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Inhabitat's Week in Green: the Soundscraper, bedroom algae biofuel lab and the revival of the gastric-brooding frog


Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

The first week of spring kicked off with a bang for the architecture community as Japanese architect Toyo Ito was awarded the 2013 Pritzker Prize. Meanwhile Christo unveiled the world's largest inflated indoor sculpture in Germany and MIT researchers announced plans to 3D print a pavilion inspired by the technique that silkworms use to build their cocoons. Inhabitat also showcased several futuristic skyscraper concepts -- including the Soundscraper, which transforms auditory vibrations into clean energy, and the Zero Skyscraper, which is a post-apocalyptic survival structure. And we profiled some fascinating adaptive-reuse projects, including a grain elevator that was transformed into a student housing complex in Oslo and a Cold War-era missile silo that was converted into an underground home in Upstate New York.

In green energy news, a 17-year-old Colorado Springs high school student built an algae biofuel lab in her bedroom to win this year's Intel Science Talent Search contest. Researchers in Singapore developed a wonder nanomaterial that has the ability to produce energy, clean water and hydrogen, among other things. Construction is finally set to begin on the first offshore wind energy farm in the United States, although -- not to be outdone -- Scotland is planning to build the world's largest offshore wind farm, which will be able to power 1 million homes. And the world's largest solar tower power plant just got the green light for construction in California.

In green transportation news, GeoSpace Studio designed The Firefly, a three-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicle topped with a glowing LED-lit shell. After going silent for the past five years, Detroit Electric announced that it would debut a battery-powered two-seater sports car early next month. And the German car company Innovative Mobility Automobile GmbH unveiled a tiny one-seat electric vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show called the Colibri.

In other green tech news, scientists in Australia have revived the gastric-brooding frog after 30 years of extinction. This peculiar species of frog incubates eggs in its stomach and gives birth through its mouth. Meanwhile, Swiss scientists have created an amphibious salamander-like robot to help to gain better understanding of how vertebrates move. Researchers from Kansas State University developed a new type of concrete made from biofuel waste that has a lower carbon footprint than conventional concrete. Norwegian scientists are developing "smart" clothes for Arctic workers that can accurately gauge safety conditions, and speaking of intelligent clothes, Google and Adidas are teaming up to create a "talking shoe" that nudges its wearer into getting off the sofa and exercising.

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