Antarctica plants show potential as natural sunscreen ingredients

July 28, 2017 by  
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Antarctica may be the last place you’d expect to find sunscreen ingredients, but scientists from Chile have a hunch the molecules that shield two species of Antarctic flowers from the harsh effects of the sun could also protect people and crops from the same. Researchers from Universidad de Santiago de Chile studying Colobanthus quitensis (a.k.a pearlwort) and Deschampsia antarctica (hair grass) under controlled conditions found that the plants were able to withstand high levels of ultraviolet radiation. A group of molecules in the flowers— Colobanthus in particular—act as a kind of solar filter to circumvent radiation damage, according to project leader Gustavo Zuniga. The only two that flower on the frosty continent, the plants typically grow in milder zones along its edges. Climate change is expanding their range, however, researchers said. Related: 40% of the top sunscreens don’t meet official guidelines for sun protection The university is on the lookout for partners who are able to use its findings to develop commercial products, such as natural sunscreen or human skin or gene therapy for agriculture. Testing could begin in earnest then. “It could be used in the not too distant future,” Zuniga told Reuters . “For example, for a crop that doesn’t tolerate increasing levels of radiation, that genetic information could be used to make the crop respond better.” + Universidad de Santiago de Chile Photos by Herson Rodriguez and Cassie Matias on Unsplash [Via Reuters ]

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Antarctica plants show potential as natural sunscreen ingredients

RIBA International Prize reveals shortlist of the worlds most significant and inspirational buildings

October 27, 2016 by  
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Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre Formerly an 1890s sweet potato distillery, the Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre in The Azores is a stunning example of adaptive reuse that goes beyond the average restoration project. Menos é Mais and Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto renovated the structure but preserved elements of the building’s history, including its eye-catching black Basalt exterior. The old cloisters and cells unearthed from the old distillery basement have been brought back to life and provide ancient backdrops for contemporary programs. Heydar Aliyev Centre Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Centre is a curvaceous beauty created to celebrate Azerbaijan’s independence and first president Heyday Aliyev. Located in the capital of Baku, the contemporary building is a powerful symbol of the break from the Soviet era both in its diverse and arts-oriented program and in its stunning wave-like design. The Heydar Aliyev Centre, built in 2013, also received the 2014 Design of the Year Award . Museo Jumex The beautiful travertine-clad Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects houses the world’s largest private collection of Latin American contemporary art in the heart of Mexico City. Despite its modern design and program, the building is topped with a sawtooth roof with original factory roof lights in homage to the site’s industrial heritage. The luxurious and light-filled contemporary arts museum is a calming oasis in a bustling and overcrowded city. Stormen Concert Hall, Theatre and Public Library The Norwegian town of Bodø, located 100 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle , may be small but it’s also home to the impressive Stormen Concert Hall that’s considered comparable to the New York’s Carnegie Hall for symphonic music. Designed by DRDH Architects, the project comprises two extremely popular and beloved civic buildings: the larger theater building and a smaller library building. The walls are made from engineered stone with 70% marble aggregate that glisten, glow, and change colors in the presence of the Arctic sunshine. The Ring of Remembrance The Ring of Remembrance is a war memorial in Northern France engraved with names of the thousands who died in the region during World War I. Agence d’architecture Philippe Prost (AAPP) designed the memorial, which is set on the Hill of Lorette in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette with panoramic views over the battlefields of the plain of Artois. Made from black fiber-reinforced high strength concrete, the elegant elliptical structure cantilevers out into the landscape and symbolizes unity in the form of a human chain. UTEC – Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología Grafton Architects designed Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), a new academic building for a 50-year-old engineering university in Lima that provides more than just an education. Crafted in the likeness of a modern-day Machu Picchu, this geometric concrete building is draped in greenery and symbolizes a bold and positive future for Peru. A variety of meeting spaces punctuate the building both in the interior and exterior. + RIBA Images via RIBA

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RIBA International Prize reveals shortlist of the worlds most significant and inspirational buildings

