University of Queensland scientists uncover an ‘explosion’ of new life forms

September 15, 2017 by  
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The Tree of Life just got bigger. University of Queensland scientists found thousands of organisms that don’t into any known phylum. They acquired 7,280 bacterial genomes and 623 archaeal genomes, raising the number of known genomes by nearly 10 percent. Scientist Gene Tyson, who was part of the effort, said, “The real value of these genomes is that many are evolutionarily distinct from previously recovered genomes.” There are some 80,000 genomes in genome repositories, according to the university. This new work, published online in September by Nature Microbiology , recovers almost 8,000 genomes – what the university called an explosion in the number of life forms we know about. Related: Tree of Life redesigned to reflect thousands of new species The scientists drew on the technique metagenomics, which is relatively new, according to Futurism. Researchers sequenced all the DNA in a sample – including water, feces, or dirt – to generate a metagenome. They were then able to reconstruct individual genomes of new bacteria and new archaea . Around a third of those microorganisms were distinct, allowing the researchers to create three archaeal phyla and 17 bacterial phyla. Microbes can be hard to scrutinize; scientists can only culture under one percent, according to Tyson. Utilizing metagenomics may offer a new method of studying microorganisms researchers can’t grow in a laboratory – and such research could be vital as microbes are opposing our life-saving antibiotics , and we face antibiotic resistance . According to Futurism, it’s possible some of these new species could be used in better antibiotics. And there could be more discoveries to come – study lead author Donovan Parks said in a statement, “We anticipate that processing of environmental samples deposited in other public repositories will add tens of thousands of additional microbial genomes to the tree of life.” Via Futurism and the University of Queensland Images via Pixabay and Parks, Donovan, et al.

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University of Queensland scientists uncover an ‘explosion’ of new life forms

Antony Gibbons modern Trine treehouse is a tranquil nature retreat

September 15, 2017 by  
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Designer Antony Gibbon merges natural materials with modern design in his latest tree house design—the Trine house. Completed as part of his Roost treehouse series, this freestanding cluster of bulbous buildings forms a triangular formation elevated into the forest canopy. Slatted timber surrounds the living spaces to allow for light and views, creating an immersive experience in nature. The proposed Trine house comprises four elevated pod-like spaces that bear resemblance to budding flowers with long stems. The treehouses are accessed from the forest floor via a winding staircase in the central pod building that serves as an outdoor room and viewing tower. Three treehouses branch out of the main pod and are connected with canopy walkways. Related: Antony Gibbon unveils a new light-filled treehouse designed for the ground The triangular formation of the Trine house “distributes the support across all of the structures creating a sound and stable frame when high up in the elements,” wrote Gibbon. “The tree houses are accessed through the central staircase building which follows the form of the tree houses. The slatted wood design created a semi transparency to the building allowing the light and wind to pass through it.” The three peripheral treehouse pods contain a large open-plan living area with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bathroom on the lower floor, and an accessible top deck. Water pipes and wiring for energy needs would be installed through the supporting treehouse stems. You can explore more of Antony Gibbon’s work on his website and on Instagram . + Antony Gibbon Designs Images via Antony Gibbon Designs

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Antony Gibbons modern Trine treehouse is a tranquil nature retreat

Why the Food Recovery Act Is Worth Supporting

August 29, 2017 by  
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Forty percent of food in the U.S. is wasted. That translates to 133 billions pounds wasted. Or, in money terms, uneaten food costs $161 billion. If we could recover 15 percent of this wasted food and give it to families in need, the number of…

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Why the Food Recovery Act Is Worth Supporting

Beyond panels and turbines

September 30, 2016 by  
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Increasingly, renewable energy technologies are moving from standalone solutions to integrated systems that align companies energy, finance, operation and resilience objectives. As the number of clean-energy solutions grows, so do the opportunities to create a portfolio of approaches — including both onsite and offsite wind and solar systems. In this conversation, a leading independent power producer and one of its largest customers discuss the secrets of their success.

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Beyond panels and turbines

The number of pregnant women with Zika in the US just tripled

May 23, 2016 by  
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on May 20th that the number of pregnant women in the US with Zika virus is now three times higher than previously thought. The cases have jumped from 48 to 157, although the agency claims that it’s aware of less than a dozen babies or fetuses who’ve actually suffered from birth defects due to the infection. However, since most of the pregnancies are ongoing, that number will likely climb. An additional 122 cases in pregnant women have also…

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The number of pregnant women with Zika in the US just tripled

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe Worthy Of A Spin

February 19, 2016 by  
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Laundry.  The scents, suds and satisfaction knowing you have clean clothes again. Now, there are a plethora of laundry detergents on the market today.  One walk down the aisle of many retailers and the number of choices will make your head spin….

