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  • Article: How IoT And AI Can Enable Environmental Sustainability
    Leveraging AI and IoT for environmental sustainability can help maximize our current efforts for environmental protection. According to a 2018 report by Intel, 74% of 200 business decision-makers in environmental sustainability agreed that AI would help solve environmental problems. https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/09/04/how-iot-and-ai-can-enable-environmental-sustainability/#6fd63f6468df
  • Video Resource: Food Sovereignty Stories
    What is food sovereignty and what does it look like in the United States? Food sovereignty can take on unique meanings in different communities, but it always puts questions of power, control, and social justice at the heart of food and farming. Food Sovereignty Stories is a series of videos from social movements in the United States working towards a more just and sustainable food system. These films explore issues of farm justice, migrant rights, feminism, radical urban agriculture, fighting the extractive economy, Indigenous cosmovision and farm justice, amongst others critical issues. Hear diverse perspectives on food sovereignty in this US Food Sovereignty Alliance video resource. http://usfoodsovereigntyalliance.org/food-sovereignty-stories-video/
  • Video: Soft Robot based on Honeycomb Pneumatic Networks
    The SoftRobot group of Multi-agent System Lab, is focused on making better soft manipulators. Imitating the plants, our team make a pneumatic soft manipulator with structure of Honeycomb PneuNet(HPN). By modifying the movement of nature flexible organisms and using a model-free machine learning method, we aim to develop a suitable control method for the robot, which can suit the different environments and grasp various objects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoKHcbz-ieM
  • Video: Tending the Wild: Living Desert
    The desert is a unique and highly fragile environment that is culturally valuable to Native communities. Despite appearing barren, the desert supports a wide swath of life: plants, animals, humans, and cultural practices. But the desert has also been seen as a location prime for urban development and large-scale extractive industries such as mining, wind, and solar energy development. In the past few years, these industries have expanded in the Mojave desert and had devastating impacts on the delicate environment and the Native cultures dependent on them. In this video, we explore how Native peoples continue to live in the desert and how they are confronting threats to their environment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOhdwKOO0Y0
  • Article and Video: Robotic ray is part animal, part machine
    Kevin Kit Parker wants to build a human heart. His young daughter loves the New England Aquarium in Boston. In this Science report, father’s and daughter’s obsessions have combined in an unlikely creation: a nickel-sized artificial stingray whose swimming is guided by light and powered by rat heart muscle cells. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/07/robotic-stingray-powered-light-activated-muscle-cells?utm_source=general_public&utm_medium=youtube&utm_campaign=vid-ray-bot-5572
  • Article and Video: The Importance of Food Sovereignty
    and food production are fundamentally important to Native communities’ health, well-being, economic resilience, cultural heritage and self-preservation. Restoring food sovereignty to Native communities requires the re-introduction of indigenous food production, distribution practices and infrastructure. Food sovereignty initiatives empower tribal members living on the reservations to grow their own healthy, fresh produce, ease low food insecurity and prevent heart disease and type II diabetes. Farm Together Now recently teamed up with the National Family Farm Coalition to make a video about Via Campesina's seven principles of food sovereignty. The video features members of the NFFC from across the country. https://www.diverseelders.org/2019/05/14/the-importance-of-food-sovereignty/
  • Article: Cornell Scientists Create Lifelike Biomachines That Eat, Grow And Race Competitively
    It's not quite Skynet, but scientists have created "lifelike" machines seem like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Researchers from Cornell University has crafted what they call artificial machines using synthetic DNA that can move on their own, grow, evolve, consume resources and eventually die. https://hothardware.com/news/cornell-scientists-create-lifelike-biomachines-evolve
  • Article: Gardening Advice from Indigenous Food Growers
    Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19’s disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration. https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-06-03/gardening-advice-from-indigenous-food-growers/
  • Article: Bio-inspired Bug Eye Camera | Artificial Compound Eye
    In this study, University of Colorado researchers combined elastomeric compound optical elements with deformable arrays of thin silicon photodetectors into integrated sheets that can be elastically transformed from the planar geometries in which they are fabricated to hemispherical shapes for integration into apposition cameras. https://www.colorado.edu/lab/xiao/bio-inspired-bug-eye-camera-artificial-compound-eye
  • Article: How Synthetic Biology Can Help the Environment
    Most environmental science is focused on how to turn back the clock, not push it forward, says Ben Bostick, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “We think about how we can roll back our footprint, and not so much about how can we make our footprint bigger in a positive way,” he said. “But there are many examples of synthetic biology that I think actually have a lot of potential in the environment. Think of how we can help our environment just by doing things like improving the materials we make using synthetic biology.” https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/08/14/synthetic-biology-help-environment/
  • Article: How to build a bio-bot: Researchers share design and development of biological machines
    Creating tiny muscle-powered robots that can walk or swim by themselves—or better yet, when prompted—is more complicated than it looks. Rashid Bashir, the head of the bioengineering department at the University of Illinois, and Taher Saif, a professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois, will speak in Boston on the design and development of walking and swimming bio-bots at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. https://phys.org/news/2017-02-bio-bot-biological-machines.html
  • Article: Meet “Chirocopter”: A drone that flies within swarms of bats
    Wildlife biologists have put drones to work counting whales, checking bird nests, and nabbing poachers. Now, they’ve designed a drone that can hover within fast-flowing swarms of bats as they zip across a darkened nighttime sky. The drone—or “Chirocopter” (named after Chiroptera, the scientific name for bats)—is equipped with a microphone to record echolocation chirps (sounds that bats use to navigate) and a thermal camera that can “see” bats by detecting their body heat. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/03/meet-chirocopter-drone-flies-within-swarms-bats
  • Article: Not bot, not beast: scientists create first ever living, programmable organism
    A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world’s first “living robots”. This week, a research team of roboticists and scientists published their recipe for making a new lifeform called xenobots from stem cells. The term “xeno” comes from the frog cells (Xenopus laevis) used to make them. https://theconversation.com/not-bot-not-beast-scientists-create-first-ever-living-programmable-organism-129980
  • Article: The Solution to Food Insecurity is Food Sovereignty
     The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing many to recognize the importance and urgency of food sovereignty - the right of people to determine their own food and agricultural systems and their right to produce and consume healthy and culturally appropriate food. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/solution-food-insecurity-food-sovereignty-200425143803134.html
  • Article: What Is Food Sovereignty?
