If the goose that laid the golden egg had a real-life counterpart, it would be C. metallidurans. This hardy little bacterium consumes toxic metals and excretes tiny gold nuggets, but how and why it does so has never been fully understood. Now, German and Australian researchers have peered inside the microorganism and figured out that mechanism.
Plastic bags are a bane of modern life. As you read this, nearly two million of them are being used around the world right now. By the time the year is over, this number will probably reach a trillion, ending up in landfills, oceans, streams, and the digestive tracts of marine animals. Over the years, scientists have been coming up with various solutions to tackle this problem, from devising ways to give it a second lease of life to making greener and more sustainable plastics. But nature might have a simpler solution: wax worms.
The US Navy has completed the latest in a series of sea trials to work out the bugs of recovering NASA’s Orion space capsule after its end-of-mission splashdown. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) completed Underway Recovery Test-6 (URT-6) on January 23, which involved the launch and recovery by special boat teams and Navy divers of a floating mock-up of the spacecraft under a variety of sea conditions, at night as well as daytime.
Here’s a nifty lifesaving idea from Noras Performance out of Portugal. U-Safe is a lifesaving buoy that can drive itself around in the water by remote control, meaning it can reach a victim quickly, and transport them to safety if need be.
The U-shaped U-safe is a battery powered device you can use in place of any lifesaving “donut.” When it’s thrown in the water, it propels itself using a pair of electric turbines that take in water and fire it out the back.
It’s beautiful, but you can say mudslide?
Vietnamese architect Chu Van Dong has completed a tiny house project that offers a cheap and easy solution for temporary housing or tiny living. Dubbed Forest House, the 12-sq m (129-sq ft) home rests on two stilts and is one of three wooden cabins planned for a vast forest landscape in the Sóc Sơn District, 30.6 km (19 mi) outside of Hanoi, Vietnam.
In designing the home Van Dong wanted to create a basic building model, with an accessible and low cost construction method. “It is hoped that the project will inspire temporary housing projects by its simple construction and low cost,” says Van Dong, who is also a designer at Handyman decor and furniture.
Gee – I wonder where they got this idea. If you’ve seen the movie, The Martian, you obviously know!
With dangerous amounts of radiation, a thin atmosphere and frigid temperatures, the first people to land on Mars will have a fight on their hands to survive. And if we do figure out how to endure these harsh conditions, what will we do when dinner time rolls around? To explore ways these pioneers might be able to live off the land, scientists have been trying to grow potatoes on Earth in Mars-like conditions. The early results are now in and are described as positive.