Top 10 ways nanotechnology is transforming the world around us

Gecko
Nanotechnology might be outside your window at this very moment in the form of a gecko-like human scaling a self-cleaning, nano-enhanced solar window.

A pair of hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles that can help you ascend a 25-foot sheet of glass might not seem like the most impressive use of nanotechnology but this real-world advance aptly demonstrates how quickly the field of nanotechnology is climbing into our lives. Below are ten additional examples of how nanotechnology is already changing the world, followed by 10 ways it may help society scale even greater heights in the near future.

 

 

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The future of drones expected to transform agriculture

drones

80% of the commercial market for drones will eventually be for agricultural uses.

Drones are moving quickly from the battlefield to the farmer’s field.  They are on the verge of helping growers oversee millions of acres throughout rural America and saving them big money in the process.

 

 

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Indiana Amish farm leads the way to local food security

Amish farm

Greenhouse at Sunrise Hydroponics.

There is an Amish farm in Topeka, Indiana that supplies all-natural, sustainable produce, using 90% less water and 90% less land, and that utilizes the most advanced vertical aeroponic technology on earth. You cannot get produce that is more local, fresh, healthy, and sustainable — even in the middle of an Indiana blizzard — like you can get at Sunrise Hydroponics, an Amish farm.

 

 

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GrowUpBox: A shipping container farm that grows tilapia and salad greens

GrowUp’s Kickstarter-funded aquaponic farm is a circular ecosystem with 150 fish, all self-contained in a box.

At the Marlborough Playground in London this summer you’ll see a modified, upcycled shipping container with a greenhouse on top–dubbed the GrowUpBox.  It is producing both fresh vegetables and fresh fish, all in one compact set-up.

 

 

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Genetically-Modified Super Trout Have 20% More Muscle and Acute Telekenesis

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVx9m3ucGcY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Okay, we made up the last bit, but these fish have been altered to grow far more muscular than normal trout:

The bodybuilder stature of the trout comes from turning off myostatin, a protein that normally slows muscle growth. Researchers had known of a natural myostatin mutation that allowed for 20 to 25 percent more muscle growth in Belgian blue cattle, but did not know if the same would apply to the different mechanism of muscle growth in fish.

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The Coolest Profession on Earth

000 Future-Farming-483s

Future agribusiness professionals will be some of the most
highly skilled people on earth, and the envy of the executive class

Tomorrow’s farm technology will make today’s look as outdated as steam-powered traction engines seem today. The stage is being set for an unprecedented new generation of farming driven by ever-greater levels of precision, relevancy and control. Many farmers of tomorrow will be techno-geek agrarians packing handhelds and data readers to monitor far more than yields, costs and moisture content.
As with all industries, there are many microforces driving the changes ahead. But viewing them through the lens of these three overarching trends helps us grasp the interwoven nature of these often-competing drivers.
Trend No. 1—Precision. Seed technology has boosted productivity to the order of 1 to 3,200 or more.
Accurate GPS systems and auto-steer already enable planting near-perfect patterns and tailoring of inputs to field conditions. Emerging tech companies such as the Denver-based Moedus and their LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanners with accuracy to 1 mm have the potential to radically improve GPS accuracy and add 3D-imaging characteristics to the data.
With this level of precision already in existence, some find it hard to believe we are striving for even greater precision. However, the stage is being set for farming to become “explosively precise.”
Smart Dust. The idea of smart dust was introduced by Kristofer S. J. Pister at the University of California in 2001. This radiofrequency-powered network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical systems includes sensors and monitoring devices that can detect anything from moisture to temperature, vibrations, chemical composition, etc.
With the same equipment used to sow seeds, smart dust will be “planted” into the soil to begin the monitoring process. Farms imbedded with smart dust will essentially be glowing with real-time information.
Going further, by employing everything from magnetic fields to sound waves and signal frequencies, scientists seek to allow farmers to experiment with microcontrols to alter plant characteristics, ward off pests and enhance crop production.
Trend No. 2—Relevancy. Can better food create better people? Will a better food supply lead to healthier, stronger, smarter people?
These are exactly the type of questions driving the relevancy issue. How can we make the food we eat sync up with our own unique metabolism? In short, how do we make food more relevant?
Over time, science will develop real-time sensors in our bodies that can read everything from the fluctuation of brainwaves to microchanges in heartbeats, digestive processes and variations in perspiration rates. Such monitoring will translate into healthier food choices and, more importantly, choices tailored specifically to an individual’s needs.
Gaining an ability to read and monitor a person’s metabolic reaction to the food eaten will allow farmers to serve tiny niche demands of consumers with great precision.
Farmers will become expert at producing “jacked-in” food stocks with countless variations, managed through computerized processes designed to manipulate the end results. Controls will be exercised along a broad spectrum, from environmental conditions such as light, water and oxygen levels in the air to genetic manipulation according to approved safety guidelines.
The entire demand-driven supply chain will be automated and wired to the needs of the end user.
The regulatory system for insuring ultrasafe food supplies will be constantly monitored through automated data feeds at each step of the supply chain.
Trend No. 3—Control. Every business is more easily managed with better control of the variables. Farming is an industry fraught with too many variables, from weather to pests to soil, not to mention those beyond the farm gate, such as transportation and processing.
Silo Farming. The precision we use to monitor consumer demand, coupled with the increasing need to control variables, will begin the transition to ultraprecise farming operations in highly controlled environments. Today’s surface farming is both imprecise and subject to extreme external influences, making it less than ideal to supply the consumer marketplace of the future.
Farming in the future will go vertical. Several projects, such as Dickson Despommier’s at Columbia University, are in various conceptual and experimental stages.
The concept I envision would create both below-surface and above-surface silos with either layered or honeycomb-lined walls filled with rich topsoil to convert a small surface area on land into a much larger surface area on the walls of the silos.
A robotic arm will travel up and down a central shaft, performing all necessary tasks.