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DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe Worthy Of A Spin

Still Plugging Electric Cars at NAIAS 2016

January 13, 2016 by  
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Nobody is trying to save the planet with green cars anymore. The days of green cars being featured at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) seem to be over.  Gone are the days of rainforest themes and bamboo floors and ostentatiously placed recycling bins.  But we’ve been reporting that for the past few years . We’ve continued to note the decrease in emphasis on the importance of fuel economy, resource conservation, emissions reduction, and similar features that make a car “green.”  Green is now passe.  Or green has become mainstream.  It’s probably a bit of both. This is not to say that everything has gone back to the way it was.  Regulations for fuel economy have pushed things to where a small, chunky SUV had the kind of unheralded fuel efficiency that would’ve been one of the selling points for a small sedan a few years earlier.  So, in that sense, the entire industry has gotten greener.  But it’s gotten rolled into the ordinary business of selling cars. The one thing which is a green car element that was repeated across many manufacturers’ displays this year was the electric vehicle charging station.  Rather than being surrounded by a special display drawing attention to the “green” car, in most instances, the rechargeable vehicles were identified primarily by having that company’s power unit standing beside it (often with the unit plugged in to show the connection).  Audi, BMW, Nissan, and Porsche are among those with this kind of display.  Having a matching branded charging station in one’s own garage is one thing, but the interoperability of different chargers needs to be assured for the uptake of electric vehicles to continue to grow. Instead of everyone trying to establish their green credibility, this year the feature that most manufacturers seem to want you to covet is having the ability to connect your phone and your car.  Rather than embedding complicated systems into the vehicle itself, they are instead taking advantage of the nimbler technology of the smartphone, and making it easier to pair that with your new vehicle. The other thing that was striking to a long-time auto show attendee was the number of shifts in space between different manufacturers.  While some companies’ presence was in the same part of Cobo Hall where they have been in previous years, there were moves among several companies major companies with their displays in very different places from where they had been for the last few years.  Does being in a different place mean anything significant?  Maybe not.  But at the same time, it seems emblematic of a shift in the landscape. Tesla, which had been the brash upstart at the show a few years ago and maintained a presence for several years, was not a part of this year’s show at all.  More surprisingly, Toyota’s presence was reduced to a small counter with just two people standing behind it, although sub-brands Scion and Lexus had a presence, and they evidently had a bit more to reveal during the continuation of the show on Tuesday. Luxury brands seemed to be a bigger presence than in the past.  Both Cadillac and Lincoln displays were disconnected from the rest of their respective parent companies, and were across from one another in about the space around where Tesla had been in past years.  A “luxury lifestyle” magazine (with a handful of high-end cars in their display) had a space easily as large as some of the less mainstream exhibits from previous years, such as VIA, or BYD, or last year’s car printing 3D printer.  There seemed to be a new emphasis on exclusivity, while also an overall reduction in the size of the footprint than in previous shows.  While last year there were many technological displays on the lower level, this year it was just the US Army (also present on the lower level last year) and the automotive design program of Lawrence Technological University. But the number of companies with more than one electric or hybrid vehicle seems like this year’s notable trend.  BMW, for one example, has three different vehicles (i8, i3, and 330e), all for different market segments, with plug-in capability.  That, as much as anything, seems to be the green trend to watch for the next couple of years.

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Still Plugging Electric Cars at NAIAS 2016

Oh Baby! 7 Steps To Design A Healthy Nursery

August 26, 2015 by  
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I can count on one hand the number of baby showers I’ve attended where the gifts received were intended to heal and nurture a newborn baby. In 2005, actress Demi Moore attended a Green Power Baby Shower which I thought was ingenious and hoped would…

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Oh Baby! 7 Steps To Design A Healthy Nursery

UNICEF says more progress is needed to save the world’s children from poverty and hunger

June 28, 2015 by  
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UNICEF ‘s Progress for Children report illustrates that, 15 years after the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals were established, that more and faster progress is necessary to ensure children ‘s welfare around the world. The 11th edition shows that, while significant progress toward the goals has been made, more work is needed to keep up with population growth and resolve the problems identified by the UN. For example, the first of eight MDGs targets extreme poverty, with the goal of halving the number of people who earned less than $1 per day by 2015. Now that the deadline has arrived, UNICEF finds that, in Kenya, the number has been reduced from 44 percent to just 17 percent – a great accomplishment. However, worldwide, 47 percent of people living in extreme poverty are children, which suggests a sad forecast for future generations.  Read on to learn more about the goals and see UNICEF’s evaluation of global progress. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: child poverty children’s health , children’s education , children’s welfare , education rights , educational access , unicef , United Nations Millenium Development Goals

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UNICEF says more progress is needed to save the world’s children from poverty and hunger

Longaberger’s Giant Basket Building is Made of Locally Sourced Ohio Wood

June 28, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Longaberger’s Giant Basket Building is Made of Locally Sourced Ohio Wood Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , basket building , cherry wood , Design , Hanover Gulf Club , locally sourced wood , Longaberger , natural light , NBBJ , novelty architecture , OHIO , world’s largest basket

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Longaberger’s Giant Basket Building is Made of Locally Sourced Ohio Wood

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