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(Credit: Extreme Tech) AUSTIN, TX — The recent hype around 3D printing has revolved mostly around the capacity for these printers to make guns, but could this new, futuristic technology also be used for such good as addressing glo...
(Credit: Extreme Tech) AUSTIN, TX — The recent hype around 3D printing has revolved mostly around the capacity for these printers to make guns, but could this new, futuristic technology also be used for such good as addressing global food scarcity and security? A SXSW Eco Conference panel in Austin, Texas addressed the question of whether this path-breaking technology holds the potential to produce nutrient-rich food that can be produced locally and on-demand, amongst other benefits. This could present certain solutions to increasing global food demand that don’t put so much strain on natural resources and also significantly reduce food waste. Both elements could lead to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well. “We have to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” Jason Clay, Senior Vice President for Market Transformation at the World Wildlife Fund, said. “By 2050 we’re going to have to produce twice as much food as we do today. We need to find a way to do this more sustainably. The biggest threat to the planet is to continue producing food in a business-as-usual fashion.” Clay was one of three panelists, including Hod Lipson, Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Computing & Information Science at Cornell University, and Jed Davis, Director of Sustainability at Cabot Creamery. None of the three panelists saw 3D food printing as a silver bullet to the problem of global food supply, but more as an interesting development that could be helpful in certain cases. “3D printing is not alchemy — food products go in and food products come out,” Clay said. “I don’t think 3D printing is the answer to food scarcity, it won’t achieve scale fast enough. And it’s also too expensive to help most of the 800 million people or so who are food insecure.” Lipson explained the history of 3D printing in brief as well as the emergence of 3D food printing. He said that the technology for 3D printing has been around for a long time and has been used to make things like electric parts, circuits, and batteries. His goal has always been to print a 3D robot that will walk out of the printer, batteries included. In the last decade or so the technology for 3D printers was made open source, meaning that blueprints and software were made available for all to use in building their own 3D printers at a much lower cost than manufacturers charge. “One thing everybody made with these printers wasn’t robots or machine parts, it was food,” Lipson said. “If you think about it, it makes sense because most peoples’ experiments in making things at home involve food.” Lipton sees this as a new and interesting blend of information technology and cooking that has already led to a lot of ideas. “3D printers give us a new angle to see if we can be more efficient with food, make healthier diets, make more types of food with fewer ingredients, or make food on-demand as needed so we don’t end up wasting so much,” Lipton said. “Or some stranger things, like making airplane-shaped broccoli so kids are more likely to eat it.” Davis added to the implications of the convergence of food and information technology. “As technology develops some interesting prospects for the human race many of the ones that have been most readily embraced have been in medicine,” he said. “Meanwhile, many that create the most uproar or controversy are in the food industry. What we do to keep our bodies healthy in terms of technology seems to supersede what we’re willing to do to the food that we put in our bodies.” Davis gave the example that maybe one day delicious cheese could be printed with an extra supply of vitamins or minerals. “Is this acceptable? And what’s it going to taste like?,” he said. Clay offered a few more pos
about 1 hour ago
Kawerau Geothermal plant by Mighty River Power New Zealand just announced the completion of the world’s largest binary geothermal power plant! Designed by Mighty River Power, the 100 MW Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Station is ...
Kawerau Geothermal plant by Mighty River Power New Zealand just announced the completion of the world’s largest binary geothermal power plant! Designed by Mighty River Power, the 100 MW Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Station is the country’s third geothermal project since 2008. The plant is located near Taupo on the country’s North Island, and it’s considered a strategic milestone by the company and an important achievement for geothermal energy. Read the rest of The World’s Largest Binary Geothermal Power Plant Opens in New Zealand Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: "sustainable energy", Binary Geothermal Power Plant, Geothermal Fluid, Mighty River Power, New Zealand, Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Station, Ormat, Taupo
about 1 hour ago
Read the rest of DIY: Make Your Own Artisan Soap Bar from Repurposed Scraps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cleaning, DIY, diy soap, Eco, gallery, homemade, how-to, instructions, make your own soap, recycle soap scrap...
Read the rest of DIY: Make Your Own Artisan Soap Bar from Repurposed Scraps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cleaning, DIY, diy soap, Eco, gallery, homemade, how-to, instructions, make your own soap, recycle soap scraps, repurposed, soap, Sustainable
about 2 hours ago
Read the rest of Metal-Clad Radiant House Boasts Clay Walls and a Whole Lot of Bamboo at the Solar Decathlon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: "energy efficiency", "natural materials", architecture competition, bamboo, ...
