Latest in Science

Image credit:

Inhabitat's Week in Green: birth simulator, wave-powered desalination and carbon dioxide bricks


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.

As if the Hyperloop and Tesla weren't enough to keep him busy, real-life Tony Stark Elon Musk revealed this week that he felt the futuristic hologram UI from Iron Man could be built and that he might just be the one to do it. Over in Denmark, Inhabitat was on the scene covering the 2013 INDEX: Awards honoring groundbreaking inventions that make life better. Get the scoop on all of the winners -- from a life-saving smart highway that wirelessly charges cars to a birth simulator that could save millions of babies a year to Copenhagen's comprehensive Climate Adaption Plan to reduce flooding.

But Copenhagen wasn't the only city that had rising tides on the mind as the world reflected on the eight-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. While catastrophic flooding may have seemed like an isolated incident at that time, the threat of future storms is now matter-of-fact and ideas on how to protect against them, like this dam that uses the power of floodwater itself to inflate, have been popping up left and right.

A company called Carnegie Wave Energy is also seeking to harness the power of water with the world's first wave-powered desalination plant in Australia and we also saw the world's first plant that turns carbon dioxide into bricks. Over in Korea, KAIST announced that they developed a metal graphene material that is hundreds of times stronger than pure metal, and in Austria, a group of scientists is growing "mini brains" modeled after real brains in lieu of testing on mice. Back in the US, we saw that surgeons using Google Glass in the operating room could become a new trend in the medical world and looked to the future of architecture with the possibility of building structures out of bacteria. Elsewhere in weird, but wonderful news, a man created this delightful Darth Vader tank out of salvaged materials.

Summer may be almost over but there's still time to get out there and camp or hike. We rounded up our seven favorite green gadgets for exploring the great outdoors and just in case things don't go quite as expected on your trip, we also checked out an emergency backpack that filters water and generates power. Speaking of backpacks, have you entered our Back to School contest to win a $200 solar-powered, gadget-charging backpack filled with green goodies?

In the world of transportation, Toyota announced that the 2015 Prius would be equipped with wireless charging and Tesla opened an assembly plant in the Netherlands. Japanese engineers took some lessons from nature to create their dragonfly-inspired 3D-printed ornithopter and we delved into the world of biomimicry as well, exploring what the bombardier beetle can teach us about fuel injection and what the thorny devil can show us about water harvesting. Back in Japan, Nissan wowed the world with its plans to launch a line of fully autonomous vehicles by 2020 and testing on the fastest-ever maglev passenger train resumed.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr