environment

Oscillator

Tag archives for environment

Less Bad vs. Good

Changing our energy infrastructure from one that contributes to climate change to one that is renewable and sustainable poses enormous challenges technically, politically, socially, and economically. There isn’t going to be a single solution, but a combination of technological changes, policy changes, efficiency gains, and adaptations to local environments will likely go a long way…

Terraforming

Life transforms environments, creating ecosystems where there was once only rocks. The evolution of photosynthetic bacteria billions of years ago created the atmosphere we have today, paving the way for the evolution of larger, oxygen-breathing organisms. We humans obviously transform our environment in countless ways, but can we also engineer barren environments to be hospitable…

Peepee Power

There’s a terrific new article in New Scientist about some of the ways scientists are working on turning pee into energy. There’s a lot of pee in the world all going to waste, often at huge cost to the environment in terms of energy used to collect and purify waste water. Methods that can produce…

GOOD has an interesting series of articles called No More Dirty Looks about the cosmetics that we use every day and what options are available for safer, more environmentally sound beauty products, without any toxic carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, or petrochemicals. Yesterday they linked to a terrifying video from The Story of Stuff Project describing the…

Oil Eating Bacteria

In a recent conversation about the safety and ethics of synthetic biology in the wake of the announcement of the synthetic genome, many of the professors I was chatting with commented on how they hoped new synthetic biology technology would lead to bacteria that could eat the oil spilling into the gulf of mexico even…

Many people in synthetic biology, including myself and much of my lab, are working on using biology to make things more efficiently, renewably, and sustainably. Being able to make plastic replacing biomaterials, chemicals, medicines, and fuels in living cells from renewable resources (especially in photosynthetic organisms that need only sunlight and water) will undoubtedly decrease…

The Science of Nudity

There’s a funny article over at H+ magazine called “Get Naked: It’s Good for Your Brain,” telling us exactly that: Clothing is crushing us! Trapped in tomb-like textiles, we exile our flesh from experiencing the environment. We atrophy the majority of our epidermis. If you put a plaster cast on a broken arm, the skin…