Who knew that there has been a material for fabric in your fridge this whole time? Anke Domaske, a German biologist and fashion designer used her mixed skill set to come up with a “dairy” fashion line made of milk-made fabrics.
Domaske has come up with a process to extract protein from sour milk, which causes the milk to solidify. Once the milk is solid it is cut into threads for fabric.
The “dairy” fabric has been compared to silk in textural likeness, but as Domaske states:
“Milk is underrated because people only view it as a food-stuff. But you can make a lot more from it – milk is a wonderful, natural raw material. The special thing about milk is that is has a lovely silky feel. The fabric falls wonderfully, and it’s cheaper than silk.”
Domaske also talks about how her fabric is eco-friendly as it comes from sour milk. The milk to fabric process only takes about an hour.
Mischa Barton, who Domaske counts as one of her greatest supporters, wears clothes from “dairy”.
The milk-made fashion line is called Mademoiselle Chi Chi. Currently Domaske is working on a new line of “dairy” clothes for men.
South Koreans are shocking Americans with their scientific kitsch. I have seen black dogs, brown dogs, tan dogs and white dogs but never have I seen a glowing dog. South Korean Scientists have cloned a dog using a somatic cell nuclear transfer, and this dog can glow. The research being done with the luminescent dog may soon become cutting edge medical research for disease control and prevention.
A dog named Tegon looks like a normal beagle in the light, but under ultraviolet light she glows. The “Glowing Dog Project” cost about 3 million dollars to accomplish, yet the project has loftier goals than simply creating a puppy-night-light.
Scientist hope that by inputting different genes into dogs, such as the one that causes Tegon to glow, they will be able to cure some diseases that both humans and dogs are susceptible to. Scientist next step is to give dogs genes for deadly diseases then try and cure them. There are approximately 268 diseases that humans and dogs share.
“The creation of Tegon opens new horizons since the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human diseases,” Said lead researcher Lee Byeong-Chun.
The amount of illumination Tegon gives off can now be adjusted by how much of a certain drug is put into her food. Scientist are planning to use this same process to help determine if drugs they are using to “cure” the diseases they give to the dog are working.
In 2005, scientist Hwang Woo-Suk used a somatic cell transfer to clone the worlds first dog, Snuppy.
In 2009, South Korean Scientists led by Lee Byeong-Chun, completed the initial experiment of producing four glowing puppies known as “Ruppys”. Out of the four, two puppies survived, and for the last two years they have been undergoing research leading up to this point where Lee can now turn off the glowing ailment he gave the dogs.
Lee Byeong-Chun says his Ruppys: “Are the world’s first transgenic dogs,” meaning they have genes which are not found in nature and have been engineered.
Using the method of cloning, gene implantation, and experimentation South Korean scientist will try to cure diseases. The process learned by making glowing puppies not glow will now be used in an attempt to cure real diseases. Scientist made puppies glow and then “cured” the puppies of glowing. Now, scientist will give dogs diseases, then try and cure them. The final step in this process will be implementing a cloned-dog-cure on a diseased human.
Tegon is the sole survivor who has given South Korean scientist the success they were looking for. Tegon’s successful cloning, illumination, and anti-glow cure have paved the way for further research with diseases and clones.
Who’s off the boat? Taking a look at extinction in the 21st century.
“We [Humans] are destroying life on earth.” This statement is not from the man on the corner holding the Doomsday cardboard sign, but from the head of the UN environmental program. We are living in an era of extinction second only to the age that wiped out the dinosaurs. Although the dino-extinction was of natural causes, the current situation is the only instance in history where one species is dominating resources enough to seriously jeopardize other species to the point of extinction.
A quote from Agent Smith of the Matrix: “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”
Used in a fictional setting, this statement has un-avoidable truths in the real world. This shift from mammal to virus could be traced to the transition of foraging nomadic bands, to Horticultural and Pastoral Societies where agriculture was first introduced. Farming created a factor previously unknown to nature: surplus. Surplus divided and continues to divide societies, creating social stratification. Inequality between members of a society came about as more humans began to regard themselves as something better than the average beast. Hunting and gathering was permanently changed with the domestication of animals and farming.
