Tech & Science : Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors

18:55  21 july  2019
18:55  21 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The idea that animals can predict earthquakes has ancient origins. Despite this, the mass of anecdotal evidence about animals predicting earthquakes has attracted much speculation about One idea is that some animals detect changes in the Earth's electrical field, although the existence of

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that certain animals can predict natural disasters , detect disease and more, and now science is proving many of these stories to be correct. Close observation of such animals could even help people to plan well in advance of coming problems, suggests a new

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web

For decades, humans have modeled technology on observations of the natural world. But new discoveries about nature—and tools for manipulating it—have opened up novel approaches potentially more powerful than mere imitation to solving Human Age problems.

Spinach that can detect explosives

Engineers have discovered how to transform spinach plants into environmental sensors that can alert us to the presence of explosives. The development is one in the nascent field of “cyborg botany,” a merging of nature and technology that draws upon plants’ remarkable sensory capabilities in order to drive robots, provide environmental data, and more.

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Animals have keen senses that help them avoid predators or locate prey. It is thought that these senses might also help them detect pending disasters . Although scientists disagree as to whether animal behavior can be used to predict earthquakes and natural disasters , they all agree that it is

Here are some animals that can “ predict ” natural disasters Scientists say that serpents can sense earthquakes from 120 km away, up to five days before it happens. Observing and studying these animals and the erratic changes in their behaviour can help to predict natural disasters .

In 2016, chemical engineer Min Hao Wong and his team at MIT transported carbon nanotubes into spinach leaves via their stomata. Traces of explosive material that the plant took in through the air or groundwater caused the nanotubes to emit a fluorescent signal. To get the message from the plant, Wong’s team focused a small infrared camera on the leaves and attached it to a Raspberry Pi, a cheap, miniature computer similar to what’s found in smartphones. When the camera detected a signal, it triggered an email alert.

Having worked out the spinach nanosensors, Wong has gone on to develop other applications of the technology—particularly in agriculture. Plants are extremely perceptive, so they may be able to warn of drought conditions or pest infestations before a farmer can detect them. Wong is exploring commercialization of the technology in his current role as deputy science director of Disruptive & Sustainable Technology for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP), a research center in Singapore.

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Detecting , predicting and warning about hazards help populations evacuate and/or seek shelter. Avalanche mortars are designed by engineers to prevent natural disasters by triggering small avalanches before enough snow builds up to cause a catastrophic avalanche.

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that certain animals can predict natural disasters , detect disease and more, and now Close observation of such animals could even help people to plan well in advance of coming problems, suggests a new paper in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology.

Plants may have a lot to tell us. We’re now just learning how to get the message.

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web ©Glowee. Bioluminescence to light up the city

Bioluminescence to light up the city

We terrestrial beings have long marveled at how some squid, jellyfish, and other sea creatures produce their own entrancing glows—a phenomenon known as bioluminescence. French designer Sandra Rey’s curiosity about that light inspired her to bring it up and out of the sea. She imagines bioluminescence as a natural resource on land for creating “living” lights: ones that emit a soothing glow without electricity.

Rey is the founder and CEO of Glowee, a company that merges biomimicry with synthetic biology to produce bioluminescent lights. She envisions that they could one day replace the ordinary electric streetlight and cut down on the CO2 emissions that lighting generates.

To create oceanic light on land, Glowee technicians insert the bioluminescence gene from the Hawaiian bobtail squid into E. coli bacteria, then cultivate those bacteria. What’s more, by programming the DNA, engineers can control the color of the light, when it turns off and on, and more.

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Do animals have a sixth sense that can detect earthquakes and tsunamis? Or do they just make better use of their other senses than humans? Learn more at

A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples are floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web To create oceanic light on land, technicians insert the bioluminescence gene from the Hawaiian bobtail squid into E. coli bacteria, then cultivate those bacteria. Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web ©Glowee

The bacteria, of course, need care and feeding to keep glowing, so the company is working on ways to keep the lights on longer. At this point, says Rey, they have one system that lasts for six days and another that works like a fish tank: “As soon as you feed the system, the bacteria will produce light,” she says.

Glowee’s lights can take on any shape, from the standard streetlight to a window sticker, so the company has let its imagination run free with possible applications. The lights’ current limited lifespan makes them well suited for events or festivals. In addition, some French shop owners, prohibited from illuminating signs or window displays in the middle of the night due to light pollution and energy-use concerns, are looking forward to applying bioluminescent stickers to their windows.

Ultimately, Rey has grander plans for bioluminescent lights. “For us, the biggest opportunity is to create networks of these living lights in the streets of tomorrow,” she says.

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Some high-casualty natural disasters come without any advanced warning while other come with advanced Used to detect a change in the gasses that a volcano emits which can be predictive of an Hopefully this helped some, I know its long but there are a lot natural disasters (in fact I didn't

Many animals , insects, and birds are also particularly sensitive to Rayleigh waves, a type of surface wave that travels along solid ground. After the initial rupture, the waves would have traveled through the earth’s crust from the epicenter, causing minute vibrations. The waves are inaudible and travel at ten

Sure, improvements in energy efficiency may help contain lighting’s environmental footprint. But to light up regions of the world that still lack access to electricity, we need big leaps forward in ecofriendly light. Rey may have just plucked one answer straight out of the ocean.

