After an asteroid passed close to Earth last week, scientists in California have proposed launching solar-powered lasers to vaporize incoming asteroids. In other green tech news, 3Doodler launched the world's first 3D-printing pen and a group of teens are working on turning mosquitos into "flying syringes" to deliver vaccines to humans. A man in Rome is set to receive the world's first bionic hand with a sense of touch, which represents a major breakthrough in the world of prosthetics. Speaking of prosthetics, a sea turtle that lost her fins to a shark attack is swimming again with a new pair of prosthetic limbs. Google announced its new "Glass Explorer" program, giving a select few an opportunity to pre-order Google Glass headsets. And for the kids, Japanese company Mokurokku has released a set of beautiful (and biodegradable) wooden Lego bricks.
In renewable energy news, the German town of Feldheim has set a new standard for energy independence by generating 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources and operating its own power grid. In China, wind energy has surpassed nuclear power to become the third largest energy source in the country. Toronto's Northland Power wants to convert an old open-pit iron ore mine in Ontario into a waterfall five times the height of Niagara Falls, which could be used to generate power. And in yet another unexpected use for coffee, we bring you the Epiphany onE Puck, a phone charger that siphons energy from your mug and uses it to power your gadgets.
In the world of green architecture, a new report shows that New York City could cut 90 percent of its carbon emissions by the year 2050 using technologies available today and without breaking the bank. Scientists have developed a self-healing protective coating for concrete that could greatly reduce the need to regularly rebuild roads. H Arquitectes and dataAE unveiled a unique new dormitory that allows Barcelona architecture students to design their own rooms. A 134-year-old British sea fort located about a mile outside of Portsmouth Harbor in Hampshire has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind luxury resort. And in Malawi, Dutch designers Luc van Hoeckel and Pim van Baarsen have transformed a scrapped ambulance into a new playground.