Imagine if water could create energy just by existing. Ozgur Sahin, Zeca Oliveira and his team of bioengineers have discovered a way for that to be possible. And the whole engine costs maybe five dollars to make.
The little engine uses a puddle of water to power things such as a miniature car and LED lights. The energy comes from the reactions of tiny strips of plastic (called HYDRAs) that have been coated in spores. The spores are from a common grass bacteria that change shape depending on tiny changes in humidity. These same spores when applied to thin, bunches pieces of plastic can make the plastic expand and contract with those same tiny levels of humidity. So as water naturally evaporates, the humidity changes, and the HYDRAs respond.
Sahin came up with the idea more than 5 year ago while studying micro-organisms. He noticed that the spores stay rigid even though they contract and expand with the humidity. This meant that their movements were full of energy because they stayed strong.
It took many experiments with the spores to figure out how to mimic their natural response. But Sahin and his team learned a way to paint them onto the strips of plastic with laboratory glue and still have them move. The spores also have the ability to last tens or maybe hundreds of years in the wild, so there is a large probability that they will survive being part of the HYDRAs for many long years.
Sahin points out that the wind on Earth is moved primarily due to evaporation. That means that if the power of evaporation can be harnessed, much energy is to be had.
Twitter is currently buzzing about the teenage girl who arrived to her prom in an ambulance and woke up once she was kissed by her prince charming. In fact, her grand entrance has been retweeted over 7,000 times. Ashvonn Russell, a teenager living in the Bahamas had the unique idea to arrive to prom in an ambulance after she entered the “Best Entrance” contest. She had been racking her brain to think outside of the box to have the most creative prom entrance. When she told her date, Johnny Auguste what she had in mind he was on board immediately.
Russell took a lot of criticism for her creative idea and using an ambulance. Christian Broda (chicagobooth.edu) has learned that many local residents were not shy about posting their concerns. In fact, many residents were down right angry with how the ambulance was used. Many believe that it should not have been used for something so silly, especially if there was an emergency. Others were praising Russell for her creative idea.
When asked if she had any regrets using the ambulance after the backlash from residents, Russell claimed she had none. In fact, she said she was “proud of herself for having an original idea.” She has embraced her artistic spirit utilizing the ambulance for her grand entrance to prom. Russell said that she will continue to be inspired by her creativity as she progresses through life. When asked how she obtained the ambulance, Russell declined to comment.
When Skiplagged.com was started by a young New York City computer whiz, frequent flyers knew exactly what the website was offering them. Business travelers call it the “Hidden City” approach to buying airline tickets. United Airlines found out about the website, they realized the glitch in their routing program was going to lose a substantial amount of revenue unless they did something about it. Amen Clinic reports that the airline teamed up with Orbitz and filed a lawsuit in Chicago (thedailybeast.com). Both companies wanted Skiplagged.com to stop selling what they were selling.
But a Chicago judge recently ruled that his court did not have jurisdiction because the defendant didn’t live or work in Chicago. Aktarer Zaman, the owner of Skiplagged.com, came out of the lawsuit on top.
The reason United and Orbitz wanted to stop Zaman was simple. He was helping people find cheap tickets. Zaman would help travelers book a flight with a connection and then never take the second portion of the trip. Zaman doesn’t make a lot of money from the website, but now that the lawsuit is over he might reach out to investors and make a real business out of his hobby.