Last week Japan announced it would allow experiments to grow human organs in animals. These experiments are controversial, not in the least place because of animal welfare concerns and the possibility of cross-species diseases. However, xenotransplantation is not the only line of research pursued to solve the shortage of donor organs. Continue reading Organ cultivation
Not directly related to space settlement, but still interesting to think about.
The age of (cheap) oil is doomed in the long run, even if we do not care about climate change, as petroleum is a finite resource which would eventually be depleted. However, our modern industrialized society requires a lot of energy and without it our planet cannot sustain a ten billion population.
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Our regular reader will know that we are quite hawkish when it comes to air quality and public health. One of the measure we have proposed is for space habitats to ban the use of internal combustion engines. A study by researchers from Cornell University provides a solid scientific base for a complete ban on internal combustion engines. Continue reading Electric vehicles and public health
Plastic waste is a major environmental and social problem. The fact that plastics or polymers hardly decompose naturally is one of the contributing factors to the issue of this type of waste. Though polymers could be recycled only a tiny portion of separately collected plastic waste is actually recycled. Continue reading Polymer waste and recycling
Science Daily reports yet another breakthrough in the development of artificial wombs. Researchers are now able to keep extremely premature lamb fetuses alive in an artificial uterus. If this development continues, it will be possible in the foreseeable future that the entire gestation could happen outside the body. Continue reading Artificial wombs progress
On ZDNET an interesting article about Markforged – a company that is working on a mass production 3D printer. As we have previously pointed out on this site, 3D printing is along side with in situ resource utilization one of the key technologies that will be of critical importance of making space settlements independent from terrestrial imports.
Waste management is an important issue for any community and space settlements will not be different. For several reasons, such are pollution and traffic congestion, running garbage trucks through the streets is a bad idea. So space habitat designers should consider alternatives. One interesting concept is illustrated in the video below:
Around the world scientists are developing robots for agriculture.
This Australian robot is suitable for open field farming: