Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome Science

24-Year-Old With PhD is Crowned Miss Virginia in 2019

Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old with a  Ph.D. was crowned Miss Virginia. Against pageant norms, she wore a lab coat and safety glasses to perform the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide during the talent section of the competition.

She has 2 Bachelor of Science degrees from Virginia Tech in Biochemistry and Systems Biology. She is currently working to get a Doctorate Pharmacy Degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. Using the talent section for a science experiment was a perfect way to get others excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). You can check out her blog post by Clicking Here

Paraphrasing, she said the evolution of the Miss America Competition that reflects comprehensiveness and the opportunity to make a difference and win scholarships inspired her to come forward in the competition which was her statement she emailed to IFL Science.

She added that she is more than Miss Virginia, she is Miss Biochemist, Miss Systems Biologist, Miss Future PharmD, looking forward to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. She believes it’s time to create her mind-set about bringing her passion for STEM to the stage.  Talent is not a passion alone, it’s a skill which is perfected over time.

Cool Scientific Experiment

Catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is an experiment that many students probably remember from school.  It’s very similar to applying hydrogen peroxide to a wound that is a bubbling foam.

The process is caused by a catalase (an enzyme found in almost all living organisms exposed to oxygen),  that is found in the blood and attacks the hydrogen peroxide putting off oxygen in the form of white gurgling bubbles.

Camille was the 24th contestant at the 2019 pageant and won more than $21,000 out of $75,000 in scholarship money.  Over the next year, she will travel around the state and share her platform of STEM awareness along with drug safety and the prevention of drug abuse.

Sadly, every day more than 130 Americans die from Opioid abuse and every eight minutes a caregiver makes a medical mistake that impacts a child’s life.  It’s time we do more about safety and abuse prevention.  She will go to represent the Commonwealth at Virginia at eh Miss America Pageant later this year.

I say Bravo Camille for your intelligence and desire to share the world of science to young people in hopes they will find careers they never knew existed.

Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old with a  Ph.D. was crowned Miss Virginia. Against pageant norms, she wore a lab coat and safety glasses to perform the...

Earth Inspiring Stories

The World is at Your Command with Google’s Earth Creation Tools

If you have lived in different states or countries or just moved from one home to another in your town, you know homes and even apartments come with their own special sights and sounds along with different smells and changes in taste.

Well now, you can get added help from Google’s Earth Creation Tools to help you collect and share your favorite memories.

People have used Google Earth to view our wonderful planet for almost 15 years.  According to Gopal Shah, product manager, their mission is not about showing people the same old pictures of our planet, they want to bring the entire planet to life!

Google Earth’s placemarks are for storing points to access information for now or later and share with others. Be sure to draw your own placemarks, add shapes or anything else you wish. Attach custom text, images, and videos then organize your own very unique story.  By all means, collaborate with others!

When you are done, you will be ready to share it with the world.  Click on the “Present” button to take your chosen audience on a tour of someone’s excellent journey, a forest coming to life, or a fictional road adventure.

Story-telling Maps

It’s been 2 years since Google introduced Voyager which showed guided tours to the world with added stories. With the launch of the next and best step toward taking the power of map-making and story-telling and handing it over to you.

Their new creation tools are now available on the internet for Google Earth. At this time, there is no word when they will be available for mobile devices which currently only support viewing projects.

You can turn your digital world into your very own story and create a map or story about the places that are so important to you. After all, the world is at your command with Google Earth Creation Tools!

If you have lived in different states or countries or just moved from one home to another in your town, you know homes and even apartments come with...

Cool Stories Earth

2,000 Feet Wide Asteroid Whizzes Past the Planet

The rather unimaginatively named 481392 (2006) SF9 asteroid measuring around 2,034 feet rushed past the Earth at an incredible 17,800 miles /hour on 20th November 2019.

The giant rock has a diameter of 2,034 feet and came to within 2.7million miles of the planet we call home. According to NASA, this is a distance 11 times greater than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.  This is likely to be the closest the asteroid will get to our planet for at least for the next 200 years.

The giant asteroid was first seen by astronomers near Tucson, Arizona back in 2006.  The Catalina Sky Survey is run by scientists based in the Steward Observatory and aims to look for asteroids, comets, and meteors.

