futurist-foresight
futurist-foresight:

Sweden’s rather unique garbage problem. (Wow! Only 4% of waste goes into landfalls).
flipsideofamemory:

Sweden runs out of garbage, forced to import from Norway
Sweden, a recycling-happy land where a quarter of a million homes are powered by the incineration of waste, is facing a unique dilemma: The nation has run out of much-needed fuel.
Sweden, birthplace of the Smörgåsbord, Eric Northman, and the world’s preferred solar-powered purveyor of flat-pack home furnishings, is in a bit of a pickle: the squeaky clean Scandinavian nation of more than 9.5 million has run out of garbage. The landfills have been tapped dry; the rubbish reserves depleted. And although this may seem like a positive — even enviable — predicament for a country to be facing, Sweden has been forced to import trash from neighboring countries, namely Norway. Yep, Sweden is so trash-strapped that officials are shipping it in — 80,000 tons of refuse annually, to be exact — from elsewhere.
You see, Swedes are big on recycling. So big in fact that only 4 percent of all waste generated in the country is landfilled.
Good for them! However, the population’s remarkably pertinacious recycling habits are also a bit of a problem given that the country relies on waste to heat and to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes through a longstanding waste-to-energy incineration program. So with citizens simply not generating enough burnable waste to power the incinerators, the country has been forced to look elsewhere for fuel. Says Catarina Ostlund, a senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: “We have more capacity than the production of waste in Sweden and that is usable for incineration.”
Public Radio International [Living on Earth] has the whole story (hat tip to Ariel Schwartz at Co.Exist), a story that may seem implausible in a country like garbage-bloated America where overflowing landfills are anything but scarce.
As mentioned, the solution — a short-term one, according to Ostlund — has been to import (well, kind of import) waste from Norway. It’s kind of a great deal for the Swedes: Norway pays Sweden to take its excess waste, Sweden burns it for heat and electricity, and the ashes remaining from the incineration process, filled with highly polluting dioxins, are returned back to Norway and landfilled.
Ostlund suggests that Norway might not be the perfect partner for a trash import-export scheme, however. “I hope that we instead will get the waste from Italy or from Romania or Bulgaria or the Baltic countries because they landfill a lot in these countries,” she tells PRI. “They don’t have any incineration plants or recycling plants, so they need to find a solution for their waste.”

futurist-foresight:

Sweden’s rather unique garbage problem. (Wow! Only 4% of waste goes into landfalls).

flipsideofamemory:

Sweden runs out of garbage, forced to import from Norway

Sweden, a recycling-happy land where a quarter of a million homes are powered by the incineration of waste, is facing a unique dilemma: The nation has run out of much-needed fuel.

Sweden, birthplace of the Smörgåsbord, Eric Northman, and the world’s preferred solar-powered purveyor of flat-pack home furnishings, is in a bit of a pickle: the squeaky clean Scandinavian nation of more than 9.5 million has run out of garbage. The landfills have been tapped dry; the rubbish reserves depleted. And although this may seem like a positive — even enviable — predicament for a country to be facing, Sweden has been forced to import trash from neighboring countries, namely Norway. Yep, Sweden is so trash-strapped that officials are shipping it in — 80,000 tons of refuse annually, to be exact — from elsewhere.

You see, Swedes are big on recycling. So big in fact that only 4 percent of all waste generated in the country is landfilled.

Good for them! However, the population’s remarkably pertinacious recycling habits are also a bit of a problem given that the country relies on waste to heat and to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes through a longstanding waste-to-energy incineration program. So with citizens simply not generating enough burnable waste to power the incinerators, the country has been forced to look elsewhere for fuel. Says Catarina Ostlund, a senior advisor for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: “We have more capacity than the production of waste in Sweden and that is usable for incineration.”

Public Radio International [Living on Earth] has the whole story (hat tip to Ariel Schwartz at Co.Exist), a story that may seem implausible in a country like garbage-bloated America where overflowing landfills are anything but scarce.

As mentioned, the solution — a short-term one, according to Ostlund — has been to import (well, kind of import) waste from Norway. It’s kind of a great deal for the Swedes: Norway pays Sweden to take its excess waste, Sweden burns it for heat and electricity, and the ashes remaining from the incineration process, filled with highly polluting dioxins, are returned back to Norway and landfilled.

Ostlund suggests that Norway might not be the perfect partner for a trash import-export scheme, however. “I hope that we instead will get the waste from Italy or from Romania or Bulgaria or the Baltic countries because they landfill a lot in these countries,” she tells PRI. “They don’t have any incineration plants or recycling plants, so they need to find a solution for their waste.”

txchnologist

txchnologist:

Fashion’s Foundation

by Michael Keller

Since we featured old machines that once made textiles yesterday, we figured today it would be appropriate to show what those fabrics look like through the sensors of a modern machine.

The images above were all taken with a scanning electron microscope by professors Claire Davis and Chris Hardy at the University of Birmingham’s School of Metallurgy and Materials.

futureofscience
openscience:

Brain Scans Reveal That Humans Definitely Feel Empathy For Robots
While creating an empathetic robot is a long-held dream, understanding whether humans genuinely empathize with robots should—in theory—be easier. Now, a team of scientists have analyzed fMRI brain scans to reveal that humans have similar brain function when shown affection and violence being inflicted on both humans and robots. 

openscience:

Brain Scans Reveal That Humans Definitely Feel Empathy For Robots

While creating an empathetic robot is a long-held dream, understanding whether humans genuinely empathize with robots should—in theory—be easier. Now, a team of scientists have analyzed fMRI brain scans to reveal that humans have similar brain function when shown affection and violence being inflicted on both humans and robots. 

singularitarian

singularitarian:

image

Scientists at the University of Darmstadt in Germany have stopped light for one minute. For one whole minute, light, which is usually the fastest thing in the known universe and travels at 300 million meters per second, was stopped dead still inside a crystal. This effectively creates light memory, where the image being carried by the light is stored in crystals. Beyond being utterly cool, this breakthrough could lead to the creation of long-range quantum networks — and perhaps, tantalizingly, this research might also give us some clues on accelerating light beyond the universal speed limit.

futurist-foresight
futurist-foresight:

DNA2.0 is pushing for open-source synthetic biology solutions.
wildcat2030:

Bioengineers look beyond patents
Synthetic-biology company pushes open-source models.
When DNA2.0, a company that synthesizes made-to-order genes, needed to conduct a few routine experiments using a fluorescent protein, its lawyers dug up more than 1,000 US patents covering their use. DNA2.0 decided to avoid the legal thicket by engineering several dozen fluorescent proteins from scratch. But the company, based in Menlo Park, California, was convinced that something had to change.
Last month, DNA2.0 deposited gene sequences encoding three of its fluorescent proteins into an open-access collection of recipes for DNA ‘parts’, molecular building blocks used to engineer organisms — often bacteria — to carry out specific functions. The company vows not to pursue its patent rights against anyone using the sequences. (via Bioengineers look beyond patents : Nature News & Comment)

futurist-foresight:

DNA2.0 is pushing for open-source synthetic biology solutions.

wildcat2030:

Bioengineers look beyond patents

Synthetic-biology company pushes open-source models.

When DNA2.0, a company that synthesizes made-to-order genes, needed to conduct a few routine experiments using a fluorescent protein, its lawyers dug up more than 1,000 US patents covering their use. DNA2.0 decided to avoid the legal thicket by engineering several dozen fluorescent proteins from scratch. But the company, based in Menlo Park, California, was convinced that something had to change.

Last month, DNA2.0 deposited gene sequences encoding three of its fluorescent proteins into an open-access collection of recipes for DNA ‘parts’, molecular building blocks used to engineer organisms — often bacteria — to carry out specific functions. The company vows not to pursue its patent rights against anyone using the sequences. (via Bioengineers look beyond patents : Nature News & Comment)

singularitarian
8bitfuture:

Paper thin ‘e-skin’ developed.
An electronic skin created at UC Berkeley responds to touch by lighting up, with the light intensity getting brighter with harder touch. By using existing techniques currently used to create semiconductors, the team was able to fabricate the skin into a paper-thin piece of flexible polymer, integrating a transistor, organic LED, and a pressure sensor into each ‘pixel’, maintaining enough flexibility for the skin to be bent and flexed.
The skin could find uses ranging from a bandage that works as a health monitor which lights up to show blood pressure and pulse rates, to being used to give robots a finer sense of touch.
The team now hopes to make similar skins which respond to not only touch, but also light and pressure.

8bitfuture:

Paper thin ‘e-skin’ developed.

An electronic skin created at UC Berkeley responds to touch by lighting up, with the light intensity getting brighter with harder touch. By using existing techniques currently used to create semiconductors, the team was able to fabricate the skin into a paper-thin piece of flexible polymer, integrating a transistor, organic LED, and a pressure sensor into each ‘pixel’, maintaining enough flexibility for the skin to be bent and flexed.

The skin could find uses ranging from a bandage that works as a health monitor which lights up to show blood pressure and pulse rates, to being used to give robots a finer sense of touch.

The team now hopes to make similar skins which respond to not only touch, but also light and pressure.

singularitarian

singularitarian:

image

The group, headed by Hideki Taniguchi at Yokohama City University, used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) to start growing liver-like tissues in culture dishes. The iPS cells were from mature liver cells that were manipulated to become more stem-cell like. When the “rudimentary liver” tissue that had begun growing in the plate was transplanted into immune-suppressed mice, it connected into the mouse circulatory system within a couple days.