People are making Halloween great again with these terrifying Trumpkins

October 27, 2016 by  
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The first Trumpkin on our list, and possibly the most terrifying entry, is painted on the face of the pumpkin rather than carved. A tuft of real hair finishes off the eerie image. It was posted on Instagram by user @ktmod with the tasteful caption, “Grab ’em by the pumpkin.” #Trumpkin lol 🎃🍁Happy Hump Day!!!🕸🍂🍁 A photo posted by lucymorey3 (@lucymorey3) on Oct 26, 2016 at 9:45am PDT This Trumpkin by @lucymorey3 really captures The Donald’s natural speaking style: shouting hatefully. This next Trumpkin by Instagram user @petermartindk takes a more classic approach, transforming the presidential candidate into a glowing jack-o-lantern. We dig the minimalist approach here. Spotted this on the way home tonight #trumpkin A photo posted by @bubbeemonkey on Oct 26, 2016 at 12:29pm PDT Instagram user @bubeemonkey may not be responsible for carving this smug-looking Trumpkin, but we’d like to thank them for sharing it with the world. Reddit user Shazkitten decided to take a more photorealistic approach – a surprisingly detailed portrait, considering the medium. Interestingly, this Trumpkin was originally posted last Halloween. A sign of things to come? Good effort @sainsburys. 🎃😂 #Trumpkin #Hilary #PresidentialDebate #Halloween A photo posted by Divya 🌺🔮? (@divyadancer) on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:52am PDT These Sainsbury’s pumpkins have an almost sculptural quality — they’re definitely not your average pumpkin carving. They both look a bit too happy, though, considering how bitter the election has gotten. This painted masterpiece is the work of John Kettman of LaSalle, Illinois. Kettman has been painting portraits on pumpkins for about 6 years, but this autumn he took a political turn with his gourd art. In addition to his Trumpkin, he’s also created Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pumpkins. Happy National Pumpkin Day! #nationalpumpkinday #NYCpumpkin #nychalloween #trump #clinton #trumpkin #election2016 #election2016🇺🇸 A photo posted by PaulsdaBurgerJoint (@paulsdaburgerjoint) on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:05am PDT Another pair of matching Hillary and Donald pumpkins courtesy of @PaulsdaBurgerJoint . These two look like they just stepped onto the floor of the debates. Ohio pumpkin artist Jennette Paras chooses someone in the news as her source of inspiration in a personal tradition dating back 25 years. This Halloween, she transformed a massive, 374-pound pumpkin into a likeness of Donald Trump – an effort that took six separate blond wigs attached to the gourd. Nearby, she’s placed a sign suggesting visitors “make pumpkins great again.” #trumpkin is done. My sissy is going to dab some yellowish…crap on its head to make the hair look like his head. #acrylicpainting #smashthetrumpkin #fuckofftrump #anyonebuttrump #artsy A photo posted by Cassie Tucker (@tangledinreverie) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:57pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tangledinreverie really captures Trump’s luxurious, windswept locks. David Jones’ Trumpkin takes a minimalist, pop-art approach that captures the candidate perfectly. Unlike some of the others on this list, he’s avoided using a wig to depict Trump’s famous hair, instead repurposing the inside of the pumpkin to form some kind of squash toupee. #trump #pumpkin #fall #diy #justbecause #funny #hilarious #lol #Trumpkin #trumppumpkin #trending #potd #picoftheday #photoofday #halloween #October #autumn A photo posted by Tiffany Marz 🌟🎙🎬🕆? (@tiffany_marz) on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:03pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tiffany_marz takes an interesting new approach, with the outside of the pumpkin modified with what appears to be sculpted clay, rather than painted or carved. Imgur user Fizzgig posted a more somber approach with this contemplative Trumpkin created by their mother. Still dying from one of our winning pumpkins today! 😂😂😂😂 #haha #pumpkin #ThatHairTho #trumpkin #worklife A photo posted by Jacqui🔵YouTuber/Blogger (@jduran1313) on Oct 25, 2016 at 2:39pm PDT Another creative new approach to the art of pumpkin decorating by @jduran1313 — collaged instead of painted, this time. This superb Trumpkin is the work of master pumpkin carver Hugh McMahon . If you’d like to learn how to create your own pumpkin-based masterpiece, he walked HuffPost through his process in this fantastic tutorial . Hard days work at the lab #trumpkin #surgeonsmakegoodcarvers #drumpf thanks @twiskle for capturing the glory A photo posted by Erika WS (@erika_whartonshumthing) on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:42pm PDT This defensive Trumpkin by @erika_whartonshumthing looks like it’s had better days. If you’d like to revisit your favorite moments from the debates, look no further than Valerie Miller’s Trumpkin. We can almost hear this pumpkin shouting “Wrong!” at approaching trick-or-treaters. Images via The Daily Beast (1, 2), Reddit (3), NBC News Chicago (4), NBC San Diego (5), Dangerous Minds (6), Yahoo! News (7,9), Huffington Post (8), and Instagram  (embedded)

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People are making Halloween great again with these terrifying Trumpkins

Revolutionary floors made from waste wood pulp generate clean energy

October 27, 2016 by  
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Wood floors are beautiful, but what if they could generate renewable energy too? Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed revolutionary wood floors that harvest energy from footsteps. Not only can they create power, but the floors are also sustainable because they utilize wood pulp that would most likely be wasted otherwise. Multiple industries end up with wood pulp as a waste product, but inside wood pulp are cellulose nanofibers that have the potential to produce a charge if they are chemically treated and encounter untreated nanofibers. Embedding the nanofibers in flooring enables those floors to transform footsteps into electricity for charging batteries or powering lights. Because wood pulp is cheap and abundant, these energy-harvesting floors could be incredibly affordable. Related: Shoe Generator Harvests Power from Walking The chemically treated cellulose nanofibers are put into what UW-Madison describes as functional portions. These thin layers are one millimeter thick or less, and several of the layers could be put into floors to generate even more energy. Associate professor Xudong Wang, co-author of a paper published by Nano Energy on the flooring, envisions the energy harvesting floors laid in malls or stadiums trafficked by thousands of people. He said in a statement, “We’ve been working a lot on harvesting energy from human activities. One way is to build something to put on people, and another way is to build something that has constant access to people. The ground is the most-used place.” Wang is developing the technology now and hopes to place a prototype in a well-trafficked place at UW-Madison. He says the technology is durable and research shows it would hold up for “millions of cycles” and could even outlive the floor. Four UW-Madison engineers and one researcher from the USDA Forest Service ‘s Forest Products Laboratory contributed to the paper. + University of Wisconsin-Madison Images via Pixabay and Stephanie Precourt/University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Revolutionary floors made from waste wood pulp generate clean energy

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