How Far is “Near” in Space Terms?

Despite the huge distances involved this giant asteroid is known as a NEO (Near-Earth Object) because it came within 121 million miles of the sun and 30 million miles of our own planet’s path around the star.

There are numerous other types of NEOs but asteroids are the most common and are only considered “potentially hazardous” in certain circumstances.  NASA would start to become concerned about an asteroid if it came to within 4.6million miles of Earth and had a size over 460 feet.  This is about 19 times the distance between the moon and the earth.

It seems then that 481394 (2006 SF6) is seen as a potential hazard and certainly if it did hit the Earth there would be devastating results.  That said, it is not considered likely to hit the Earth within at least the next 200 years and, despite its size, the asteroid is still too small to cause the sort of extinction-level event that wiped out the dinosaurs even if a collision occurred.

There are around a quarter of a million NEOs larger than 460 feet at present, yet, according to NASA this probably represents only 35% of the total figure of asteroids in circulation.  Once you start looking at the smaller objects, those with a diameter of under 33 feet, you start to see figures shoot up to the 100 million range.

There are likely around 5,000 asteroids that could prove to be a hazard.

An asteroid consists of debris that was leftover for the early formation of the solar system. Most of the material joined together to form planets but some are still floating around out there. These asteroids give us valuable insights into how our solar system originated and shows that even now, around 4.5 billion years later, it is still changing and evolving.

The rather unimaginatively named 481392 (2006) SF9 asteroid measuring around 2,034 feet rushed past the Earth at an incredible 17,800 miles /hour on...

Category - Nature & Tech

City Life Cool Stories Tech News

Lamborghini Now Registers Cars On the Blockchain

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to certify heritage cars securely.  The platform also speeds up the process of tracing and authenticating these vehicles.

The move was announced in November 2019 following Salesforce’s launch of a hyper ledger-based blockchain platform back in May.  This will now mean that a network can be implemented, joining together many trusted participants who will be able to carry out checks each time a  Lamborghini’s is resold.

It is good news for both sellers and buyers because now every Lamborghini vehicle will have its own record of service.  Under the old system, the vehicle would be taken to  Sant’Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini’s Italian HQ to undergo around 800-1,000 checks for the vehicle to be resold.

It is a long and involved process involving collaboration between a network of photographers, repairs shops and auction houses to verify the vehicle’s parts and service history.

Fighting Counterfeit Vehicles

With the introduction of the blockchain certification, Salesforce and Lamborghini have announced that every car will be resold with a full record of service, including parts, previous owners and any restoration work.

The new system will mean that there is less risk of buyers being sold a counterfeit vehicle as all the entire process of authentication is conducted by Lamborghini and its trusted partners within the network.

In August 2019, Lamborghini’s conducted a pilot trial of Salesforce Blockchain when it certified it’s Lamborghini Aventador S.  This unique car has been protected as a work of art and certified using the  Salesforce Blockchain when it took part in the  Monterrey Car Week.

Italian luxury brand Lamborghini Adopts Salesforce Blockchain The Italian luxury sports car maker has adopted the Salesforce blockchain platform to certify heritage cars securely.  The platform also speeds up the process of tracing and authenticating these...

Tech News

Personalized News Now Available on Google Assistant

When we are looking for the latest news it is always helpful to get a list of all the day’s main headlines.  Instead of being limited to just one broadcaster the Google Assistant will now provide a tailor-made news playlist of all the top stories.

The feature, Your News Updates, will look at stories from across multiple news outlets and select them according to your interests and location.  Audio is a great way of conveying the news but the technology has been a lot slower to adapt than other media such as text or video.

This looks set to change. Google Assistant now allows the user to ask specific questions for example, ‘what is the latest news about Brexit’? And will respond with relevant news items.

Enter Audio Clips

The company has been busy behind the scenes developing its new service looking at providing focused clips rather than long podcasts or news items to make it more user-friendly now that time is at a premium for most people.

By dealing with news specific to the user it means that the audio clips are more relevant.  For instance, it can draw on your interests and then access more news sources to give you all the latest stories, then follow up the headlines with slightly longer more in-depth pieces.

There is an emphasis on your location too so that news items that you here relate to places that you know and care about.

