more companies tout the health benefits of their cure-all oils and balms, the Food and Drug Administration continues to grapple with ways to regulate what’s in them.
Companies Are Betting on Sound for Brand Loyalty
Would you enjoy doing laundry more if your washing machine played music? Some companies are hoping the answer yes, as they strive to create user experiences that strengthen brand loyalty.
Corona Tackles Plastic Pollution with Stackable 6-Packs
In an innovative bid to remove all plastic from their packaging, Corona parent company Group Modelo is working on an open-source, stackable solution to bringing your own beer.
CRISPR may only be six years old but it's already made some impressive, and infamous, waves in the scientific community. Currently scientists around the world are using the gene-editing technology in several clinical trials and research efforts to correct some of humanity's most debilitating genetic ailments. Some of these conditions included Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, inherited childhood blindness (specifically Leber’s congenital amaurosis type 10), and sickle cell disease.
Nestlé and Unilever Push U.S. Government for A Price on Carbon
It looks like Nestlé and Unilever have swallowed the climate change Kool-Aid. On top of their commitment to develop reusable packing with TerraCycle, they are now a part of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. Through this Alliance they are pressuring the U.S. government to double down on Paris Climate Accord-like plans such as a carbon tax and clean energy development. Jokes on them, though—this administration doesn't believe in climate change! They do, however, believe in acquiescing to Big Business so there could be hope!
Rural America Is Experiencing A Solar Revolution
Despite all the pro-coal bluster from the Trump administration, solar has been steadily gaining popularity in rural areas across the U.S. This push for sustainable energy is driven primarily by local energy co-ops that can take advantage of the reduced price of solar power, as well as marketing and campaigning by the National Rural Electricity Cooperative Association. Today, the NRECA has reduced its reliance on coal to just 40% in 2017, down from 54% in 2014.
Norway already has the world beat when it comes to electric car ownership, but the Scandinavian country aims to go one step further by equipping the streets of Oslo with wireless electric charging infrastructure for taxis. The taxis will be charged through induction technology integrated into the street. This will help the city meet its zero-emission taxis by 2023 goal.
SETI's New Mixtape For E.T. Promises To Be Cosmically Cool
SETI is gearing up to release a brand-new mixtape out into the cosmos, following their deployment of the Golden Record 40 years ago. This mixtape, called EARTHLING, will feature crowdsourced human voices, contributions from professional and amateur musicians, and an app that will allow anyone with a smartphone to capture sounds and mix them into a musical contribution. EARTHLING was revealed at this year's SXSW and is helmed by Felipe Perez Santiago, a composer and SETI's artist-in-residence.
Crustaceans a New Contender in the Fight to Find Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics
The lobster has played many roles in society over the years: prisoners' food, millionaires' food, and now, the latest and greatest single-plastic alternative material. It seems that a polymer found in their exoskeletons, chitin, can be used to great biodegradable and recyeable bioplastics. A team of designers at the Royal College of Art discovered this and developed several machines that can render seafood waste into a usable single-use item. They have named their project Shellworks.