The Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) Building is the First Fully Algae-Powered Architecture
Operating successfully for over a year, the Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) building in Hamburg, Germany is the first to be fully powered by algae. The building is covered with 0.78-inch thick panels—200 square meters in total—filled with algae from the Elbe River and pumped full of carbon dioxide and nutrients. The panels, which display the bright green algae, are not only aesthetic, but performative. When sunlight hits the “bioreactor” panels, photosynthesis causes the microorganisms to multiply and give off heat. The warmth is then captured for heating water or storing in saline tanks underground, while algae biomass is harvested and dried. It can either be converted to biogas, or used in secondary pharmaceutical and food products. Residents have no heating bills and the building currently reduces overall energy needs by 50%.
Home Sweet Home
Usually plastic and the environment do not go hand in hand, but artist Aki Inomata uses plastic to create an environment for her little pet hermit crabs in “Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?” (2009, 2010-2013).
With the help of CT scanning to render a three-dimensional model of an empty shell, Inomata creates her base and then builds houses atop these shell renderings. These architectural wonders mimic the style of popular dwellings, from Tokyo house-style to Paris apartments.
With these plastic hermit crab habitats, Inomata wanted to explore not only the hermit crab’s adaptability to new surroundings, but how we adapt as well. Immigration, relocation, even acquiring a new identity or nationality is more or less the human version of growing out of a shell, and finding a new one to call ‘home’.
Not only is this series an amazing symbolic representation of our will to adapt, but also a fun way to learn more about the life and physiology of the hermit crab, as the dwellings are completely see-through. Have you ever wondered what a hermit crab’s body looks like inside its shell?
A video of both the hermit crabs in action and how the artist came about designing the shells can be found here.
Buffy Meme | Four Relationships (2/4)
Feeling accomplished. I hiked about 11 miles up and down a mountain today by myself in 5 hours. This was the view at the top. The Catskills may not be my favorite place, but days like this make me love nature more and more, no matter where is it.
25 July 2014The X File
This deceptively simple image revolutionised molecular biology. It also represents one of the most notorious controversies in science. ‘Photo 51’ was taken by Rosalind Franklin, who was born on this day in 1920. It is an x-ray crystallography image of DNA, created by bombarding a tiny DNA sample with x-rays for more than 60 hours. To most of us, this striped cross might not mean much, but to a few scientists in 1953 it held the secret to the structure of DNA. The controversy surrounds the instant Maurice Wilkins, who worked in Franklin’s lab, showed the photo to Francis Crick, a molecular biologist at Cambridge University, without Franklin’s knowledge. Crick published a paper with his colleague James Watson describing DNA’s double-helix structure. Wilkins, Crick and Watson shared the Nobel Prize in 1962. Franklin, whose peers never accepted her, died of cancer four years earlier, and couldn’t receive the prize posthumously.
Written by Nick Kennedy
Image by Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Goslin
Copyright held by Oregon State University Libraries
stumbling across a toad hidden in the garden is one of life’s simple joys.
Timeless Vixen Vintage
The Pelican Flower is a Central American vine with huge flowers that bloom for just two days before they wilt and die.
The first day is spent using the stench of death and decay to attract flies which get trapped overnight within the depths of the flower. They’re only let out the next day, after a dowsing of pollen, so they can get trapped by a whole new flower and pollinate it in the process.
Pelican Flowers get their name from looking a bit like a pelican from the side. I guess Malevolent Alien Chrysalis Flower didn’t catch on.