Read the rest of Metal-Clad Radiant House Boasts Clay Walls and a Whole Lot of Bamboo at the Solar Decathlon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: "energy efficiency", "natural materials", architecture competition, bamboo, California, ChargePoint EV Station, clean tech, Daylighting, DoE architecture competition, Doe Solar Decathlon, drought-resistant plants, eco design, ev charging station, green design, green tech, irvine, net-zero energy, photovoltaic array, Prefabricated Solar Homes, Radiant House, Recycled Materials, renewable energy, santa clara, sd2013, Solar Decathlon, Solar Power, Solar-powered prefab homes, sustainable design
about 2 hours ago
As if the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant weren’t bad enough, we now have news that six clean-up workers were exposed to radioactive water when a pipe was mistakenly disconnected. According to the plant̵...
As if the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant weren’t bad enough, we now have news that six clean-up workers were exposed to radioactive water when a pipe was mistakenly disconnected. According to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), several tonnes of radioactive water gushed out of the pipe, putting at least six of the workers at extreme risk for physical contamination. Although they were wearing protective clothing and masks, the workers will undergo extensive tests to determine if there was any internal or external exposure. Read the rest of Severed Pipe Exposes Fukushima Workers To Several Tonnes Of Radioactive Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster, nuclear fallout, nuclear power, nuclear power plant, pacific ocean, radioactive, TEPCO, Tepco workers exposed to radioactive water, Tepco workers tested for radioactive exposure
about 3 hours ago
CREDIT: AP It’s the eighth day that the U.S. government has been shut down because of Tea Party Republicans’ insistence on defunding Obamacare at any cost. This is having enormous economic impacts on small businesses across the country, ...
CREDIT: AP It’s the eighth day that the U.S. government has been shut down because of Tea Party Republicans’ insistence on defunding Obamacare at any cost. This is having enormous economic impacts on small businesses across the country, including those located near the 401 national parks and 561 national wildlife refuge that are currently closed to campers, hikers, hunters, and anglers. Meanwhile, Republican politicians have been criticizing the Obama administration for shutting down national parks, refuges, and other public lands. For example, Sen. Jon Barrasso (R-WY) said in a hearing yesterday that: The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to intentionally hurt the public. Maybe the [National] Park Service could study how to drop a large curtain in front of the mountains to block the view from the road. And Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are “in the early stages of examining” a probe into the closure of monuments on the National Mall. Notwithstanding the challenges of protecting public safety and national park assets on minimal staff and without funding, right-wing media outlets have also attacked the National Park Service for being unable to re-open favorite parks and have gone so far as to vilify uniformed park rangers for “closing down parks, roads, and even scenic bypasses on a whim.” These same outlets have promoted efforts to get citizens to “break the barrier” by illegally entering closed national parks and other federal lands. Encouraging unlawful access to national parks has serious safety implications, considering the National Park Service’s contingency plan says that — without adequate staffing and resources — it can only be focused on the activities that are “essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.” New data from the Center for Western Priorities released Tuesday also shows how spread thin the National Park Service and other federal agencies now are. According to the group’s analysis, before the shutdown there was one National Park Service employee for every 3,400 acres of national parks. But after the House Republican shutdown, there is now one national park ranger or employee on duty for every 26,000 acres of national parks. That’s an area larger than the city of Miami. Conservative politicians have apparently sensed Americans’ frustration with the situation in Congress, and several are now pressing for special access to their favorite national parks, despite the fact that the National Park Service is out of money. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), for example, has offered to keep the Mount Rushmore National Memorial open with state workers. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) also wants the Grand Canyon to re-open using state funding. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has “defied” orders to shut down state parks that receive federal funding. It costs more than $2 billion a year to run the national park system — a small fraction of the federal budget — but the system welcomes more than 300 million visitors a year and is highly interdependent. Parks now rely heavily on national and regional-level resources within the National Park Service to assist with everything from human resources and communications to law enforcement and emergency response. Picking a single park to re-open is like expecting a major national bank that runs out of money to re-open a single branch. Not to mention the fact that more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of campgrounds, and other federal facilities would still remain closed to public access if national parks were somehow opened on a piecemeal basis. Of course, as the Center for American Progress and the New York Times pointed out last week, many Republicans who now claim to be outraged by the closure of national parks have had no qualms voting against their funding, forcing closures under sequestration, and working to sell off Americ
about 3 hours ago
Read the rest of Team Texas’ Solar Decathlon ADAPT House Takes Advantage of El Paso’s Abundant Sunlight Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: "sustainable architecture", 2013 solar decathlon, adapt home solar de...
