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Environmental

The Romantik Hotel has been awarded the PlusEnergieBau Solar Award 2011, the only prize in...

The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl located in Switzerland has recently been awarded the highly-coveted Swiss Solar Award 2011, Milestone 2011 Tourism Award and the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they consume. The 104-year old Berghotel underwent extensive renovations during 2010 to transform it into an environmental-friendly location, giving rise to the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps. The hotel's recent success demonstrates that luxury accommodation can be implemented within the framework of a plus-energy building concept even at 2,456 meters (8,058 ft) above sea level.  Read More

Aedes aegypti, the #1 disease vector for dengue fever (Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim, publ...

War, plague, famine, heart disease, cigarettes, road trauma: six very effective killers of human beings. But they're all amateurs when their records are compared to the number one mass murderer of all time. The humble mosquito, and the deadly diseases it carries, is estimated to have been responsible for as many as 46 billion deaths over the history of our species. That staggering number is even more frightening in context - it means that mosquitoes are alleged to have killed more than half the humans that ever lived. So if any species deserves the full wrath of human technology, this is the one. And here, it seems, is how we might take our revenge - genetically modified strains of mosquito that are designed to cripple their own offspring and systematically destroy entire populations. And these mutant, auto-genocidal mozzies are already loose in the wild.  Read More

eSolar's 5 MW Sierra SunTower installation covers 20 acres and will provide power 'up to 4...

Recently the Cleantech Group, with the assistance of an advisory panel of corporate executives, sat down to decide upon the third annual Global Cleantech 100: the hundred "most promising and innovative" clean technology companies of 2011. The listed companies span a range of industries, and though solar energy firms, chemical recyclers, LED manufacturers and energy-monitoring software programmers certainly aren't under-represented, many companies in the hundred are defined by a single product or idea. Gizmag scoured the Cleantech 100 to find what we thought were the ten most innovative companies.  Read More

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu with the winners of the 2011 Solar Decathlon - Team Unive...

On the last two occasions, the overall winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has gone to Germany's Technische Universität Darmstadt but this year the top honor has stayed with one of the home teams. As the name might suggest, the University of Maryland's winning WaterShed project features some novel innovations to make the best use of water, in addition to an intriguing internal waterfall that helps reduce the load on the structure's air conditioning system. Read on for a brief look at the top five winning projects, as well as the People's Choice.  Read More

Dr. Shane Snyder is working with Agilent to develop ways to detect emerging contaminants  ...

Agilent Technologies has announced it will begin collaborations with the University of Arizona's Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering's BIO5 Institute to develop ways to detect and treat "emerging contaminants" such as steroids and antibiotics in drinking water.  Read More

The view of Mount Everest provided by the world's highest webcam

After starting out producing security cameras, German-based Mobotix is now taking video surveillance to new heights – literally. One of the company’s type-M12 cameras has been situated at an altitude of 5,643-meters (18,514 ft) on the Kala Patthar mountain to stream high definition images of the summit of the nearby 8,848-meter (29,029 ft) high Mount Everest. The solar-powered webcam takes the title of the world’s highest webcam from the now second highest webcam in the world located at the 4,389-meter (14,400 ft) high base camp of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.  Read More

Visual artist Jae Rhim Lee is currently training shiitake and oyster mushrooms to feast on...

As part of a project aimed at getting people to accept and embrace their own mortality, visual artist Jae Rhim Lee is training mushrooms to decompose human tissue. This doesn't involve cruelly prodding unruly shrooms with electric goads or whipping them into submission, but rather introducing common fungi to the artist's own skin, hair, nail clippings and other body tissue so that they start to digest it. A prototype body suit has been created that's embroidered with spore-infused netting. This would be used in conjunction with a special spore slurry embalming cocktail to break down the body's organic matter and clean out the accumulated toxins, producing a nutrient-rich compost.  Read More

The Zero S electric motorcycle

The latest in our series of video road tests is America's leading electric motorcycle: the Zero S, from California's Zero Motorcycles. Seventy-five miles per hour and 60 miles between charges are the big numbers here – but how does that translate to real life use? Also, since electricity costs so much less than petrol, can an electric motorcycle be viewed as an economical option? And what about the environment? When the carbon cost of electricity generation is taken into account, how green are electric vehicles? These questions and more, answered after the jump!  Read More

A diagram illustrating how the hydrogel sensor works (Image: Birck Nanotechnology Center, ...

Scientists have used gelatinous hydrogel to create an inexpensive new type of biochemical sensor that is highly sensitive, sturdy, long-lasting, and has few moving parts. The gel expands or contracts according to the acidity of its environment, a quality that allows the sensor to measure changes in pH down to one one-thousandth on the pH scale. This amount of accuracy, along with its robustness, could make it ideal for chemical and biological applications such as environmental monitoring in waterways and glucose monitoring in blood.  Read More

Conceptual illustration of the Sahara Forest Project that will produce fresh water, electr...

An ambitious project that aims to turn arid desert land into a green oasis took a step closer to becoming reality last week when an agreement was signed on the rights to develop a pilot system in Jordan. The Sahara Forest Project’s (SFP) first facility will be located on a 2,000,000 square meter plot of land in Aqaba, a coastal town in the south of Jordan where it will be a test bed for the use of a combination of technologies designed to enable the production of fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot, arid regions.  Read More

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