As the world — and its landfills and water treatment plants — get more and more crowded, future houses will have to cut down on their waste. Or they could just repurpose it. For instance, they could use household sludge to feed bioluminescent bacteria to light up a room. It’s so simple! Really!
Glow-in-the-dark devices, which emit visible light after exposure to sunlight, are as commonplace as a wristwatch. But these are not that great when you want to see and not be seen — say you’re a special ops soldier checking the time while tracking an enemy. In that situation, a glow-in-the-night-vision device would be far more effective. Now scientists at the University of Georgia have invented just such a device — a new material that emits a long-lasting infrared glow after a single minute of exposure to light.
The ability to make cells do our bidding would be a major advance in everything from drug production to biofuels, but it’s difficult to hack into nature and make cells obey. A team of Swiss researchers have one way to do it: Create cyborg cells connected to, and controlled by, a computer.
By Jennie Walters
Posted 03.30.2011 at 4:25 pm 7 Comments
A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon.
With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.