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Thursday, July 31, 2014

CNET: One of the persistent challenges of manned space exploration is that pesky lack of oxygen throughout much of the universe. Here on Earth, trees and other plant life do us a real solid by taking in our bad breath and changing it back to clean, sweet O2. So what if we could take those biological oxygen factories into space with us, but without all the land, sun, water, soil, and gravity that forests tend to require? Royal College of Art graduate Julian Melchiorri has created the first human-made, biologically functional leaf that takes in carbon dioxide, water, and light and releases oxygen. The leaf consists of chloroplasts --- the part of a plant cell where photosynthesis happens -- suspended in body made of silk protein.

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Beyond cool ...

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Very cool... but not as good a movie...

www.youtube.com

But some will say this tech is "meaningless".

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

Cool. But left outside for 5 minutes, it would be eaten by a Japanese beetle.

#2 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-30 01:43 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Nice tie in on the 'meaningless', btw...

#3 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-30 01:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

We try.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

Space colonization is a preposterous pipe techno-fantasy. Let me know when they discover a liveable planet that isn't 10 million light years away.

#5 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 01:49 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

roflmao!

Thanks for proving the point.

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:50 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Then again, if anyone knows about pipe fantasies...

#7 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

I can't wait for SPACE POT

#8 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-07-30 01:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

pipe-dream, techno-fantasy. It's absurd. This country is broke.

#9 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 01:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

The one thing Dubya got right IMHO was that we need to establish a full time base on the moon to launch deep space exploration from. Less gravity means cheaper launches which means more of them.

If we stay on this rock we will kill ourselves.

#10 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-07-30 01:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

It's probably all meaningless, right?

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 was for #9

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

I assumed =D

#13 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-07-30 01:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

I was being careful, lol.

#14 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 01:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

I'm giving both Corky and Nulli FF's on this one! I don't know what was funnier, Nulli living up to expectations or Corky setting him up and calling his shot.

#15 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-30 01:58 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Anybody that thinks America is going to colonize space, ever, has moon rocks in their head.

#16 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 01:59 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

#16

So, it's what? A meaningless effort?

#17 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

" A meaningless effort?"

Let me know when you invent a warp drive, trekkie.

#18 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

- warp drive

You miss the point, as per usual, which is making an earth-like planet unnecessary to support life, among other things..

"In addition to its potential value to space travel, Melchiorri also imagines the technology literally providing a breath of fresh air to indoor and outdoor spaces here on Earth. The facades of buildings and lampshades could be made to exhale fresh air with just a thin coating of the leaf material.

But perhaps best of all, a man-made breathing leaf could be the key to not just space travel but space colonization. No need to figure out how to till that dry, red Martian dirt to get some nice leafy trees to grow; we could just slap them on the inside of the colony's dome and puff away."

Puff away... perhaps they could put some THC in there and you would find true meaning in this new tech.

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

Puff away... perhaps they could put some THC in there and you would find true meaning in this new tech.

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:06 PM | Reply | Flag: Ad Hominem

#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:10 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

No, seriously. You wouldn't even have to vape.

Just have a fake ficus in your trailer with these leaves releasing THC.

You'll find new meaning in the tech.

#22 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

#21 Is randomly accusing someone of being gay an ad homomen attack?

#23 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-30 02:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Anybody that thinks America is going to colonize space, ever, has moon rocks in their head."

If anybody thinks they can dispute this, bring it on. If you're not chicken.

#24 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:17 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

#23

I'm just happy to see you.

#25 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Space will be mined for it's materials, requiring some colonization, probably starting with Mars.

www.theatlantic.com

#26 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

James Fallows is an idiot. There isn't going to be any mining of planets. It would cost trillions of dollars. Maybe the Feds could print that, though.

#27 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah man made leaf big deal. Man made corn 7000 years ago.

#28 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-07-30 02:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

I figured this would get pretty funny......

I am with Nulli though, we aren't going to the moon anytime soon....

But imagine all suburban lawns being artificial, but actually benefitting the environment?

I wonder if they "run cool" like grass does?

Why we could grow suburbia to new heights! Go Science!

#29 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-30 02:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Man started modifying corn 7000 years ago. Nuance.

Interesting trivia on that. If man vanished from the planet tomorrow, corn would follow shortly thereafter. It's one of the only plants on earth that can't exist without human assistance.

#30 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-30 02:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

"But imagine all suburban lawns being artificial, but actually benefitting the environment?"

Imagine them as vegetable gardens. That's probably inevitable as the bubble of cheap energy bursts.

#31 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

-James Fallows is an idiot.

Yes, as dumb as most Rhodes scholars, one presumes.

en.wikipedia.org

#32 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

" Rhodes scholar"

Argument from authority.

#33 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 02:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

#33

Argument from nihilist.

#34 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 02:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Argument from nihilist."

Prove it.

#35 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 03:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

That would be meaningless.

#36 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 03:07 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

"That would be meaningless."

A good description of most of your posts.

#37 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 03:10 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Imagine them as vegetable gardens.

Aside from my swimming pool and patio, my backyard is all gardens.

#38 | Posted by 726 at 2014-07-30 03:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

Aside from my swimming pool and patio, my backyard is all gardens.

#38 | POSTED BY 726

You use a lot of water...... this would save save save.....

#39 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-30 03:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nothing's ever stopped the US from throwing billions at a pipe dream. Heck, they love pipe dreams. And the sooner they release the mining companies on the rest of the universe? The sooner the rest of the universe will look like West Va and Kentucky.

#40 | Posted by DeadSpin at 2014-07-30 03:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

My question would be where the water was going to come from in a long duration space flight or a colonization of Mars under a protective dome?

#41 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-07-30 03:58 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Yes, because Mars is such a tropical paradise now.

Has it occurred to you that the more minerals we could take from Mars or asteroids the less we could strip mine from here?

#42 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 04:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Has it occurred to you that the more minerals we could take from Mars or asteroids the less we could strip mine from here?"

lol. How many hundreds of trillions of dollars would it take to strip mine Mars and transport something back to earth, trekkie?

#43 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 04:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why Asteroid Mining Makes Huge Dollars and Sense

www.space.com

For when ad hominem is not all you have.

#45 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 05:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

"www.space.com"

lol. What a bunch of space cadets. They ought to lay off the shrooms.

#46 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 06:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Argument from nihilist."
Prove it.
#35 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-30 03:03 PM
That would be meaningless.
#36 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 03:07 PM Funny: 1

One of the funnier moments on this site - thanks you two.

This is an excellent avenue of research. I just wish they would drop the space travel charade, NASA is a black bag of lies and there is little to nothing that can change my mind other than complete disclosure.

#47 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-07-30 09:35 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Thank you, thank you. But one could not ask for a better straight man.... oh, wait....

#48 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-30 09:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

#41 | Posted by HeuristicGratis a

Actually Mars has lots of water, it is underneath the soil in the form of ice, and possibly even in the liquid form in a few yards down.

did you know it actually occasionally snows on mars in some area's?
the snow never reaches the ground though.

#49 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-07-31 02:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

More than five million cubic kilometers of ice have been identified at or near the surface of modern Mars, enough to cover the whole planet to a depth of 35 meters. Even more ice is likely to be locked away in the deep subsurface.
Some liquid water may occur transiently on the Martian surface today but only under certain conditions. No large standing bodies of liquid water exist because the atmospheric pressure at the surface averages just 600 pascals (0.087 psi) -- about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure -- and because the global average temperature is far too low (210 K (−63 °C)), leading to either rapid evaporation or freezing

#50 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-07-31 02:09 AM | Reply | Flag:

#41 | Posted by HeuristicGratis a

As for the trouble of them taking water with them to Mars NASA has for quite awhile now has been recycling body waste for the water content.
so that would not be much of a trouble as you would think.

Good article and pretty cool discovery

#51 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-07-31 02:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

#49 and #51 I understand that. You will have a major issue with water usage for workers and water usage for the artificial leaves.

The law of diminishing returns. The more work you do to get the water to feed the leaves, the more the leaves are going to need to output oxygen. Active bodies use more oxygen. People will be very active to be searching for ice on Mars.

Also note, it will not snow in a protective dome on Mars.

The water will most likely be able to be used for one purpose. People or the leaves.

That was my point.

#52 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-07-31 09:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

52 | Posted by HeuristicGratis

Please tell me you are joking?

#53 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-07-31 05:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

-The Future of Space Travel and Colonization

I was fishing, on a hot summer afternoon, when I caught a very strange fish. He didn't fight any, and as he neared the battered wooden boat, I could see that he was actually swimming towards me.
His skin was grey and smooth, and he had blue eyes. He seemed to be looking into my eyes as I gaffed him. There was no distress in his eyes, instead they were filled with an incomprehensible serenity. Shaken, I flopped him over the gunwale.

#54 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-07-31 07:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

...I clubbed the strange fish, and gutted him, throwing the entrails overboard. As I rinsed the fish, a small hard object washed out of it's head and fell to the deck with a faint noise. I retrieved the object, mesmerized by its form and iridescence. It seemed to have five sides to each faceted face that I focused upon, but, as I turned the pearl-like object in my fingers, the face I had been observing melted into a blur, and a new facet sprang into view, emerging at one view from the blurred advancing portion of the shape. I could only focus on, and see, one facet simultaneously. I felt a sudden urge to eat the object. I ate it.

#55 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-07-31 07:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

...I had caught the fish on the receding tide, and now was far from land, the sun in its last hour. I turned the boat and began rowing after the sun, steering by the feel of the sun's heat on my back. I rowed until the sun went down, then I was watching the stars reflected in the water behind the boat, still not able to sight land. Not feeling tired, I rowed on, eventually a glow of light emerging over the horizon ahead of the boat. I rowed towards the light, steering by my shadow in the boat, then realizing that I was rowing not towards land, but the rising full moon. I turned the boat, and resumed rowing west. The moon continued rising, but the stars did not fade in the light, they were sharp and clear, not flickering. The moon rose higher, but the horizon, difficult to discern amid the stars' reflections, seemed to be rising along with the moon. Suddenly feeling disoriented, I looked all around the boat, at the sea and sky, and could see only bright sharp stars, and the moon, now directly above my drifting boat.

#56 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-07-31 08:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

...Not knowing anything else to do, I resumed rowing, without direction, seemingly inside a concave sphere of stars. Presently, I became aware that I was no longer alone. Seated on the cooler in the stern of the boat was a grey creature, unlike any I had before seen. His body, on closer examination, seemed to be a sort of diving-suit, but reversed, as it was filled with water, and peering from one of the two almond-shaped ports on the bulbous tapered head of the reversed diving-suit, was a fish. His blue eyes locked onto mine, and I heard him say, soundlessly, "My name is Eannis."

#57 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-07-31 08:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

...Eannis continued: "The surface of the land like fire they wasted; they destroyed all life from the face of the land; to battle against men they brought the waters. Brother saw not Brother; men knew not one another."
Eannis swam in a circle and returned to the port. "In heaven the gods feared the flood and hastened to ascend to the heaven of Anu. The gods, like dogs in the kennel, crouched down in a heap"

#58 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-07-31 09:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

#53 You don't understand the law of diminishing returns? Sounds like a personal problem.

#59 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-08-01 12:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

...Ennis, increasingly agitated, continued his telepathic dialogue:
"They are seven! they are seven!--Seven are they in the depths of Ocean,--seven they are, disturbers of the face of Heaven.--They arise from the depths of Ocean, from hidden lurking-places.--They spread like snares.--Male they are not, female they are not. Wives they have not, children are not born to them.--Order they know not, nor beneficence;--prayers and supplications they hear not. Horses grown in the bowels of the mountains--foes of EA--they are throne-bearers of the gods-they sit in the roads and make them unsafe.--The fiends! The fiends! They are seven, they are seven, seven are they!"

#60 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 03:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

An image formed in my mind, as Eannis communicated to me, a vague terrifying form. I was possessed by a cold helpless fear and revulsion, paralyzed, I could not draw breath nor move. Time passed, and slowly I regained control of my thoughts. Eannis had regained his composure as well, and went on with his narrative: "Within the sea the current was, E-Sagila was constructed, E-Sagila which the god Lugal-du-azagga founded within the deep."

#61 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 04:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

...I felt a swaying dizziness, then motion. I was descending through the water, the stars wavering through the water behind me, then fading. Blackness enclosed me as I continued descending, flashes of colored light playing at the periphery of my vision. In the distance, a point of blue light appeared, growing larger as I approached. The point of light began to resolve into a jewel, a five sided perimeter lit from inside with the hazy blue luminescence, the five asymmetrical edges sharply defined by the surrounding darkness. I remembered where I had before seen the shape; it was a face of a Durer solid. I passed into the irregular pentagonal portal into a sea of superessential light. There were creatures moving and resting in the sea of light, themselves pulsating with complicated patterns of light.

#62 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 04:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

..I looked back at the portal. The irregular pentagon now appeared
symmetrical; I realized that it was in fact rotating, very slowly.
Some of the edges of the shape seemed to rotate from sight normally,
but some of them abruptly disappeared, their counterparts as suddenly
coming into view at the opposite boundary of the shape. I realized
then, as telepathically explained by Eannis, that I was examining a
five-dimensional shape, and we had passed not through, but into, the
portal. The additional dimensions were accessed by using that
particular shape, just as the beings of darkness, residing in their
three dimensions, used their own devices to manipulate their limited
spectrum of the superessential light; lenses, waveguides, antennae and
conductors, each applied to its range of operating color.

#63 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 05:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

#63 | Posted by FlyUntied

You don't have any extra acid, do you?

#64 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-08-01 05:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

...The creatures of light, Eannis went on, had evolved to develop a quasicrystalline biological structure; that was the strange pearl I had found in the fish. Man, half-blinded since the destruction, had become a creature of darkness. He could no longer access the whole of creation; his physics were built on a foundation of incommensurable quantities, his science heuristic.

#65 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 05:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

...The creatures of light were able to draw energy from the sea of superessential light by using their quasicrystalline lenses, evolving more complex structures, over time, accessing limitless power; becoming gods. They could then construct structures apart from themselves, such as the Gate of Lugal-du-azagga we had used. E-Sagila.

#66 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 06:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

...The universe, as man's reason demanded, was teeming with life. The other life-forms, though, as well as man himself originally, were creatures of light, having access to the dimension of superessential light. The teeming life was contained in the internal oceans of planets, and of moons, and of the billions of planetoids of the Oort cloud, their life energy extracted freely from the sea of superessential light. When somewhere a god evolved, and he constructed his creation, his gate, it was then quantum connected to every other gate.

#67 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 06:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Holy Enuma Elish, Batman. The original Cuneiform to Akkadian translation is preferred 'round these parts.

#68 | Posted by madscientist at 2014-08-01 06:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

...Space travel, as outlined by Eannis, involves swimming to the gate you wish to enter. Gates are usually located in incompressible media; on Earth, it's water. The gates are permanent, normally, their creators being immortal. You need to know the name of the gate you want to come out, it's usually a biphase modulated audio signal; a whale song. The equivalent gate name, derived from the name of its constructing god, may also be transmitted in a corresponding harmonic of photoimpulses; such as a squid flashing. Some aerial gates, operate by coded molecular emanations, i.e. pheromones and altar smoke. You enter the gate, while singing, flashing, or farting the name of the god, and simultaneously emerge from the far gate.

Thanks for reading!

#69 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 06:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

#68 | Posted by madscientist

-Translations are copyright Delphian Society 1913

#70 | Posted by FlyUntied at 2014-08-01 07:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

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