The recommendations for news stories will likely get more refined as the AI gets more of an insight into your personal preferences.  If you skip an item, for example, it will pick up on this and offer more appealing stories.

It may eventually be tailored for context, for example, providing traffic reports when you are in the car.  It could even assess traffic, estimate the length of time you have in the car before you reach your destination and provide a story or other listening to fill that time.

Your News Update is currently available in the USA in English, but there are plans to expand the service globally in 2020.

When we are looking for the latest news it is always helpful to get a list of all the day’s main headlines.  Instead of being limited to just one broadcaster the Google Assistant will now provide a tailor-made news playlist of all the top stories.

The...

Inspiring Stories Tech News

New Facebook & Instagram Donation Tools to Rival PayPal

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site this week.

Facebook is moving into an industry that is dominated by GoFundMe and PayPal and now the company has announced initiatives such as fundraising stickers on Facebook Stories, and the option to add donate buttons to video game streaming accounts and Instagram business.

The big guns, PayPal and GoFundMe are currently charging users 30cents for every donation, and a 2.9% processing fee.  Where PayPal will allow a lower charge of 2.2% on payment processing for nonprofits, Facebook has completely waived the fee for any type of donation.

People Do Donate

It is working well for the charitable causes too – they are seeing a rise in donors through the Facebook initiatives.  In 2018 PayPal was used by over 55 million people who made donations to nonprofits a total of $9.6billion.  In 2010, $5billion was raised through GoFundMe. Since 2015 Facebook has been instrumental in raising $2billion for nonprofits.

Facebook’s influence in digital payments is growing and this is likely to increase alongside its initiatives to help people fund non-profits.  The platform is keen to encourage groups and private messaging and incorporating donations and, while it will not provide a financial gain, it will encourage users to continue engaging with each other through Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in May that he was looking to encourage more group conversations on the platform and groups would be a more central part of the platform’s app.  The ability of a group to promote a cause and collect funds will assist him in this goal.

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site this week.
Facebook is moving into an industry that is dominated by GoFundMe and PayPal and now the company has...

Animals

You Can Actually Improve Your Health by Letting Your Dog Sleep With You!

As humans, we have many ways of improving our health and one of those ways involves your pet!  Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic have shown people who sleep with their dogs will let them sleep more soundly and improve their overall good health. Let’s look at the reasoning behind this study:

The Mayo Clinic:

Their study was a joint effort by researchers in two different branches of the clinic in Arizona. The experiment involved 40 people and their dogs. Every night, the participants slept in their usual way but with their dog either in the bed or in the bedroom.

The people and the dogs wore sensors to track how well they slept and whether they moved while sleeping. They were tracked and recorded each night for 5 months.

All the participants were adults who had absolutely no health issues relating to sleep and most of them were women.  The dogs were all adult dogs as puppies are too unpredictable in their sleeping habits which could disrupt the study.

The Difference Between Sleeping On The Bed Or On the Floor:

Many past studies have shown that distractions or sounds outside the bedroom, including that of dogs, can interfere with sleep.  This study showed that dogs in the bedroom did not disturb their owners’ ability to sleep.  The study also found that dogs who slept in the bedroom allowed their owners a better sleep than dogs that actually slept on the bed, causing less sleep.

People who love their dogs want them nearby which is a leading source of comfort. Studies have also shown that if a dog is calm and sleeps restfully, the dog’s breathing sounds are actually very soothing to help the owner sleep even better.

Overall, the study showed that people who sleep with one dog in their bedroom at night will allow them to sleep better than people who do not have a pet in the bedroom.

The study did show promise but there are other factors that could have changed the outcome. This study was very casual because there were only 40 participants and their dogs. It did not take into consideration other factors for getting a good night’s sleep or not.

All the participants had only one pet and all the pets were dogs. Having more than one dog in the bedroom could cause disturbances if the dogs wake up in the night.

It’s also believed the outcome of the study could have differed if they had more participants.  Also, the study could have been a washout if an owner had a very active dog and they were a light sleeper.  If you feel having your dog sleep in your bedroom would be a disturbance, then by all means, have them sleep in another room.

All said and done, pets are an important part of our family and having a study that shows you might actually experience a much better night’s sleep if your four-legged friend is sleeping close by.

