Five Interesting Things

Welcome to the next version of FIT. It’s a short round up of things I’ve found that are: potentially actionable, inspiring, thought-provoking. Hey – if you enjoy my blog posts, please share them with people in your network and suggest they subscribe.

3D printing … wood? – Using cells from the common zinnia, researchers have been able to “bio-print” wooden pieces of any shape and size. This means that, just like with 3d printing in plastic or metal, we may soon see whole tables printed out as one solid piece. Star Trek replicators, anyone?

Eggsellent news – Princeton researchers have transformed egg whites, of all things, into a water-filtration aerogel that can remove almost all of the micro plastics from a sample of seawater. As you may have heard, micro plastics are so ubiquitous in our environment, we’re eating a credit card’s worth on the regular. Blech. Finding a sustainable way to clean up this mess is a big deal.

Biiiiig truck – One of the ‘arguments’ I see against renewable energy online is that it’s supposedly a sham because you need fossil fuels to mine raw materials and manufacture the components for wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal etc. People putting this argument forward seem unaware that you need to use the existing system to create a new system, and that it’s called a ‘transition’ for a reason. This link is one more piece of the puzzle: Caterpillar has developed an electric version of its massive 793 mining truck. While it’s likely to be a while before these supplant the diesel version, it’s a step in the right direction.

Mi casa su… battery? – Cement is also everywhere in our lives, and the production of it is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. However, future cement installations may be much more beneficial as they could store energy. That’s right, cement batteries.

Liver regeneration – A biotech company has worked out how to grow ‘mini-livers’ to supplement the work of a damaged or diseased liver. When they injected hepatocytes from a donated liver into a lymph node, the cells received distress signals from the ailing liver and began growing, and taking over the lymph node. Over time, the lymph node is replaced by a miniature liver. This tech is still a long way from clinical usefulness, so please don’t take it as license to drink like a fish, ‘kay?

What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

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