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web Computer scientists and engineers at the University of Washington have created a sensor package small enough to ride aboard a bumblebee. ©Mark Stone/University of Washington

An Internet of bees

Bumblebees carrying location-tracking and sensor-laden “backpacks” might someday replace the drones that farmers use to monitor their fields. Engineers at the University of Washington found that instead of bulky equipment that needs frequent recharging, they could equip insects with tiny yet powerful devices to do the job.

Other researchers have tried to create completely robotic insects, but those miniature robots struggle to fly in turbulent conditions and are limited by power from a tiny battery. The UW team has instead harnessed the bees’ mechanics rather than try to copy them. Thanks to evolution, insects have already worked out how to navigate in a range of conditions, and they can power themselves.

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web

To make bumblebees work as precision agricultural tools, the engineers were able to load sensors, data storage, receivers for location tracking, and a rechargeable battery into a 102-milligram package. As the bees go about their everyday activity, the sensors measure temperature and humidity, and their position is tracked via radio signal. When they go back to the hive, the data are uploaded and the battery recharges wirelessly.

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In April 2018, a major storm hit Ontario, bringing torrential rain, an inch of ice and wind gusts up to 60 miles an hour. More than half a million people lost power. Within four days, Hydro One—Ontario’s largest distribution utility—restored power to its customers’ homes and businesses.

That’s the question explored by NATURE ’s Can Animals Predict Disaster ? In interviews with scientists and eyewitnesses, NATURE probes the evidence that some animals may have senses that allow them to predict impending natural disasters long before we can.

The team refers to its technology as Living IoT (for Internet of Things), and it envisions a network of sensors that leverages biology for new environmental monitoring possibilities—letting nature

be the guide.

Animals and plants help engineers light up cities, detect explosives, and predict natural disastors © Provided by The Next Web Modest ruminants: Goats live year-round on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily. The animals have a keen instinct for what’s happening inside the volcano. ©Lorenzo Blangiardi via Flickr CC

Sheep and goats that predict volcanic eruptions

The Roman author Aelian wrote of an amazing phenomenon in Greece that occurred five days before a large earthquake struck in 373 B.C. Mice, martens, snakes, and other creatures curiously fled town, he recorded.

As a high-school student, zoologist Martin Wikelski translated ancient Greek and Roman texts. This is how he first came across the idea that animals might have an innate ability to sense impending disaster.

Wikelski now directs the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space—the ICARUS initiative—out of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. He’s made a name for himself attaching GPS tags to animals large and small to see what their collective behavior might reveal. Among other phenomena, he’s shown that the presence of white storks can signify locust outbreaks and that the location and body temperature of mallards can portend the spread of avian influenza in humans.

Now he’s looking to goats to see if the ancients’ theory that animals “know” about imminent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions holds water. Sure, it’s still a controversial idea, but perhaps 24/7 data collection around big events could provide scientific credence one way or another.

Driver missing after explosives truck blows up near Sandstone in outback Western Australia

Driver missing after explosives truck blows up near Sandstone in outback Western Australia A search is underway for missing 67-year-old Tony Hickey whose explosives truck caught fire and blew up near Sandstone in Western Australia's Mid West region, with police unable to find him at the scene.

Natural disasters have being wrecking havoc on innocent people's livelihoods for centuaries. Asking whether it's possible to predict disasters . If it is possible, it could possibly save lives. It will be great and possibly save lives. Your help will be noted.

Not all natural disasters can be prevented. By reducing the amount of impervious surface through city and local planning, flash flooding can be prevented or at the very least lessen impacts.

Immediately after a powerful earthquake shook Norcia, Italy, in 2016, Wikelski outfitted farm animals near the epicenter with collars to see if they behaved differently in advance of aftershocks. Each collar housed both a GPS tracking device and an accelerometer. With this around-the-clock monitoring, he says, you can observe what “normal” behavior is and look for deviations from that.

In Italy, Wikelski and his team measured that the animals collectively increased their body accelerations over background levels hours before earthquakes struck. He observed “warning times” of between 2 and 18 hours, with longer times corresponding to more-distant epicenters. He is in the process of publishing more details on his findings.

Moving forward, he’s interested in better understanding the mechanism by which animals perceive these natural phenomena. If it’s simply that animals are very sensitive to the earth’s shaking, he says, seismologists would have already solved earthquake prediction. Instead, rocks under high stress before a quake force charged particles out of the minerals. “There’s a charge in the air,” he says, “and that’s possibly what the animals are sensing.”

Further, Wikelski wants to tap into a larger network of tagged animals around the Ring of Fire. He wants to understand behavior patterns of different animals in the wild and see which “sensors” are better at predicting natural disasters. He’s applied for a patent for a disaster-alert system based on animals’ collective aberrant behavior relative to a baseline.

As human activity impinges on animals around the world, Wikelski hopes that his emerging “Internet of animals” offers even more reason to care for them. The insights they can provide, he’s discovering, may prove more valuable than ever.

This article was originally published on Anthropocene Magazine by Lindsey Doermann. She is a science writer based in Seattle.

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