There are other studies in the works to see if sleeping with your cat has the same effects as sleeping with your dog.  Pretty much, if you ask animal lovers how they feel about their pets you will find having them curl up on your bed or sleeping next to the best is welcoming to both the owner and their pet.  We will let you know if other researches are performed and what the findings will be.

As humans, we have many ways of improving our health and one of those ways involves your pet!  Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic have shown people who sleep with their dogs will let them sleep more soundly and improve their overall good health. Let’s...

Cool Stories Science

Cool! Never Before Seen ‘Dance of Avoidance’ of Neptune’s Moons

Over the years, astronomers have discovered 14 moons that orbit Neptune – and that’s just 14 that we know of. Seven of them are inner moons that are relatively close to one another. In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft flyby happened upon two of these inner moons, Naiad and Thalassa.

Scientists have more recently observed Naiad’s unique orbit consisting of oscillating patterns in order to avoid collision with Thalassa. They’ve labelled it a “dance of avoidance.”

These moons are quite small when compared to the Earth’s moon – a pithy 60 miles or so in length to 2,159 miles in diameter. In addition, at least relatively speaking, the two moons are quite close together, orbiting only 1,150 miles apart.

But because of the shape of their orbits, they are prevented from colliding with one another. The data that confirmed this was collected by the Voyager 2 spacecraft and Hubble Space Telescope between 1981 and 2016.

“We are always excited to find these co-dependencies between moons,” said co-author of the article in the journal Icarus, Mark Showalter, a planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

“Naiad and Thalassa have probably been locked together in this configuration for a very long time, because it makes their orbits more stable. They maintain the peace by never getting too close.”

Super Fast Zigzag

Naiad takes 7 hours to orbit Neptune while Thalassa takes 7.5 hours, so to avoid Thalassa, Naiad moves in a zigzag pattern, crossing the other’s orbit twice from above and twice from below, repeating the pattern again and again.

Naiad’s tilt and timing are impeccable each time, keeping the two from coming too close. They remain 2,200 miles or so apart even when the two orbits cross paths.

“We refer to this repeating pattern as a resonance,” lead author Marina Brozović, an expert in solar system dynamics at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said.

“There are many different types of ‘dances’ that planets, moons, and asteroids can follow, but this one has never been seen before.”

Brozović and her colleagues think that this unique moon movement has been occurring since Neptune captured Triton, it’s the largest satellite at 1,680 miles.

“We suspect that Naiad was kicked into its tilted orbit by an earlier interaction with one of Neptune’s other inner moons,” said Brozović. “Only later, after its orbital tilt was established, could Naiad settle into this unusual resonance with Thalassa.”

Over the years, astronomers have discovered 14 moons that orbit Neptune – and that’s just 14 that we know of. Seven of them are inner moons that are relatively close to one another. In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft flyby happened upon two of these inner...

Cool Stories Earth

If You Missed Mercury’s Journey Across the Sun, You’ll Have to Wait Another 13 Years!

Mercury’s journey across the sun happened on November 11th and if you missed it, you will have to wait another 13 years before this event occurs again.  Mercury’s next journey across the sun will not take place until November 13, 2031.  If you think this is a long wait, consider Venus who will travel 93 years from now!

Phenomenal events like this only happen when there is a set alignment on planet orbits. Just like all the planets in our solar system, Mercury and Venus circle the sun in a plane, similar to a pancake but it’s not perfectly flat because each planet has a tilt in its orbit.

Take Mercury’s path, there is an incline of 7° to the plane in which the planet, on average, orbits in the sky. From the perspective of our planet Earth, Mercury passes above or below the sun almost all the time, only crossing the sun 13 or 14 times in one century.

With Venus, this phenomenon is much rarer. It happens in transit pairs separated by 8 years and each pairing only happens about a century apart from each other.

Also, only Mercury and Venus can cross the sun since they are on the inner side of the solar system, unlike Earth.  Transits of Mercury seem to happen around the same time of year, either in November or May while Venus’ is more scattered.

When Will the Next Transit Be?

According to NASA, if you missed this last transit of Mercury, you will have to wait a really long time.  The next 2 transits will happen in 2032 and 2039 but will not be visible from North America. Skywatchers in the U.S will have to wait until 2049 and from the West Coast in 2052.

