By Jennie Walters and Paul Adams
Posted 05.24.2011 at 5:31 pm 3 Comments
The new Book of Fungi, by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans, is a couple of kilograms worth of beautiful mushroom book. The lurid photographs and enticing, offhandedly witty descriptions make the reader want to go out collecting specimens right away -- but the hardcover book's glaring flaw is that, with actual-size glossy pictures of 600 species of fungus, it's hardly a portable companion to the wonders of the woods.
Studies on the impact of wireless radiation on humans are endlesslyinconclusive, but a recent study on the effects of Wi-Fi radiation on trees--yes, trees--indicates that our woody friends may be much more vulnerable than we are.
Nanotech has opened the door to some serious sci-fi possibilities: tiny robots -- built by other tiny robots -- that swim in our bloodstreams eradicating infection or hunting tumors, or perhaps assembling miniscule electronic components. But programming such tiny objects to do what we want presents a problem: commands need space to exist, and space is limited aboard a nanobot. But two papers just published in the journal Nature today highlight an interesting and promising approach to this problem: embedding the commands in the nanobots' environments.
Considering all the nasty politics that have been dragged into today's eco debate, it's nice to see someone out there worshipping Mother Nature the old-fashioned way: by building a humongous, over-the-top structure that inspires awe regardless of where your politics lie.
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.