German engineering goes green with a fog-collecting system that serves the water needs of an arid Peruvian village.
Biologists Kai Tiedemann and Anne Lummerich are finding ingenious ways to help people living in arid regions find and develop new sources of water. Bellavista, a small, hillside settlement near Lima, Peru that is unconnected to the municipal water supply is enveloped in fog through most of the winter. There, the pair designed a fog-catching system that captures and collects fog-water for use by the local population. Built in 2006 by members of the community, the system delivers hundreds of gallons a day to its resevoir during the foggy winter months.
(via National Geographic, photograph by Anne Lummerich)
The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.......read more
CBC News reports that scientists have found that male cleaner fish will punish their female partners if they do something that offends the larger client fish they are cleaning. This "third-party punishment" is surprising because the males don't appear to be directly harmed by the females' behaviour. Nichola Raihani of the Zoological Society of London and colleagues at the......read more
This is the discovery that could put the College of Wooster on the map: glass that swells like a sponge. Put together like a nano-matrix, the new glass can unfold to hold up to eight times its weight. The glass binds with gasoline and other pollutants containing volatile organic compounds but it does not bind with water, so it acts like a “smart” sponge, capable of picking and choosing from......read more
Pentagon way-out research arm DARPA and Predator dronemaker General Atomics are teaming up to turn algae into jet fuel. The Defense Department announced the $20 million deal earlier in the week. The idea is to "demonstrate and ultimately commercialize the affordable production" of an algae-based surrogate for JP-8 jet fuel by 2010. The work is going to be spread all over the country,......read more
Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch". Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been "largely ignored" in the Atlantic. She announced the findings of a two-decade-long study at the......read more
Ever wondered how satellites work? Neither have we, but the short animated films made by This is Real Art for European satellite company Astra manage to make the subject thoroughly fascinating. If high school physics was this awesome, we'd all be scientists. (Via Creative Review)...read more
"Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink."- Samuel Coldridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798 There may be plenty of water on our blue planet, but the vast majority (almost 98%) is unfit for human use. Today, an estimated three hundred million people now meet their water needs with water that is too salty to drink. And the situation isn't getting any better.......read more
The human body is constantly moving around and creating energy. Wouldn't it be convenient if we could harness that energy to do things like charge our electronic devices? According to scientists at UC Berkeley, we can. Researchers are developing this breakthrough technology that will enable individuals to create their own renewable energy. The scientists are using microscopic fibers known as......read more