Nov 26, 15

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Your search for 2004 February returned 65 items:

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Public Human Genome

The Human Genome Project completed its first draft listing of humankind's genetic blueprint in 2001, but did so in an unusual way. A publicly-funded, international consortium finished a draft blueprint and made the data available via the U.S. National Institutes of Health, while a private concern, Celera, completed an alternative draft -- which varied in some important ways -- but kept the data largely private, only available to corporate subscribers. Fortunately, according to the Genome News...


Responding to Imminent Climate Dangers

We've refrained from linking to the hubbub surrounding the recent Guardian article about the Pentagon-sponsored abrupt climate change scenario -- not because we didn't find the scenario worth considering, but because (a) we'd already posted about the report a few weeks ago, and (b) the Guardian got a lot of the particulars wrong. But Bruce Sterling's Viridian Note #401 (from Friday) does a great job of deconstructing the article, pointing out where it errs and where it actually understates...


Citizen Designers

Bruce in his latest Viridian note connects us with this fine Metropolis editorial, calling for a new breed of "citizen designer" - architects, designers, engineers who band together to use their combined clout to redraw the world along more sustainable lines. Read it. "Every chance I get I mention the GDP (the Gross Designed Product) and its implications for our environmental health and well-being. The idea of the GDP is a simple one: architects as well as designers specializing in...


Making Microfinance Easier

Did you know that Hewlett-Packard has a group working on technology enablers for microcredit? Neither did I. But the Microdevelopment Finance Team (MFT) has been around since 2002, combining experts from HP, Grameen Technology Center, and other groups working on microloans. Last month, the MFT began a pilot program in Uganda building an electronic system to manage loan payment and savings information, replacing the somewhat unwieldy manual system. This technology should make it easier to make...



We just love it when a couple of our favorite memes hook up. Nanotech and biomimicry -- two cool ideas that are even cooler together. A February 25 UC Santa Barbara press release I found today doesn't report on a specific break-through, but does give a nice overview of the ways that nanofabrication techniques are beginning to echo natural methods, and the reasons why this is a Good Thing: "We are now learning how to harness the biomolecular mechanism that directs the nanofabrication of...



When I was in London earlier this month, I visited the British Museum. The pieces of ancient civilization and the various plunderings of empire were interesting, but what I really wanted to see was the Rosetta Stone (that's my picture of it at right). The Rosetta Stone, found by Napoleon's troops in Egypt in 1799 and transferred to British control in 1802 as a spoil of war, was a largish piece of basalt covered with an official pronouncement about Pharaoh Ptolemy, written in ancient Greek,...


More Power!

In a bit of serendipity, several items about the future of power generation popped up on my radar recently. They nicely demonstrate alternative sources of electricity now, in the near future, and a bit down the road. Quick synopsis: the days of massive generators like the one shown to the right are numbered. (Read the extended entry for details:)


Land Mine Detecting Flowers Follow-Up

Last month, we posted a brief comment about the development of bioengineered flowers which react to the presence of chemicals in the soil typically given off by land mines. The Christian Science Monitor now has a longer report about the plants, giving more details about the ongoing testing of the flowers and plans for future variants: Field tests, scheduled to start in Denmark this spring and in other countries soon after, will determine how sensitive the plant is to nitrogen dioxide and how...

Educating India's Young Women

Here's an excellent three-part series describing life for three young Indian women -- an upper-middle class academic star, a working class student with hopes of breaking out of poverty, and a farm girl who dreams of being a doctor as she walks the 45 minutes to school. About a third of the people on the planet are teens or children. Most live in the developing world. How the young women and girls in this, the real baby boom, are educated and supported will have gigantic impacts not only on...


Gunter Pauli

I'd forgotten about sustainability pioneer Gunter Pauli until reminded by Roel Groeneveld, who has a sharp post on Pauli's efforts with ZERI to create a model for a zero-emissions, zero-waste industrial sector. It's the widening gap between what's conceivable and what we're doing that's sometimes discouraging. It's the narrowing gap between what's conceivable and what's possible that's sometimes electrifying.

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