Archive for June, 2012
Very useful booklet on nano applications, in partciular graphene, which we have been integrating into futures projects for a number of years.
Inspired by an abalone shell, Angela Belcher programmes viruses to make elegant nanoscale structures that humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, Belcher has produced viruses that can construct powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells. Here, she shows us how it’s done. Talk recorded 14 January 2011.
Nice to get recognition. I recently came across an article by Amanda Sim from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).whose work involves the exploration is in trying to uncover the ways in which the imagination can reveal solutions–to problems of today or those not yet realized, in which she states:
“Fittingly, its inception was around the time Derek Woodgate first coined “futurscaping”:
Futurescaping involves alchemy, magic, comedy, imagination, intuition, clustering, spinning and what we call re-mixing, well before we create the scenarios, simulation and visualization that leave our audience in awe” Derek Woodgate Future Frequencies, 2004”
Makes a change from acknowledgment of my work on reworking Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 50 years on, or my often re-quoted “Think like a DJ” or “It’s not about projecting the future, but creating the future”.
A critical aspect to this cyborg story is how they will interface, compete, relate, communicate, with and experience non-cyborgs. Especially as society moves into realms of gender-modalities (the post-sexual body), hybrids (the unruly body) or even mutations (the monster body), in times, when the balance shifts from external modulation to fully internal redesign. It raises questions of cyborg rights and identity versus human values, which will hopefully become integrated, before the next transhumanist battleground erupts.
An experimental approach to splitting water might lead to a relatively cheap and clean method for large-scale hydrogen production that doesn’t require fossil fuels. The process splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using heat and catalysts made from inexpensive materials.
Heat-driven water splitting is an alternative to electrolysis, which is expensive and requires large amounts of electricity. The new approach, developed by Caltech chemical-engineering professor Mark Davis, avoids the key problems with previous heat-driven methods of water splitting. It works at relatively low temperatures and doesn’t produce any toxic or corrosive intermediate products.
Almost all the hydrogen used now in industrial processes, such as making gasoline, comes from reforming natural gas. If automakers start selling large numbers of hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles, as they’ve said they plan to do eventually, the hydrogen for those is also likely to come from natural gas unless processes like the one at Caltech are commercialized.