Fight Fire with Pampers
Firefighters in Wyoming have been containing wildfires with a substance they call “green slime,” a super-absorbent gel that is also the secret ingredient of disposable diapers. Reuters describes how the gel, when sprayed onto a house, causes water to adhere to its exterior. For those parents who feel a twinge of guilt every time they dump another bag of soiled Pampers into a landfill, this may open up a whole new avenue of recycling.
And Speaking Of
Canadian researchers have created the world’s first bio-engineered pig designed to produce environmentally friendlier poo. Dubbed Enviropig, this GM oinker’s manure contains only a quarter of the phosphate excreted by normal pigs. However, the Boston Globe points out that while this new pig’s excrement is far kinder to the environment, you’d never know it from the smell.
Eyes on the Sky
Passports may soon be a thing of the past, reports the New York Times. London’s Heathrow Airport is installing iris scanners to speed arriving passengers through passport control. And it even works for the redeye.
Goal! Goal Goal Goal Goal Goal!
Wired takes a look at RoboCup 2001, a soccer tournament one researcher calls the “largest and most important robot competition in the world.” Although most competitors are lucky to stumble across the ball-let alone take it to the cooker-organizers predict that RoboCup 2050’s winning team will beat the human World Cup soccer champions. But will they flash their undercarriage?
Nurses Ratchet Up
A new robotic exoskeleton may help nurses lift heavy patients without risking a back injury-a major hazard of the profession, its inventors tell New Scientist. Although the “distinctly unlovely” prototype costs over $20,000, a lighter, sleeker commercial version may be ready in two years for less than $2,000. Question: if sports leagues one day sanction the suits, how will this affect RoboCup’s 2050 prediction?
Last week: Frankenfurters
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?
There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.
The 1,000 Chinese SpaceX engineers who never existed
LinkedIn users are being scammed of millions of dollars by fake connections posing as graduates of prestigious universities and employees at top tech companies.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.