Researchers in England have discovered that carrots may soon emerge as a sustainable—and affordable—way to strengthen concrete. When combined with ordinary cement, nano platelets extracted from root vegetable fibers can greatly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing. This discovery could have a huge impact, especially considering how cement production accounts for around 8% of the world's total carbon dioxide emissions.
Ford's Manufacturing Employees Get a Boost From Wearable Exoskeletons
Ford is slowly rolling out wearable exoskeletons for its manufacturing employees to reduce injuries on the job. A collaboration between Ford and Ekso Bionics, the vests help support workers' arms while performing overhead tasks that may pose potential danger. It's the latest development in Ford's ergonomics research, which seeks innovative ways to improve assembly and production.
Carbon May Be Humanity’s Best Bet Against Climate Change
One of the most ambitious fights against global warming today is being fought on the carbon capture and sequestration front. Instead of viewing carbon as a problem, entrepreneurs across many sectors are viewing carbon as an economic and environmental opportunity.
An international team of scientists may have created the first wonder GMO. They developed a new strain of rice that could help prevent HIV. The creation could mean a cheap miracle for developing countries with high HIV rates.
Carbon Capture Tech Is Finally Cheap Enough to Be Practical
Carbon capture presents the easiest, most intuitive way of getting the excess carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere, but it hasn’t been a financially viable option at scale. A new study suggests that may not be the case anymore. Carbon capture could be accomplished for a cheap price of $94 to $232 per ton.
Kiss L.A. Traffic Goodbye With Electric Double-Decker Buses
Think double-decker buses are only for sightseeing? Alexander Dennis is eschewing that stereotype by introducing North America’s first electric double-decker transit bus to Southern California next year. The manufacturer’s Enviro500 model, which will soon help alleviate traffic between the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles, will sport a Proterra E2 battery that enables a travel distance of up to 200 miles per charge.
Ice cream may be easy to make, but predicting what flavors people will want to gobble up two years from now is a bit harder. Ben & Jerry’s tries to get the upper hand on this prescient quest through some serious multi-step, expert-heavy R&D. The journey starts with “Flavor Gurus”—individuals with the research skills and culinary knowledge to know where to start looking.
The Sky Is the Limit for Aston Martin
When it comes to personal mobility, luxury automobile manufacturers are reaching for the stars. At the Farnborough Air Show, Aston Martin debuted Volante, a conceptual three-seat vehicle sporting a hybrid-electric power train that allows vertical take-off and landing. It’s strictly hypothetical for now—the British luxury sports car manufacturer needs to clear a multitude of legislative roadblocks before officially launching—but the idea paints a bright picture for the future of air travel.
House-Flipping Has Come to the Virtual World
One of the best parts of The Sims, the wildly popular life simulation video game, is building and renovating the house the Sims inhabit. Finally, there’s a game that lets players focus exclusively on that pursuit without the mundane life stuff, like getting a job or taking a shower. House Flipper, available on Steam for under $20, allows players to flip a fixer-upper in impressively rendered virtual detail with complete creative control.
Turns out that data analysis never stops with what’s on the page (or screen). A recent analysis by Salesforce examined the way people responded to different colors of data, as well as the speed and accuracy of decisions made based on that information. The results surprised the Salesforce team.
Bentley Reinvents Production Process for New Continental GT
Jeepers, creepers... where did you get those LED headlights? In the case of the Continental GT, Bentley Motors director of design Stefan Sielaff channeled cut-crystal glasses into the third generation of the grand tourer. But more significant is its aluminum exterior, which is nearly 200 pounds lighter than its previous incarnation. That’s because the panels are superformed, a technique involving heating the metal to nearly 1,000 degrees. “We literally had to invent a new production process to accomplish this,” Sielaff explains. “The lesson is that it’s not only the creative act of designing something new but also fighting to bring it into production.”
Mattress Innovator Casper to Start Selling Sleep (Yes, That’s Right)
Direct-to-consumer mattress brand Casper may be best known for igniting the “mattress-in-a-box” craze, but the company, which recently hit $600 million in revenue, has launched a branded nap destination dubbed the Dreamery right next to its NYC flagship. For a small fee, visitors receive an immersive napping experience on a Casper mattress (don’t worry, the sheets are changed every 45 minutes). It may seem indulgent to some, but Casper believes it’s tapping an unfilled niche and plans to bring Dreamery outposts to airports and office spaces.
What does consciousness look like in the brain? It’s a heady question, and one that neuroscientist-turned-artist Greg Dunn, with fellow collaborator Brian Edwards, seeks to answer through a unique blend of hard scientific imaging and traditional East Asian ink wash techniques. Called Self-Reflected, the project features dazzling image of the brain, etched in gold leaf, that both illuminate and astound.
How Architects Infuse Pastries With Precision
According to a report from the New York Times, many of the today’s top pastry chefs have backgrounds in architecture, either as students or practitioners. Their mission: to return dynamism and precision back to the world of desserts, which, thanks to Instagram, has become a maximalist’s fantasy of outrageous color, overabundant toppings, and chaotic form. It’s the age-old story of high and low art competing for cultural dominance; it just happens that this art is edible.
Via Verde Tackles Air Pollution at the Source
Seemingly overnight, vertical gardens are popping up along Mexico City’s highways. Dubbed the Via Verde, or green way, this private sector–funded project aims to cover 1,000 highway pillars with greenery to combat air pollution. The gardens are made from a special felt made of recycled plastic strong enough to hold hundreds of plants in place.