Scientists create protein-packed mats that fight pollution

March 19, 2018 by  
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Researchers have created a mat composed of active proteins that have the ability to absorb chemical pollution. In a study published in Science , scientists document how they successfully extracted an active protein from a cell without killing the former — a breakthrough that could pave the way to a new class of pollution-fighting technology. “We think we’ve cracked the code for interfacing natural and synthetic systems,” study author and professor at the University of California , Berkeley Ting Xu told Futurity . Previous attempts to remove proteins from their native environments without harming or killing them were marked by limited progress. The research team observed trends in sequences and surfaces before developing a synthetic polymer that is ideal for hosting proteins. “Proteins have very well-defined statistical pattern, so if you can mimic that pattern, then you can marry the synthetic and natural systems, which allows us to make these materials,” study first author  Brian Panganiban told Futurity . The team conducted advanced molecular simulations to ensure their polymer would effectively serve the protein’s needs. Related: Researchers shocked to discover protein that conducts electricity The experiment received funding from the United States Department of Defense, which is specifically interested in the technology’s bio-remediation potential against chemical pollution . The end result is capable of degrading insecticides and weaponized chemicals. Given its effectiveness, this bio-technology may soon be used in war zones and other contaminated areas to clean-up the mess that humanity has made. This technology can also be customized to meet the needs of a particular mess. Xu believes that his team’s approach could be used with other enzymes, which could someday lead to the creation of portable chemistry labs capable of responding effectively in the field to varied environmental challenges. Via Futurity Images via Deposit Photos , Christopher DelRe and Charley Huang/UC Berkeley

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Scientists create protein-packed mats that fight pollution

Scientists predict catastrophic loss of forest fauna and flora with existing CO2 emissions

March 19, 2018 by  
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If we don’t do something to slow down carbon emissions, we could lose up to half of all the plant and animal species in the world’s forests. A new report by the World Wildlife Federation shows that a temperature increase of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius would decimate the flora and fauna of vital ecosystems in Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australia. Since scientists project that we are likely headed towards a rise of 3.2C, the implications could be disastrous. According to the study, a rise of 3.2C would kill off 60 percent of plant species and 50 percent of animal species in the Amazon . If countries get their act together and limit temperature rise to 2C, we will lose fewer species, but the devastation will still destroy 35 percent of species. Then there’s the grim forecast of a rise of 4.5C, which is what many experts believe we will hit if emissions remain unchanged. In that scenario, we could expect to lose more than 70 percent of reptiles and plants, and 60 percent of mammals and birds. Related: Scientists warn Amazon jungle faces “death spiral” The picture is just as dire in Africa and Australia, but with an additional impact to some species based on tension with human needs. According to the study, competition for resources in Africa, Bangladesh, Madagascar and the Caribbean could devastate animals, such as elephants , even more. “For the Amazon and Guianas, the WWF report is scary as hell. The loss of half or more of the region’s stunning plant diversity would be a biological blow of almost unimaginable severity,” said William Laurence, director at the Center for Tropical Environmental and Sustainable Science. “However, such computer models with all their assumptions and complexities are really ‘scientific cartoons’ giving us only a rough sketch of the future. But even if they’re only half right, these are very frightening cartoons indeed,” he continued. The study was published by the WWF, James Cook University and the University of East Anglia in the journal Climate Change . Via The Guardian Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Scientists predict catastrophic loss of forest fauna and flora with existing CO2 emissions

Code red aviation alert after Bogoslaf volcano erupts in Alaska

May 29, 2017 by  
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The highest aviation alert was issued on Saturday after a volcano on Alaska’s Bogoslof Island erupted. As a result of the code “red” alert, pilots were instructed to fly at least 35,000 ft., and possibly as high as 45,000 ft, above the volcano to prevent its fiery ash from melting parts of the plane . According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the volcano that erupted is part of the Aleutian Island chain. Not long after a code “red” was issued, it was downgraded to a code “orange.” “We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals,” said Jeffrey Freymueller of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska. Flights transiting from Asia to North America were most affected. Freymueller added that lightning in the Aleutians is often caused by volcanic plumes. “The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption,” he said. In total, the eruption lasted for approximately 50 minutes. Related: Iceland’s “Thor” volcano power plant can generate 10X more energy than oil or gas wells Because the eruption is very recent, “Bogoslof volcano remains at a heightened state of unrest and in an unpredictable condition,” says a report issued by the Observatory. It went on to say that “additional explosions producing high-altitude volcanic clouds could occur at any time.” This is the eighth documented eruption at Bogoslof , which reportedly began its sequence in December, 2016. The last occurred in 1992. Via CNN Images via Pixabay , Mapbox Screenshot

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Code red aviation alert after Bogoslaf volcano erupts in Alaska

Portable SolSource Sport solar stove heats up 5X faster than a charcoal grill

May 29, 2017 by  
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Imagine visiting your favorite local park with a portable stove that’s 100 percent powered by the sun and heats up five times faster than a charcoal grill. Meet the SolSource Sport. One Earth Designs is crowdfunding their latest compact solar cooker just in time for summer . The SolSource Sport focuses light onto cookware to get food sizzling and ready to eat super quickly. It can be used in places like national parks or apartment rooftops that don’t allow fires, because this solar cooker doesn’t need a flame to operate. With the versatile stove, you can grill, pan fry, boil, stir fry, or reheat meals. And you can use most of the cookware you already own instead of buying new pots or pans. The solar cooker gets up to grilling temperatures in a snappy five minutes, and reaches searing temperatures in 10 minutes. Related: SolSource Air: One Earth Designs Taps Google Glass Creator to Launch Portable, Affordable Solar Stove The SolSource Sport works in a variety of sun conditions – from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset, and in air temperatures between 30 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even cook in the snow as long as the sun is shining. And since sunlight is the only fuel necessary, the SolSource Sport doesn’t produce any carbon emissions . The surface of the solar cooker stays cool to the touch, making it safe to use. The stove pops up and breaks down in around five minutes, and it can be stored inside a two-foot-long carrying bag. One Earth Designs has already raised nearly $75,000 out of an original goal of $20,000 on Kickstarter . You can snag one of these affordable little cookers for under $200 if you’re fast (retail price is $249). + One Earth Designs Images via One Earth Designs

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Portable SolSource Sport solar stove heats up 5X faster than a charcoal grill

Can freeze-dried fecal pills help people fight obesity?