This stratification made it possible for a small population of individuals to control all of the resources of a society. Furthermore, human beings, a relatively small population of animals, were able to control the resources of other species. “We’ve transformed a third of the habitable land on earth for food production,” “You can’t just remove that habitat without consequences for biodiversity,” stated a member of the IUCN’s shark specialist group.
As poverty kills humans, the poverty of living without a habitat and food source to thrive, kills specific species, while allowing others to flourish; under human influence.
Today the wealthiest 1% of Americans control a majority of the nation’s total wealth. Humans control almost all of the world resources, depleting them, while simultaneously searching for more resources to take over.
According to the UN conference the dollar amount of human inflicted damage on the environment in 2008 was $6.6 trillion, a cost equal to 11% of global gross from domestic product.
“We are nearing a tipping point, or the point of no return for biodiversity loss,” states Japanese Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto “Unless proactive steps are taken for biodiversity, there is a risk that we will surpass that point in the next 10 years.” (Washington Post)
Recent figures predict that roughly 16,306 species are threatened by extinction (Economist). 33% of cartilaginous fishes are threatened, and 41% of all amphibians are at risk (Eilperin). About 52 species are moved yearly to a category closer to extinction (Journal science). 20% of all vertebrates, and 33% of all sharks and sting rays are threatened by extinction (Eilperin).
Extinction naturally occurs, 99.9% of all of global species have become extinct throughout history of the earth. Species have always found threats, whether external (meteor), or internal. The world, however, has never had a threat quiet the same as that in the 21st century, the threat of the human.
Humans have caused inflated extinction rates ever since the race expanded past foraging society’s, separating themselves from a species, to a force of nature. Although destructive, humans also have the capability, to repair, and replenish the world’s species and environment if substantial effort is made now.
As far as the hunt for green innovation goes, we find ourselves once again drawn to the Bay Area, where one company has reached a synergy between industrial output and planetary stewardship. “Going Green” is a buzzword that many attribute to the San Francisco area as it continues to pass innovative and often controversial legislation meant to curb the Bay’s environmental footprint. In search of this legislation in grassroots action, one need look no further than Berkeley, CA to find an industrial company that meets the call to care for the planet while maintaining their output.
Greenerprinter, an industrial print operation specializing in variable print, takes and integral stance on terrestrial stewardship as they operate their full service print house. Their triple threat approach to green business is simple: “People, planet and profit”. While this may seem like a quaint approach to minimizing the company’s environmental impact, their eco-assortment of certifications and environmental print measures speak volumes as to the effectiveness of Greenerprinter’s approach to both environmental and economic sustainability.
Let’s start from the ground up, with their production materials. Greenerprinter uses soy and vegetable based inks to print on recycled paper stock. Using post-consumer paper, Greenerprinter perpetuates the recycling rotation by returning their paper waste to recycling facilities. According to the EPA, recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water that would otherwise be used to refine virgin tree pulp. While reducing the amount of resources needed for production, the resources that Greenerprinter does use are just as eco-savvy.
With water-soluble maintenance regimes for their presses, Greenerprinter reduces the amount of harmful solvents that are used to clean traditional oil based inks. Another point of interest surrounding this company is their approach to “Carbon Neutral Shipping”. Offsetting their shipping footprint through Carbonfund.org, Greenerprinter is going the whole nine yards in making sure that even their customers receive a green peace of mind. This type of innovation gets our green thumbs up for innovation and conservation. Eco-preneurs like Greenerprinter just go to show the industrial community that going green on a commercial scale can be done, and done with efficiency.
One of the big buzz words amongst environmentalist is “Carbon Footprint”. How big is yours, and what are you doing to offset it? Well, it turns out there is more depth to the equation than the conventional slash and burn image that comes to mind when people say, “The footprint is growing.” While it’s true that our planet’s use of carbon based energy and fuel sources, such as oil, coal and propane, contribute to the amount of carbon that gets released into the atmosphere, the Carbon Cycle shouldn’t be neglected when considering just what comprises this footprint.
Let’s begin with the simple physics of Carbon’s presence on Earth. According to the Law of Conservation of Mass, matter can neither be created nor destroyed under ordinary chemical circumstances. Given this principle, regular human activity, such as burning gasoline and bon fires, cannot create more carbon. That’s the long and short of it. However, we do contribute to the Carbon Cycle by throwing shrimp on the barbi and lighting political effigies ablaze.