Regarding Venus, you should mark it on your calendar and even consider if you will still be around.  According to NASA, from December 10 to 11, 2117 it will be visible in southern and western North America and other locations.

As of December 8, 2125,  it will be visible for half its journey in the U.S.  The next pairing will not occur until 2247 and 2255.

If all of this seems too far in advance for you to even consider, have peace of mind, you will have plenty of chances to watch the moon travel across the sun during a solar eclipse or to watch the moon pass into Earth’s shadow during the lunar eclipse.

Eclipses take place every few months but visibility varies considerably, especially for solar eclipses.

If you were fortunate enough to capture the Mercury event, share it on your social media so the rest of us can enjoy the moment!

Mercury’s journey across the sun happened on November 11th and if you missed it, you will have to wait another 13 years before this event occurs again.  Mercury’s next journey across the sun will not take place until November 13, 2031.  If you...

Earth Vacation

Is it Safe to Visit Venice Even With Flooding Shutting Everything Down?

At this time, tour companies and those living in Venice are urging travelers to stay away.  The flooding has become quite dangerous and it’s not recommended that anyone making plans to visit.  There are many other Italian destinations that should take advantage of and consider Venice for a future trip.

Many people know that Venice is slowly sinking, but this low-lying city is more than 85% underwater after this severe flooding which has put the city in harm’s way over the past few days.

Acqua alta or high waters are the highest in over 50 years, reaching just over 6-feet or 1.87 meters. The devastation from flooding over this past week is almost as high as their record flood that occurred in 1966.  It’s been reported as the 2nd worst flood in history, according to the Associated Press.

Venice is a very popular destination in part to their incredible landmarks including St. Mark’s Square.  Due to the recent flooding, these landmarks are now underwater!

According to Mindi and Daryl Hirsch from 2foodtrippers.com, even though Venice is still a charming city, the flooding is a totally different story. They told Newsweek there is nothing charming about wading through 3-feet of cold, smelly water.  This kind of water makes galoshes and boots useless.

The couple who has a travel-blogging site walked in wast-high water after dinner and said they felt the situation was very dangerous.  They have strongly suggested that if travelers experience this kind of flooding, they should take all warnings very seriously.

The city sounds an alarm when flooding is imminent and the number of tones will signify the expected level of water.  When this happens, you should take cover until the water recedes.  The couple added they believe they will hear these alarms in their dreams for the next few years.

What Travelers Need To Know

 Marco Amorico, president of Access Italy, which is a luxury tour company, recommends travelers avoid the city until normal water levels are restored.  They should pay close attention to all weather forecasts.

If your plans are set and you are ready to leave for Venice, it’s strongly advised you travel to Milan or Turin instead.  If your travel dates are more than a week in advance, monitor the situation and consider looking into other cities like Rome and/or Florence.

Italy is conveniently connected by trains and travel times are relatively short.

 At this time, Urban Adventures Venice is currently closed.  Cecilia Cambero, manager of the Venice Tours for Urban, told Newsweek that travelers going to Venice need to be aware that the city is in peril at this time.

Travelers will be limited in moving about and many sites including museums are closed or in the process of closing down.

At this time, tour companies and those living in Venice are urging travelers to stay away.  The flooding has become quite dangerous and it’s not recommended that anyone making plans to visit.  There are many other Italian destinations that should take...

Health Nature & Tech Science

Plant-Based Meats are Being Processed to Copy Real Meat

To date, protein is being made from a process that converts carbon dioxide into an ingredient that copies nutritional values found in animal protein and has been announced by the company, Air Protein. Their goal is to create microbe-derived protein for burgers and tacos, competing with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.

Air Protein is a startup company based in the Bay area.  They are introducing their version of air-based meat, using technology discovered by NASA back in the 60s when scientists were experimenting with ways to feed astronauts in space.

They discovered they could use microorganisms to convert carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts and turn them into food.

Air Protein

Air Protein said their process is similar to processing yogurt.  It’s made in a closed fermenter where natural microbes consume carbon dioxide and what they refer to as a blend of “mineral nutrients” to create an ingredient that is 80% protein.

It’s believed to have the same nutritional value as meat but does not contain hormones or antibiotics. Air Protein also believes it has 2 times the protein found in soybeans. They said their process is different from Beyond Meat and Impossible foods that use protein made from soybeans and peas.