Read the rest of Team Texas’ Solar Decathlon ADAPT House Takes Advantage of El Paso’s Abundant Sunlight Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: "sustainable architecture", 2013 solar decathlon, adapt home solar decathlon, adapt house solar decathlon, California, Department of Energy, DOE, DOE competition, Doe Solar Decathlon, eco design, green architecture, Green Building, green design, irvine, net zero, net zero home, prefab home, SD 2013, Solar Decathlon, solar decathlon 2013, solar home, student project, student team, Sustainable Building, sustainable design, team texas adapt house, team texas solar decathlon, top 6 teams to watch, Zero energy
about 3 hours ago
California-based company Click & Grow makes urban farming easy for even the least savvy green thumbs. Their electronic smart pots monitor plants and use a proprietary growth medium that eliminates excess watering and the need for fer...
California-based company Click & Grow makes urban farming easy for even the least savvy green thumbs. Their electronic smart pots monitor plants and use a proprietary growth medium that eliminates excess watering and the need for fertilizing. Click & Grow just announced the debut of their Smart Farm, a scalable high-tech farming system that can be controlled over the internet! According to Click & Grow, scalable indoor farming has the potential to reduce water consumption by 90 percent and costs 80 percent less than traditional farming methods. Their Smart Farm comprises one part of a mission to provide fresh and healthy food to those living in areas with restricted access. “With the rise in food prices and the insufficient availability of fresh and healthy dietary choices, there are close to 870 million malnourished people worldwide,” says Mattias Lepp, Click & Grow’s founder. “The introduction of our Smart Farm concept takes us one step closer to our goal in providing access to fresh food at a fraction of the cost. We have a long way ahead of us, but each of our products is a step forward in that direction.” The Smart Farm takes advantage of Click & Grow’s combination of smart soil that incorporates nanotechnology and sensor-based software. The growth medium contains pockets to provide air and nutrients and eliminates the need for extra fertilizer or water, and the Smart Farm can be scaled up from a base of ten units to a facility that supports millions of plants. Click & Grow has already sold over 80,000 of their smart flower pots, and are confident their new venture will be a successful way to bring farming into the modern age. The Smart Farm is scheduled to launch in March, 2014 + Click & Grow
about 4 hours ago
The design is based on the idea of unity and infinity. At night the ring is reflected in the lake and looks like a full luminescent moon. The luxurious development has porticoes and ceilings inlaid with Citrine, which is a type of jade t...
The design is based on the idea of unity and infinity. At night the ring is reflected in the lake and looks like a full luminescent moon. The luxurious development has porticoes and ceilings inlaid with Citrine, which is a type of jade that symbolizes wealth, while Red Rose Cryloite and Silk Road Cryolite are used as decoration for front and concierge desks. Despite being so blatantly extravagant, some efforts were made to reduce the project’s energy consumption. Unlike conventional glass curtain facades, often used in hotel design, the Sheraton Huzhou doesn’t require a lot of air-conditioning units. The shape of the building provides shade for all of the balconies and promotes natural ventilation. The ultra-white glass allows natural light into each room, thereby eliminating the need for additional artificial lighting during the day. This saves energy and creates a pleasant atmosphere as well. This is the first five-star resort for mainland China’s affluent business class and it oozes wealth and extravagance. Albeit impressive and striking in design, we question, from an environmental point-of-view, whether the LED-lit façade and convenient circular shape can compete with the resort’s incredible environmental footprint. + MAD Architects + Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
about 4 hours ago
Tesla’s new Supercharger network is a fast, free way for Model S drivers to quickly recharge their vehicles. Even though Tesla has announced plans to rapidly expand its network, CHAdeMO fast charging stations still outnumber it ...
Tesla’s new Supercharger network is a fast, free way for Model S drivers to quickly recharge their vehicles. Even though Tesla has announced plans to rapidly expand its network, CHAdeMO fast charging stations still outnumber it – so Tesla just unveiled a new CHAdeMO adapter for the Model S that gives drivers the ability to tap into the larger network. Read the rest of Tesla Releases CHAdeMO Adapter for the Model S Electric Vehicle Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery, chademo, chademo adapter, chademo charger, Charging Station, electric car, electric motor, green car, tesla, tesla model-s, Tesla Supercharger Network
about 4 hours ago