We frequently hear about Jurassic Park-style attempts to revive extinct animals like dinosaurs, but why stop there? A team of scientists recently revived a virus that had had been trapped in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30,000 years. Greenland's ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate, but a team of French architecture students has hatched a plan to capture some of that fresh water. The students recently unveiled plans for a huge floating farm that uses the water from melting icebergs to grow fruit and vegetables. Providing America's homeless with a warm place to sleep is an ongoing challenge, and artist Michael Rakowitz is on the case. Rakowitz recently designed the ParaSITE, an inflatable one-person shelter that uses excess HVAC air to keep homeless people warm.
Last week, a 13-year-old boy from England built a nuclear reactor in his parents' garage and successfully carried out an atomic fusion reaction, making him the world's youngest nuclear fusioneer. Also on the energy front, reports have surfaced that Facebook may purchase Titan Aerospace, a company that specializes in solar-powered drones. Solar power could also be used to explore distant planets. The company Northrop Grumman says it already has the solar technology to build an unmanned inflatable aircraft that could explore outer space for up to a year unaided. And back here on Earth, Ghana announced plans to build more than 600 megawatts' worth of solar parks, creating both jobs and solar energy for the West African nation.
A futuristic world of self-driving flying cars may not be that far off. The company Terrafugia recently announced that it's developing flying cars that can drive and fly on their own. The goal is to create a flying vehicle that is both safer and easier to operate than today's cars. In other green transportation news, America's first all-electric school bus began transporting students to and from school in Central California last week. Riding a bike is easy on the environment, and if you buy a bike from one innovative startup, you can also help children in need. Peace Bikes has a "buy a bike, give a bike" policy so for every purchase you make, the company will give a bike to a kid who needs one. Tired of hearing the same old sounds every time you pass through a subway turnstile? James Murphy, the former frontman for LCD Soundsystem, has come up with an idea for musical turnstiles that replace the current beeps with pleasing music.
3D printing tech is developing at a furious pace these days, but scientists at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have plans to make it 500 times faster. The lab has partnered with machine tool manufacturer Cincinnati Incorporated to create a speedy new printer that could make the technology more economically viable. A UCSD professor recently produced a new kind of magnetic material that could revolutionize both computer hard drives and energy storage. High-tech water filtration systems are great, but maybe we're over-thinking things. A new report by MIT researchers suggests that if you run out of drinking water in the woods, all you need to do is to break off a branch from the nearest pine tree. By pouring lake water through the branch, you can produce up to four liters of drinking water a day. A Kenyan technology company recently unveiled a lightweight and portable internet router that is designed to work anywhere in the world -- even in places with sporadic power outages. And for parents who need to pinpoint their kids' location at all times, a British company recently debuted a new GPS watch that enables parents to track their kids' movement.