In a statement by Jeremy Ertl, spokesperson for Air Protein, this revolutionary new protein source will be able to make meatless burgers, protein-rich pasta, cereals, beverages, and so much more.

This new product developed by Air Protein is just one of the latest inventions in the field of alternative meats.  The goal is to transform the consumption of American food.  The market for plant-based foods has grown significantly by 11% over the past year.

According to the Plant-Based Foods Association, this new industry is bringing in a total of $4.5 billion to date.

 

There are already plant-based foods on the market including pasta, cauliflower, chickpea, pizza, oat mild, and meatless burgers.  Many of these products are already available in grocery stores and fast-food chains.

As of late, Burger King has announced they will add meatless Impossible Burgers in kids’ meals and chains like KFC, White Castle, and Del Toro are already carrying alternatives.

These products are high in demand, not just by consumers with food allergies but also among meat-eaters who are looking for alternatives for protein. Many consumers are looking for sustainable options in the diets.

According to data collected by a market research firm, NPD Group,  it shows that approximately 95% of consumers who bought a plant-based burger still eat meat.

To date, protein is being made from a process that converts carbon dioxide into an ingredient that copies nutritional values found in animal protein and has been announced by the company, Air Protein. Their goal is to create microbe-derived protein for...

Earth Inspiring Stories

The Half-Earth Project and Its Plausibility

In case you don’t know, biodiversity is the key to life on our planet, providing ecosystem services which all life depends upon. For years biodiversity has been on the decline around the world caused by climate change and the loss of habitats.

Human activities could lead to our extinction along with the extinction of the planet. Losing so much of Earth’s biodiversity is destroying our heritage and the stability of the planet as a whole. Is there anything we can do about it at this stage?

What Is The Half-Earth Project?

The evolutionary biologist, E.O. Wilson, came up with his plan for Half-Earth. He proposes that half the planet should be completely set aside as a natural reserve in order to protect and preserve biodiversity. In his book “Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life”, he explains that loss of biodiversity is already beyond the stage of recovery and the only solution to prevent mass extinction and destruction is to protect half of the earth from human interference. This will allow the natural reserve to protect and preserve the biodiversity while the other half of the planet is shared by humans.

Why The Concept Of Exactly Half?

The amount of space for suitable habitats for species is a critical factor in survival or not. Wilson developed “The Theory of Island” in the 1960s suggesting that any change in an area of habitat would result in a change in the number of sustainable species by the fourth root. Therefore, if the reserve grows in size so will the surviving species and the same can be said in reverse. In theory, if half of the global surface is protected, the number of species will be around 85% or more which could prevent extinction.

So, Where Is The Half Going To Be?

For the Half-Earth Project to work, there must be specifications in place by using advanced technologies that will comprehensively map the geospatial locations and distribution of species on the planet. The decision would be based on the data output to show where would be the best place to protect most species.

As geospatial is relating to data that is associated with a specific area, there are several locations best for preservation and most of those areas are in South America.

In order for the project to work, it will take scientific research and experienced leadership to form strategies to map the Earth’s species and will require engagement with people from everywhere to participate in the movement.

Once enlisted, people are asked to sign the Half-Earth Pledge in which people promise to support the Half-Earth Project by sharing information, participating locally in conservation efforts, and supporting the protection policies.

While reading through Wilson’s proposal, it might sound great but is it at all practical? What would be the negative fall-out on the human population from implementing this project?

An article called “Half-Earth Or Whole Earth?” was published which analyzed the other side of this Half-Earth Project and the negative impact it might have on humanity. The argument can be examined from the following points:

The problem with the Half-Earth proposal, it ignores the elements that cause the loss of biodiversity across the planet. The plan for future biodiversity does not address the overconsumption of resources and industrial activities that are unrealistic. Even if we divided the earth in half in terms of consumption of resources and our activities, there would still be major consequences for the entire planet.

How about the social impact caused by the half earth project? Restricting areas would cause many challenges from physical and economic displacement and will eventually lead to social conflict. Even to date, many strictly protected areas are in the middle of social conflicts.

Adding to that, who will create and control these protected areas? How can we possibly share these areas globally and equally? Lower-income countries suffer from enormous poverty and lack of infrastructure. Therefore, removing land from non-conservation use will impact those countries and communities the most who, ironically, are the least responsible for our current environmental issues.

