This is Life Out of Plastic (L.O.O.P.), a Peruvian social enterprise whose goal is to ignite a movement for sustainable consumption across Latin America. This empowering female-centric initiative was founded by women and is led by women. Life Out of Plastic has impressively attracted over 24,000 people who have participated in L.O.O.P. organized activities, such as mass beach clean-ups.
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This is the “world’s first 3-D printed heart” an impressive 3D-printed heart made entirely from human cells with blood vessels. Created by Israeli researchers, the entire 3D-printed heart doesn’t beat and is too small for use in people. It’s actually the size of a rabbit’s heart, but needless to say, it’s a major advancement.
This is the Desert Garden Project and it’s giving Syrian families displaced by war the opportunity to grow herbs and vegetables in the desert. By repurposing discarded mattresses and using their foam as an alternative to the soil in hydroponic farms, these refugees – many who are skilled farmers, are able to have a sense of purpose again.
This is the Viking Link Interconnector, an underwater 760-kilometer cable that will lie beneath the sea between Denmark and the United Kingdom. The powerful underwater cable will connect Danish wind power to the UK and supply 1.4 million UK homes with green electricity. As Europe is trying to bounce back from the economic effects of COVID-19, they are also factoring in environmental initiatives, such as this.
Considered to be “the world’s longest high-voltage direct-current connection,” the Viking Link will stretch 760 kilometers from Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, Great Britain, and the substation Revsing in South Jutland, Denmark.
According to the UK’s National Grid and the Danish electricity operator, Energinet, the project involves the construction of a converter station in each country, and the installation of the submarine and underground cables between each converter station, and underground cables between the converter station and substation in each country. The German multinational, Siemens Energy, is building these converter stations.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Lab recognize the importance of touch and its connectivity to the world, so they have designed the E-dermis, a flexible sensor for amputees that can mimic the sensory qualities of human skin. This astonishing research, highlighted by Freethink, catapults the technology of standard prosthetics that simply replicate the mechanics of limbs. This miraculous creation of “electric skin” for prosthetics taps into the nervous system, thus allowing amputees to regain their sense of touch.
Luke Osborn, a Ph.D candidate and researcher at Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Lab, is spearheading the study of electric skin for prosthetics. He’s further exploring Phantom Limb Syndrome – a phenomenon experienced by nearly 80% of amputees where the sensation of a limb is still present and recognized by the brain to some extent.
The subject of Osborn’s study is Andrew Rubin, who underwent a therapeutic amputation after experiencing an injury that de-sensitized and de-mobilized his left his hand and foot. Osborn mapped out the sensory nerves in Rubin’s arm to then send signals from the E-dermis sensor to Rubin’s brain.
Osborn is zeroing on pressure perception and non-painful and painful sensations by measuring the radius of objects. A patch of prosthetic skin is comparable to the functions of the fingertips that detect painful or unsafe objects. In other words, when the fingertips detect something sharp, we release our grip and when something’s round it doesn’t pose the same threat. For Rubin, being able to reconnect with his sense of touch has been profound: “I no longer feel disabled,” he said – and that must be one of the greatest feelings of them all.
This is the E-Bulb, “the smallest fire extinguisher in the world,” or a thermally-activated glass bulb that’s integrated into your electrical appliances – from your refrigerator, dryer, and TV that detects fires early by targeting them at their source. Developed by the JOB Group, based in Ahrensburg, Germany, the E-Bulb irreversibly cuts off the power supply, stops re-ignition, and extinguishes the fire.
This is the iLevel Power Wheelchair and it does exactly what it says – it safely puts wheelchair users at eye level and it empowers them by creating a better experience while improving daily functionality and quality of life. This life-changing power wheelchair was developed by Pride Mobility Products Corp. and Quantum Rehab who “passionately serve individuals with disabilities.”
This is the Seabin V5, a floating trash can, or a “trash skimmer” that catches anything from plastic bottles, paper to oil, fuel, and detergent – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. The Seabin V5, which is connected to a floating dock, can also clean the water from contaminated organic material, including leaves and seaweed, etc.
This is a Floating Park in Rotterdam, a city in The Netherlands, that is made up of constructed hexagon-shaped building blocks made from recycled plastics. These green structures are created from plastic waste that is collected from organized cleanups with Clear Rivers as well as litter traps, which are installed in the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Brussels and the Indonesian island Ambon.
This is ByBlock, a high-performing insulating building material made completely out of unrecyclable plastic waste – sans additives or fillers. Created by ByFusion, ByBlock is transformed into super-solid construction-grade building blocks and can be incorporated with traditional building materials, including wood, steel, and cement.