    One in nine people worldwide are undernourished today. Farmers, fishers, farm workers, and others along the food chain are especially at risk for going hungry. At the same time, world agricultural systems are more productive than they’ve ever been, producing more than enough food to feed everyone. The problem isn’t lack of food, but who has the power and resources to access and control food. Food sovereignty holds that all people, from food producers and harvesters to consumers, have the right to reclaim their power in the food system, by rebuilding relationships between people and the land, and between those who produce food and those who eat it. https://nffc.net/what-we-do/food-sovereignty/
  • BIOSTEAM FEATURED ARTIST: Ana MacArthur
    "As a cross-disciplinary light and environmental artist, Ana MacArthur is interested in functioning as a creative catalyst, by excavating nature’s processes and connected metaphors through the specific lenses of life’s relationship to light, environmental intelligence, and appropriate technology."
  • Experiment: Designer Ears Make “better” ears!
    Why do animals’ ears look different from yours? What would life be like if your ears were shaped differently? Make new ears for yourself and find out. Try out this quick activity to prototype an idea.
  • Ivan Henriques: Bio-machine/Jurema Action Plant
    Electromagnetic variations trigger movement of the robotic structure, on which the plant is situated, by means of a custom-made circuit board. The thresholds for response are set in such a way that only touching the plant makes it move away from the person touching it. https://www.mediamatic.net/en/page/52844/bio-machine
  • Natalie Jeremijenko: The Art of the Eco Mindshift
    Natalie Jeremijenko's unusual lab puts art to work, and addresses environmental woes by combining engineering know-how with public art and a team of volunteers. These real-life experiments include: Walking tadpoles, texting "fish," planting fire-hydrant gardens and more. https://www.ted.com/talks/natalie_jeremijenko_the_art_of_the_eco_mindshift?language=en
  • Resource: Biomimicry Global Design Challenge
    The science is clear and so is our imperative. To reverse course, we need a new generation of innovators who know how to create human materials, products, and systems that are regenerative, circular, and generous to all species. Are you ready to learn how to design generously through the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge? Our challenge is this: Create a nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that aligns with one or more Sustainable Development Goals, outlined by the United Nations. https://challenge.biomimicry.org/en/challenge/global-design-challenge-2020
  • Resource: Stories and Legends- Indigenous Food Systems Network
    Resource: Stories and legends can emphasize the value of Indigenous food related knowledge as well as roles, responsibilities and relationships between one another and the land, plants, and animals that provide us with our food. Sharing stories and legends will inspire and enable individuals and organizations to reflect and shift practices, and promote community food related action. Stories and legends can be told using a variety of traditional and contemporary media including: oral tradition (audio), digital video, creative writing and poetry, drama, cinema etc. Find out more in this story resource by Indigenous Food Systems Network. https://www.indigenousfoodsystems.org/story-or-legend
  • Video: Biobots- Snakebot, Batbot, and More Robots Inspired by Nature | WIRED
    Nature knows what it’s doing, and roboticists are more than happy to steal evolution’s ideas to make a plethora of curious and clever machines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDeR1JYXSy0
  • Video: North America's Original Cuisine - Foodways with Jessica Sanchez, Episode 8
    In a remote corner of Colorado known as Dunton Hot Springs, Executive Chef Karlos Baca is educating guests on the meaning of indigenous cuisine. Using the bounty of the land such as bison and foraged forest ingredients, chef Baca continues to carry on the traditions of his ancestors not only through his cooking, but by emulating the meaning of the phrase "sun dancer." Check out this Foodways video by Zagat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAvPUBS3EFg
  • Video: Soft autonomous earthworm robot at MIT
    Earthworms creep along the ground by alternately squeezing and stretching muscles along the length of their bodies, inching forward with each wave of contractions. Snails and sea cucumbers also use this mechanism, called peristalsis, to get around, and our own gastrointestinal tracts operate by a similar action, squeezing muscles along the esophagus to push food to the stomach. Now researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is remarkably resilient: Even when stepped upon or bludgeoned with a hammer, the robot is able to inch away, unscathed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXkf62qGFII
  • Video: Tending the Wild- Gathering Medicine
     Indigenous peoples in California relied on traditional gathering to provide for all of their food and medicinal needs. California's landscapes produce hundreds of indigenous plant species that have been used thousands of years prior to European contact. And many of these plants and their preparations as medicine informed modern pharmacopeia, most notably aspirin, which is derived from the bark of the willow tree. Native herbalism continues to be relevant today. There is a resurgence of traditional medicinal practices in Native communities and a growing interest in this knowledge in popular culture. In this video, we explore how Native herbalism is practiced today and how a holistic approach to health and the environment can inform healthy living. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbbcok8Lzs0
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