Many studies have shown that protected areas work best if they are supported by local communities. One recent study showed that protected areas that have integrated local people as shareholders are more effective in reaching biological conservation, economic, and social development. The Half-Earth Project completely ignores the relationship between biodiversity and local communities.

Lastly, the Half-Earth Project does not offer any guidelines or an agenda on how to manage biodiversity in the human half. What will biodiversity look like and what’s the role of people in the plan? Will there be any restrictions in this plan?

All the above arguments and issues are predictable and expected but the Half-Earth Project does not mention the negative impacts or how these impacts will be addressed.

In a nutshell, the Half-Earth Project is not plausible and cannot be put in place as a sustainable strategy because of the issues it has failed to address. Also, if implemented, it would result in dangerous and counter-effective consequences such as greater injustice and the rise of conflicts.

There would have to be a logical solution in place that would focus on the roots of the biodiversity loss. So much more must be done if we ever expected to address how the global economy works and address how we extract natural resources.

It’s a fact that economic growth is an issue all unto itself. Working toward achieving prosperity without growth could possibly be a part of the solution.

Implemented strategies must support measures to address inequality along with improved health and well being. This is a much more realistic approach and a better way for sustaining biodiversity vs what the Half-Earth Project is suggesting.

Are there steps that can be taken to improve our environment and protect nature? Yes, but it takes more than a pipe dream that would literally throw millions of people out of their homelands and overcrowd other countries leading to further conflicts.

In case you don’t know, biodiversity is the key to life on our planet, providing ecosystem services which all life depends upon. For years biodiversity has been on the decline around the world caused by climate change and the loss of habitats.
Human...

Earth Tech News TooCool

The Astronaut Smart Glove Was Field-Tested and It’s a Go!

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) has successfully field-tested the astronaut smart glove. It’s deliberately designed for exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations. The Smart Glove is a model for a human-machine interface or HMI, allowing astronauts to wirelessly operate robotic equipment such as drones through simple hand gestures.

Just last month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed their new Artemis Generation spacesuit, created to keep astronauts comfortable and safe on the Moon’s surface.

That said, SETI Institute claims spacesuits will still remain cumbersome, limiting the ability of astronauts to perform precise tasks. Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist with SETI and the Mars Institute, said a smart glove-equipped spacesuit might just be the solution.

Lee believes astronauts could easily control a number of robotic assets, making science and exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations more effective and productive. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s startup Ntention, which is run by students, developed the smart glove that was tested in HMP’s 2019 field campaign.

Intuitive Human-machine Interfaces

Moina Medboe Tamuly, COO at Ntention, said their philosophy is to create technology that will allow human-machine interfacing intuitive and seamless. They are very excited to see their technology has potential applications in space exploration.

Lee suggested that after seeing the demonstration of the glove for space applications, it could be applied to an astronaut’s spacesuit. Lee added when he first saw the smart glove in action, he immediately thought of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law, saying any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

With Tamula as lead designer, the Ntention team accepted his challenge to create a prototype that uses a microcontroller to read subtle motions. These subtle motions are transferred to a mobile device to control a robot. The smart glove was interspersed into an existing Collins Aerospace spacesuit and then put through a series of field tests involving the teleoperation of commercial drones.

When astronauts are on Mars or the Moon, they want to fly drones for a number of reasons, including collecting a sample that is out of reach or must be isolated from contamination. Another reason could be to perform a search and rescue operation. Other purposes might include mapping, sampling, surveying, fetching, scouting, and inspecting.

Further assessment of the Astronaut Smart Glove for Mars and Moon exploration will continue along with applications to control other kinds of robotic equipment including robotic manipulators and rovers.

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) has successfully field-tested the astronaut smart glove. It’s deliberately designed for exploration on Mars, the Moon, and other destinations. The Smart Glove is a model for a human-machine interface or HMI, allowing...

Health Nature & Tech Science

Scientists Have Created a 3D-Printed Living Skin With Blood Vessels

Scientists developed a 3D-printed living skin in hopes of one day preventing the body from rejecting grafted tissue. Researchers combined cells found in human blood vessels with other elements along with animal collagen then printed a skin-like material. A few weeks later, the cells began to form into the vasculature.

