The World Has a Fertilizer Problem. Bioengineered Corn Could Save Us Multiple scientists are working to grow corn that can fertilize itself, bypassing the need for nitrogen-based products responsible for polluting the environment.
This Small Island Is Taking on a Big Problem — Climate Change A grassroots movement on Mount Desert Island aims to achieve energy independence by 2030, and improve efficiencies in the island’s buildings, transportation, food systems, and waste streams.
Can Factories Become Good for the Environment? Some barons of industry are building factories that give more to the planet than they take away, saving money and creating more productive spaces for workers in the process.
In Puerto Rico, Innovative Solar Projects Aid Kids in Need Two separate groups are working in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico to install systems that run on solar power and provide clean water and electricity to neglected communities.
Solar Developers are Transforming Vast Energy Farms Into Pollinator Habitats. Seeding industrial-sized solar power installations with native, pollinator-friendly plants is cheaper than gravel or grass and provides important forage for wild pollinators and honeybees.
Lab-Grown Turkey Is on the Table for Future Thanksgivings Cellular agriculture combines the latest advances in tissue-engineering, material sciences, bioengineering and synthetic biology to make animal products from the cell up.
How 139 Countries Could Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 A detailed road map shows how wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower would reduce energy consumption, decrease deaths from air pollution, create millions of jobs, and stabilize energy prices.
A.I. Computers Should Be Named as Inventors on Patents A lawyer proposes that creative computers be elevated from the role of sophisticated tools to that of inventors, which could encourage researchers to develop more A.I.
A Free Uber-Like App Finds Rides for People in Rural Areas The open-source app, LibreTaxi, is bringing ride-sharing to places Uber and Lyft can’t service. The cars don’t have to be new and payments are made in cash.
She Heard the Call of Wolves Mexican wolves are feared, hated, and imperiled, and have been at the center of a roiling controversy between people who want to save the animal and those who want it eliminated. Jean Ossorio, 75, has seen more of these predators than almost anyone.
Brain Implant Helps ‘Locked-In’ ALS Woman Communicate A brain-controlled interface, or BCI, could give people with locked-in syndrome a way to communicate in everyday life and the freedom to move inside and outside their homes.
Wasted Bread Is Being Brewed Into Craft Beer Inspired by a 7,000-year-old practice of making beer from fermented bread, a modern-day brewery, called Toast Ale, aims to end bread waste by turning fresh, surplus loaves into craft beer.
New Pollution Map Offers Unprecedented View of City’s Air Quality More than 15,000 miles of pollution data could help everyone from policymakers to individuals make smarter choices about how to reduce pollution in Oakland.
How Black Soldier Fly Maggots Could Help Feed the World Using insect larvae to convert food waste into high-protein feed for animals is a burgeoning industry, and has quickly become a promising component of sustainable agriculture.
100,000 IoT Sensors Monitor a 1,400-Kilometer Canal in China A network of sensors installed along China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project track water quality and flow, watch for intruders, and detect structural damage.
Compare City Street Grids One Square Mile at a Time With this new visualization tool that depicts one square mile of a city’s street network, even a novice “cartophile” can see which cities were made for walking and which cities were made for driving.
Report Scores Cities to See if Technology Makes Them Safer Some of the safest cities in the world have made it a priority to invest in digital infrastructure and to support communities and law enforcement with tech-based initiatives.
Flying, On-demand Taxis Are Taking Off Lilium Aviation, based in Munich, Germany, is working on an electric aircraft that can be hailed with an app to zip passengers or cargo across congested cities, where driving short distances by car can take hours.
Soaring ‘SuperTowers’ Aim to Bring Mobile Broadband to Rural Areas One tethered, autonomous aerostat flying at 250 meters can provide coverage for up to 10,000 square kilometers, an area that would normally require between 20 and 30 cell phone towers.
Pop-up Wetlands Helping Migrating Shorebirds In California’s Sacramento Valley, farmers are temporarily flooding rice paddies to give migratory shorebirds a place to feed and rest as they travel between Alaska to Patagonia.
Modular Power Blocks Snap Together to Scale Up Energy Needs in Remote Areas Power-Blox is a distributed energy system made of 1.2 kilowatt-hour battery cubes that snap together LEGO-like to create micro-grids in rural areas.
Constellations of Internet Satellites Will Beam Broadband Everywhere Several companies are looking to the heavens to expand the web’s capacity and bring broadband coverage to everyone in the world, including the billions of people worldwide who lack it.