BITS ‘N’ PIECES
A company called Pavegen has created floor tiles that create electricity using kinetic energy. The tiles have been installed in almost 40 countries and can generate up to five joules of energy per footstep.
Being able to generate power using foot traffic is intriguing, and it takes away a lot of the concerns for renewable energy that come with solar and wind power. With kinetic-generated electricity, you no longer have to worry about rain or cloudy days stifling the power generated. Not even windless days can keep generators from building up reserves.
Instead, people become the generator. And, because each footstep can generate up to five joules of power, it can help power low-energy applications such as LED lighting and display screens. The company is also exploring other ways to generate electricity. But, kinetic floor technology will never replace other clean power generation.
It’s been nearly 100 years since the Tasmanian tiger’s extinction, but the marsupial may live once again.
Earlier this year, scientists at the University of Melbourne established a research lab dedicated to developing technologies that could bring back the carnivorous marsupial, officially known as a thylacine, that died out in the 1930s, and reintroduce it to its native Australian island of Tasmania.
Now, with a $5 million donation from earlier this year, and a new partnership with a Texas-based genetic engineering company called Colossal Biosciences, which is also working on a project to recreate the woolly mammoth in an altered form and return it to the Arctic tundra, scientists are harnessing advances in genetics, ancient DNA retrieval, and artificial reproduction to bring back the animal to the land of the living.
The project involves several complicated steps, but scientists say the marsupial can be recreated using stem cells and gene editing reproductive technology. The team plans to take stem cells from a living marsupial species with similar DNA, and turn them into “thylacine” cells to “bring back” the extinct species – or a very close approximation of it – using gene-editing technology.
New marsupial-specific assisted reproductive technologies will be needed to use the stem cells to make an embryo, which will require building artificial wombs.
Compiled by SG