Then the skin was grafted onto a mouse and they found it connected with the animal’s vessels. The vasculature is the arrangement of blood vessels in an organ or other parts of the body.

Associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Pankaj Karande, led the research and said it was very important because they know there is a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft, keeping the graft alive. He added that it’s like a really high-tech Band-Aid which helps the healing process then at some point it will fall off.

The researchers’ work was published in the Tissue Engineering Part A journal after the team showed human cells could be used to print material that is very similar to skin. With further work, the team will see about editing the skin cells using CRISPR technology so they can match the recipient’s cells making it less likely to be rejected by the body.

Help Heal a Variety of Conditions

Karande is hopeful the technology will help people with pressure ulcers or diabetes to slowly heal their wounds. He added that these patients are perfect because ulcers usually show in very distinct locations on the body and therefore can be focused on to apply smaller pieces of skin.

Deepak Vashishth said this is a significant development that will highlight the vast potential of 3D bioprinting in precision medicine so solutions can be tailored to specific situations and eventually to individual patients. Vashishth is the director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The skin is the newest medical advancement made possible by the technology of 3D printing. Back in May, another team of scientists offered the idea of 3D-printed internal organs closer to reality by creating a complex tangle of vessels in a lung-like structure.

Kelly Stevens is an assistant professor at the University of Washington and co-author of the paper published in Science. Stevens explained to Newsweek that the body contains various networks of pipes that bring nutrients to the organs and removes waste from the organ in the body.

Because many of these networks of pipes are entangled, it’s been very difficult for scientists to replicate by 3D printing. This new approach allows scientists to create multiple entangled networks of pips in 3D-printed tissues. They were quite surprised to see how structurally complex features could be printed with this new method.

Scientists developed a 3D-printed living skin in hopes of one day preventing the body from rejecting grafted tissue. Researchers combined cells found in human blood vessels with other elements along with animal collagen then printed a skin-like material. A...

Nature & Tech Science

Ancient Native American Village Uncovered in Florida’s Gulf Coast

A chance discovery in 2010 led researchers to find a village in Florida that dated back to 900-1200AD. The pre-Columbian village was seen when the research team from the University of Florida
(UF) were using imaging technology to look at the environmental impact after the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon.

The amazing discovery came out through the use of LiDAR. The technology, Light Detection, and Ranging allowed the researchers to see through the very dense vegetation. The instruments were fitted to drones and used to make a 3D map of the area and it was then that they saw the signs of the ancient settlement.

LiDAR exposes any topographical features and man-made structures that were not normally visible and this enabled the team to conduct surveys much faster than they could when using traditional methods.

The scientists were working on Raleigh Island when they spotted several large ring structures. The area, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is currently uninhabited but it seems that in the pre-Columbian era there was indeed a human settlement here.

Evidence shows that the people who lived there were making a good living from the production of beads which they produced by harvesting seashells.

This latest find is one of only a few similar developments where beads were produced on a large scale. It may be that the settlement began when society started to demand high quantities of marine shells, and the site produced some strong evidence that bead manufacture was the major economic activity.

It is known that beads were often used in rituals and they became social popular overseas at this time.

Oyster-Shells Residence

LiDAR revealed that there were around 37 residences in the area and that these were enclosed using oyster shells formed into 13ft high ridges. The entire purpose of the settlement was to produce beads and they found evidence that these were being produced within residential spaces.

The village is an unprecedented archaeological find in the region, particularly the scale and organization of the settlement and the reason it was established.

The team concluded that the harvesting of shells to make beads was a central part of the local economy in eastern North America for the Native Americans living in the area at the time. However, there is still little information about where the shells were collected or how the beads were made.

Although evidence of bead production has been found in other areas, the Raleigh Island site is unique because of the scale of production and also because it was largely outside any chiefly oversight.

It was commonplace for beads to be developed from imported but the settlement on Raleigh Island is the first to have been found at the source of the shell. There is no indication where the completed beads were sent but it is assumed that, like many others, they were exported to meet social demand in other areas.

A chance discovery in 2010 led researchers to find a village in Florida that dated back to 900-1200AD. The pre-Columbian village was seen when the research team from the University of Florida
(UF) were using imaging technology to look at the environmental...