This edible, plastic-free packaging is grown from kombucha starter

June 26, 2018 by  
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Polish design student Roza Janusz has created Scoby, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging that is easily grown with the same methods used to make kombucha . Created from fermented bacteria and yeast, the organic membrane can be used to store a variety of lightweight foods like seeds, nuts, or even salads. The zero-waste food packaging is completely biodegradable and can also be eaten after use. Developed as part of her graduate project for industrial design at the School of Form in Poznan, Poland, Roza Janusz’s Scoby was created to help farmers grow their own zero-waste packaging. Using bacteria and yeast as a base for kombucha, Janusz then uses the liquid to grow the biodegradable membrane in a shallow container. After about two weeks of adding sugars and other agricultural waste to ferment the material, a membrane forms on the surface and can be harvested. “Scoby is grown by a future farmer not only for the production of packaging , but also because of the valuable by-product, which is, depending on the concentration, natural fertilizer or probiotic drink,” says Roza Janusz. “So maybe the packaging production will no longer litter the environment, and it will even enrich it.” Related: DIY: How to brew kombucha at home The lightweight and translucent material is easily malleable and can be shaped to fit a variety of foods to prevent spoilage. Thanks to the edible packaging’s low pH, Scoby has a long shelf life that can even be extended if it’s used to store acidic food products like nuts. The material can also absorb the flavors of the food it stores. Roza Janusz plans to explore Scoby’s commercial possibilities in the near future and recently submitted her design for the Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2018 . + Roza Janusz

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This edible, plastic-free packaging is grown from kombucha starter

New genetically engineered yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution

July 18, 2017 by  
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A genetically engineered version of the fungus in your bread and beer could help clean up the environment . A team of seven scientists at institutions in Romania and Norway developed yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution – and their research revealed the most effective strains are able to soak up 80 percent of metal ions. Bioremediation , or using plants , microbes, or fungi to remove pollutants, is one ideal way of cleaning the environment, but there’s a few issues with the method when heavy metals are involved. Some plants just don’t grow big enough to do the job, and they can’t clean contaminated water. But heavy metal contamination poses a threat to wildlife and humans. So a team of scientists led by Lavinia Liliana Ruta at the University of Bucharest genetically engineered yeast to mop up toxic metals. Related: 7 Species That Eat Pollution for Breakfast The genes the researchers created are comprised of a cell membrane anchor, green fluorescent protein, and a metal-binding peptide. Different types of peptides aided the yeast in cleaning up different types of heavy metals; for example, cysteine peptides best scooped up cadmium and silver. Histidine peptides were up to the task for nickel and cobalt. But it could still be several years before yeast is deployed as a cleanup tool. According to the American Council on Science and Health, the next step would be to take the genetically engineered yeast from the laboratory to the real world, like in a water treatment plant. Another obstacle to yeast clean-up becoming more common is how to dispose of that yeast once a site is restored. The journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology recently published the team’s research online . Ruta was joined by colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy . Via Engadget and American Council on Science and Health Images via David Burn on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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New genetically engineered yeast that could clean up heavy metal pollution

3D Printed Mechanical Muscle Has a Heartbeat Powered by Yeast

February 21, 2013 by  
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If the Tin Man were looking for a modern heart instead of an oversized pocket watch, it might look a little something like this. Scientists at the University of West England in Bristol have fabricated a 3D-printed pump that that uses the pressure generated by live yeast to beat, turning it into an artificial muscle. The valve is powered by electricity generated by a microbial fuel cell and controls the movement of the membrane. It opens to release pressure generated by the yeast, expands, and then shrinks back to begin another cycle. Read the rest of 3D Printed Mechanical Muscle Has a Heartbeat Powered by Yeast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed , artifical muscle , beat , bristol , cyborg , ecobot , gas , heart , membrane , microbial fuel cell , pacemaker , peter walters , pump , tin man , university of west england , valve , yeast

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3D Printed Mechanical Muscle Has a Heartbeat Powered by Yeast

Green-Roofed Casa Cabeço Rises From the Hills Like a Giant Pumpkin Patch in Portugal

February 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Green-Roofed Casa Cabeço Rises From the Hills Like a Giant Pumpkin Patch in Portugal Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Casa Cabeço , Daylighting , green design , green roof , insulation , madeira , MSB Arquitectos , natural light , north-facing home , orange house , portugal , pumpkin patch , stormwater run-off , sustainable design

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Green-Roofed Casa Cabeço Rises From the Hills Like a Giant Pumpkin Patch in Portugal

MIT Scientists Engineer Yeast Cells to Produce More Efficient Biofuels

February 18, 2013 by  
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In the hunt to replace petroleum, scientists are looking for more efficient ways to produce biofuels from organisms . A team of researchers at MIT have engineered yeast to manufacture the heavy alcohol isobutanol. Yeast normally creates isobutanol in small amounts, and by altering the cell so that the production takes place entirely in the mitochondria, the scientists were able to boost the amount of the chemical by 260 percent. The results of their work were published in the February 17 online edition of Nature Biotechnology . Read the rest of MIT Scientists Engineer Yeast Cells to Produce More Efficient Biofuels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2-methyl-1-butanol , biofuel , biosynthetic , cytoplasm , ETHANOL , gregory stephanopoulos , isobutanol , isopentanol , jose avalos , MIT , mitchondria , nature biotechnology , petroleum , yeast

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MIT Scientists Engineer Yeast Cells to Produce More Efficient Biofuels

New Yeast Strain Doubles the Efficiency of Biofuel Production

December 28, 2010 by  
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A team of researchers has developed a new strain of yeast that could make the production of biofuels two times more efficient by breaking down an elusive sugar chain present in plant stems called xylose. Up until now, two processes have been used to break down all of the sugars contained in plants — one for simple sugars and one for complex sugars

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New Yeast Strain Doubles the Efficiency of Biofuel Production

Eathouse: A Fresh, Local Take on Edible Architecture

December 28, 2010 by  
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This amazing edible Eathouse is a literal take on urban agriculture by Stuurlui Stedenbouw and Atelier GRAS! .

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Eathouse: A Fresh, Local Take on Edible Architecture

Purrrfect Cat Beds Made from Vintage Suitcases

December 28, 2010 by  
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If you forgot to buy your favorite feline a holiday gift, you can always make it up to them by treating them to one of these adorable cat beds made from vintage suitcases . Made by Atomic Attic, each bed is crafted from secondhand suitcases and comes with a removable, machine washable, fluffy cushion. And even though we’re feline-inclined, we won’t discriminate – your dog could certainly sleep on one of these comfy beds too

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Purrrfect Cat Beds Made from Vintage Suitcases

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