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Inhabitat's Week in Green: SuperPier, reversing the aging process and an artificial, self-regulating heart


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.

Well folks, we've made it through two major holidays, with just one more to go. We can't look into a crystal ball to see what 2014 has in store for us, but looking into Rawlemon's Betaray prototype might be the next best thing: It's a giant transparent marble capable of concentrating solar energy 10,000 times. If hanging out with all those nieces and nephews over the holidays has you feeling your age, you'll be thrilled to know that Harvard scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in a group of laboratory mice. And if you're already bored with typical 3D printing news, here's something new: Boots Industries just developed a new 3D printer that's capable of replicating itself.

Speaking of innovation, more than a couple of cutting-edge green architecture projects popped up on our radar this week. Not all are for the faint of heart, however. There's Pierre-Yves Chays' breathtaking glass cube that lets you "float" over the French Alps, and the Life Box is an inflatable emergency shelter full of survival supplies that can be dropped out of planes for victims of natural disasters. Once your heartbeat has settled down again, you'll definitely want to check out the Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn that features a solar- and wind-powered parking lot, and SuperPier, a new shopping center in NYC that will be built entirely out of shipping containers (just don't call it a mall!).

The end of the year is always a good time to look back on advances and accomplishments, especially in the world of technology. This year, we saw lots of action in the medical world, with bioengineering projects that made our jaws drop. Renowned French surgeon Alain Carpentier successfully transplanted what he calls the "world's first fully artificial, self-regulating heart" into a 75-year-old man. BioPen proved that it's possible to combine 3D printing with stem cell research to regrow missing or diseased bones. Meanwhile, a project called iLab is helping Haitian doctors 3D print much-needed medical supplies on demand. In other feel-good news, a Detroit non-profit called The Empowerment Plan is training homeless women to sew innovative winter coats that expand into sleeping bags, and Japan used LEDs to power-up its greenest Christmas ever.

All in all, it's been a year chock-full of sustainable design and mind-boggling green technology. Help us decide which story was tops by voting for the most innovative new technology, the top news story, the top green kids design story and the top wearable technology concept of 2013!

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