SkyMall, Inc.

Sunlight will be captured through solar panels, power through wind, and water through an ongoing evaporation system that extracts moisture from the air. Such “farms” can be constructed in the most unforgiving places on the planet. This, coupled with the fact that it creates a year-round farming operation on greatly expanded surface area, has the ability to increase the Earth’s ability to produce food by a thousandfold.
As we examine the trends of precision, relevance and control, the future begins to come into focus. Next-generation farm operations will experience unprecedented new levels of opportunity, making future agribusiness professionals some of the most highly skilled people on earth and the envy of the executive class.
Farming is about to become the coolest profession on earth

Thomas Frey: Tomorrow’s farm technology will make today’s look as outdated as steam-powered traction engines seem today. The stage is being set for an unprecedented new generation of farming driven by ever-greater levels of precision, relevancy and control. Many farmers of tomorrow will be techno-geek agrarians packing handhelds and data readers to monitor far more than yields, costs and moisture content.

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Plantagon: Dome Farm of the Future

plantagon-ed001

Plantagon

Lots of cities have farmers markets, but most — if not all — of the produce comes from rural farmers that use oil-intensive methods of transportation to cart around their food. With 80% of all people on the planet projected to live in cities by 2050, food production will have to move into cities if it is to remain cost-efficient. A Swedish-American company called Plantagon has conceived of an incredible solution: a massive urban greenhouse contained within a geodesic dome. The vertical farm, which consists of a spiral ramp inside a spherical dome, is currently in the development stages. (Pics)

 

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Amazing Vertical Farm For Vancouver

Amazing Vertical Farm For Vancouver

Vertical farm for Vancouver’s 2030 Challenge 

Vertical farms are one of our favorite future-forward concepts for creating sustainable cities. Providing locally-grown produce and food will not only help us reduce our carbon emissions significantly, but also help us become healthier. Romses Architects recently came up with an amazing concept for a vertical farm in Vancouver as part of the City’s 2030 Challenge. Complete with a tower for growing fruits and vegetables, a livestock grazing plane, a boutique dairy farm, commercial space, transit lines, renewable energy and more, the Harvest Green Tower has the potential to be a food growing, energy producing, living, breathing sustainable transit hub. (Pics)

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Vertical Coastal Farms Could Use Seawater To Grow Crops In The Future

Vertical Coastal Farms Could Use Seawater To Grow Crops In The Future

 Vertical farms of the future

Thought up by Italian architecture firm Studiomobile, vertical seawater farms sticking up out of the water could covert the salt-laden liquid into freshwater for crops. It’s all about producing humidity. A series of vents would gather humidity from the seawater to cool the greenhouses and, as it collects, irrigate the crops inside.  (Pics)

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