January 14, 2016 by  
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We’re all full of bacteria, but some of us don’t have as much of the ‘good’ stuff as we should. This year, medical researchers will conduct a medical trial to determine whether orally ingesting capsules filled with freeze-dried fecal matter can help crack the code in the fight against obesity . Twenty obese patients will participate in a clinical trial in an effort to determine whether ‘healthy’ bacteria from donors can be implanted into a patient’s digestive system by ingesting the pills, and whether it will have a positive impact on their weight. Read the rest of Can freeze-dried fecal pills help people fight obesity?

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Can freeze-dried fecal pills help people fight obesity?

Scientists say that we are entering a new epoch thanks to human activity

January 14, 2016 by  
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New research indicates that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch , and it’s due to human activity. Scientists looked at the scale and rate of environmental changes in the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and wildlife-which other recent reports indicate is at an unprecedented high-and compared them to changes during previous time periods. In every category, the consequences of human activity reflect enough change to justify the official designation of a new geological epoch, researchers say. Read the rest of Scientists say that we are entering a new epoch thanks to human activity

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Scientists say that we are entering a new epoch thanks to human activity

Amazing Origami-Inspired Oru Kayak Folds Flat into a Compact Carrying Case in Minutes

July 14, 2014 by  
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If you’re squeezed for space in your tiny city apartment, chances are your beloved but bulky outdoor gear will be the first to go in the downsizing process. The folks at Oru Kayak , however, are hoping to change that with the launch of the world’s first origami-inspired flat-pack kayak. Weighing just shy of 25 pounds, the 12-feet-long lightweight and sturdy Oru Kayak folds down to a neat and compact package that can be slung over a shoulder for easy portability. The fully functioning foldable boat includes an adjustable footrest, a foam seat, a rubber strap for accessories, skirt compatibility, and plenty of front and rear storage space. The Oru Kayak is available for purchase on Reign23 for $1,195 with a limited time $50 discount with the code REIGN50. + Oru Kayak The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: flat pack boat , flat pack kayak , foldable boat , foldable kayak , origami inspired , origami kayak , oru kayak , reader submitted content , reign23

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Amazing Origami-Inspired Oru Kayak Folds Flat into a Compact Carrying Case in Minutes

Opportunity Green Conference Launches Next Week in Los Angeles – Inhabitat Readers Get 30% Off!

November 1, 2011 by  
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Opportunity Green – the largest multidisciplinary sustainability business conference in the US – will be kicking off next week from November 10-11 at the Los Angeles Center Studios , and we’re thrilled to offer Inhabitat readers a 30% discount off ticket prices ! Eco designer extraordinaire Yves Behar will be keynoting the opening day with a talk about “redefining design”, Entourage fans will have the opportunity to see Adrian Grenier on the big stage along with Peter Glatzer as they receive the Eco-Maverick Award for co-founding SHFT.com , and we’re looking forward to listening to Hannah Jones, Vice President of Sustainable Business and Innovation from Nike . The conference will also offer USGBC and AIA members the opportunity to earn education credits. So come join over 1,000 industry leaders and professionals in the sustainability field as they discuss their accomplishments, their struggles, and the inspiration they have gleaned from the past year – and make sure to enter the code INH30 to receive a 30% discount off registration fees ! REGISTER HERE > + Opportunity Green Conference Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: conference , Green Design Events , green events , inhabitat , Inhabitat LA , Inhabitat Los Angeles , Opportunity Green , Opportunity Green Business Conference , opportunity green conference , Shft , Sustainable Conferences , Sustainable Events , Yves Bahar

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Opportunity Green Conference Launches Next Week in Los Angeles – Inhabitat Readers Get 30% Off!

Steve Jobs’ Modern Childhood Home May Have Incubated his Design Vision

November 1, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Steve Jobs’ Modern Childhood Home May Have Incubated his Design Vision Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apple design elements , architecture influenced Steve Jobs , California modernism apple design , Eichler jobs home , Eichler Wozniak Home , Jobs Childhood home , Jobs Los Gatos Home , Steve Jobs death

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Steve Jobs’ Modern Childhood Home May Have Incubated his Design Vision

DOE Promotes Updating Building Codes

December 23, 2010 by  
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The US Department of Energy (DOE) is working with 24 states across the country to support the adoption of updated building codes which incorporate increased energy-efficiency requirements. $7 million is being apportioned in grants of $150,000 to $350,000 to assist the states, who have agreed to work with DOE, to “advance adoption, training, and compliance for the updated building codes.” “As part of the Administration’s broad efforts to help families and businesses save money by saving energy, these awards will help states and local communities significantly cut the energy intensity of the nation’s buildings sector, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S.” according to the agency’s press release. Energy efficiency in building codes varies from state to state.

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DOE Promotes Updating Building Codes

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