Man Grows Furniture, Art From Living Trees

It’s called arborsculpture, and Richard Reames has been doing it for years. He plants trees in patterns, and uses bending and grafting techniques to form the saplings into benches, staircases, sculptures, and an assortment of other amazing living things.

I believe that if enough people put their minds to using living trees, we can learn to grow houses. I believe that if we put our minds to it, like going to the moon, there’s no reason we couldn’t all be living in houses where the walls and ceilings are composed of living tree material and there are leaves coming out of the roof. We could accomplish this in one generation. We’d build doorways and windows that the trees would grow around, and also plumbing and electrical conduits. The trees would just swallow all the pipes. We’re going to call this “arbortecture.”

You’ve just got to see the pictures in this article!

Scientists Regrow Damaged Nerve Cells in Rats

In an amazing new discovery (ScienceDaily), Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan have been able to regrow damaged nerve cells in lab rats. The researchers used an enzyme called sialidase from bacteria to treat the rats’ spinal cords.

There is hope that the proceedure will also work on other types of spinal cord injuries.
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How to Train Your Husband Like a Dolphin

A brilliant animal trainer named Amy Sutherland has been using animal training techniques on her husband with great results!

She’s learned how to train wild animals, and is applying the same techniques to her husband Scott. She says her marriage is happier and smoother than it was before, and best of all, she doesn’t have to nag!

I hope this one helps smooth over a few rough marriages!

Super Efficient House Uses 800 Watt Hours/Day

The Treehugger website is running some good news on an ultra-efficient model home.

This house has the conveniences of a modern house, but consumes only 800Whr on average per day. Compare this to a typical U.S. suburban house that uses 45 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. How is this reduction possible? It’s through the strategic use of ultra-efficient appliances, daylighting, and green design principles for temperature control and ventilation.

The house also automatically turns off computer peripherals when not in use.

Twofer of Machine/Brain Interfaces

The ever quickening pace of technology is leading to more and more good news! The first bit is a great story from New Scientist.

cyborg illustration by Renegade Zen

A man named Matt Nagle controls a computer cursor by ‘thinking’ about it much like you would ‘think’ about moving your arm, despite being totally paralyzed. A brain implant the size of a pill with 96 electrodes allows the man to control the computer or a robotic arm through a system developed by the company Cyberkinetics.

The second bit of good neuroscience news comes from Wired magazine, and is all about a wild new DARPA project called the “cortically coupled computer vision system” or C3 Vision. The system uses an electrode cap to pick up the ‘aha!’ signal that your brain generates when it sees something interesting. As images flicker past the user, the ones that generate the ‘aha!’ signal are saved for later inspection by the user.

There are many commercial applications in military and law enforcement/security sectors, but one could imagine all sorts of other novel uses for the technology such as culling good designs from bad ones.

Readers of TAG will remember the story last month about Japan’s bionic hand

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