According to Drs. Friedland, Relyea, and Courard-Hauri, the Carbon Cycle involves the compartmentalization and release of carbon from one trophic level to the next. In short, carbon- like water- cycles through different ecological layers (subterranean, living and non-living matter). Now for the anthropomorphic rub. While humans can neither create nor destroy carbon, we inevitably affect where it is compartmentalized. For instance, oil is considered fossil carbon, locked beneath the earth’s crust. Since oil, for the most part, is sealed underground, it is not part of the atmospheric stage of the Carbon Cycle. However, mining for and use of oil on a global scale introduces a surplus of carbon to the atmosphere.
What does it all mean? We might want to look at CO2 in terms of medicine. CO2 plays an integral role in the function of living organisms- photosynthesis and inhabitable atmospheric conditions would be impossible without carbon. Only a planetary scale then, it’s all a matter of dose. In the case of a prescription, one should only take a certain dose of whatever medicine so as to avoid a poisonous overload. The same concept can be applied to carbon and just how much is introduced into our trophic cycle.
This leaves us with the question, how much is too much? Where is the point of no return of introducing carbon into the atmosphere? Granted, reducing one’s use of carbon emitting products is good. You save gas, burn less biomass, conserve more resources. However, the qualm of answering just how bad our current carbon footprint is is simply too tough to answer with any certainty. Perhaps the planet can do just fine, metabolizing our current carbon output; perhaps it can’t. Perhaps one of the most important questions one ought to ask is where is our carbon introduction cutoff and how close are we to breaching the safety line?
Goats take few breaks during their lawn contract; working all day and night if need be. Goats are an all-inclusive service, they fertilize your land free of charge with little brown pellets.
You are woken up from a much-needed catnap by the rumbling of a mower and the whirring of a blower. Men march through your yard pushing a loud machine, the smell of gasoline lingers in the air, and plumes of black smoke are released.
Meanwhile, your neighbor is asleep. Slowly meandering through his yard is a pack of goats and possibly a friendly border collie overseeing the operation. What is this new trend? You can ditch your garden, and gather up a pack of goats. These creatures are grazing machines, eager to devour your field, because they’re hungry.
Goats, by their very nature, are fantastic gardeners. They are capable of clearing out thick brush and unwanted weeds. In a matter of hours a pack of goats can completely consume an overgrown field. Goats take few breaks during their lawn contract; working all day and night if need be. Goats are an all-inclusive service of laborers as they will fertilize your land free of charge using their “organic” brown pellets. You can trust them to be thorough, not slacking on a particularly dense patch of greenery. The goats, quite literally, eat this for breakfast.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states “a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles.” An estimated 54 million Americans mow their lawns every weekend. As a natural alternative to mowing goats are also the most primitive. Goats devour everything and goat’s fertilizer is left behind.
Companies such as Rent-a-Ruminent, are forming around this grassroots concept. Many Americans have the option to contact a local rent-a-goat service. More entrepreneurs are expected to start their own goat-mowing businesses. One day
this lawn care system may become mainstream. For now, goats-mowers are seen as somewhat abstract despite their qualifications. Goats are substantially cheaper than their gas powered competition, much greener, debatably cuter, and can often go where modern machinery cannot.
The only claim a human landscaper can make against a four legged competitor is that he will (most likely) not poop on your lawn; however fertilizing it may be. A hooves up is being given by the GreenCupboards Community to the hardworking goats, no longer unemployed. Affirmative action, it would seem, is no longer limited to the human race. Think sustainably, because your garbage could be a goat’s meal.
Cats have been known to have nine lives, but what about two heads? A kitten born in Charleston West Virginia is seeing double with it’s four eyes, two noses, four ears, and two mouths. The kitten, practically named “Two Face” has a “two face” condition known as Diprosopus. Watch the video below to meet “Two Face” for yourself:
An interesting love triangle between a confused swan, an amused tractor driver, and one attractive blue tractor. Can this diesel fueled romance last forever? Watch the video below and tell me what you think: