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Inhabitat's Week in Green: Hyperloop One's public test, and more!

It goes from 0 to 166 MPH in just 1.1 seconds.
05.15.16 in Green

The Hyperloop promises to one day transport passengers at blazing speeds -- and the technology just took a big step forward. This week Hyperloop One launched a cart from 0 to 166 miles per hour in 1.1 seconds in its first public test. In other futuristic transportation news, a European Space Agency incubator just unveiled the world's first flying car capable of vertical takeoff and landing. In Japan, there are now more electric vehicle chargers than gas stations. And researchers in Mexico have developed a new type of glowing cement that could light up dark highways.

Germany is investing heavily in clean energy, and it's paying off: This past weekend the country generated so much renewable electricity that utility prices went negative. Meanwhile, renewables overpowered natural gas in the US for the first quarter of 2016, and Santa Monica passed new regulations requiring solar panels on all new buildings. Nissan took on the Tesla Powerwall with a home battery of its own, and BioLite launched a new lantern that doubles as a portable microgrid for outdoor adventures.

As the 2016 Rio Olympics draw near, health experts are issuing grave warnings about the Zika Virus. Fortunately, Harvard has developed a cheap paper test that can detect the virus in hours instead of weeks, and IBM is developing a new macromolecule that could be a "magic bullet" in the fight against viruses. In other design and technology news, researchers have developed a new bionic hand that allows amputees to "feel" their fingers again. The Mover Kit is a wearable gadget that teaches kids how to code and build their own devices. And a mountainous vertical forest skyscraper is set to scrub the air clean in Guizhou, China.

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