This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 29, 2020

Living Building Materials

Imagine a building material as strong as concrete that contains photosynthetic microbes and can even reproduce. That is just what a team of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder has created.

The Past is Not Equal to the Future
Buildings have been constructed using concrete the same way for literally thousands of years. Since ancient times, humans have mixed materials like sand with different binding substances.

Scientists discover Living Concrete
Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has created a new kind of concrete. This innovative material is actually alive and can even reproduce itself. In this creation process, cyanobacteria, a common class of microbes, deposit the minerals in the new material; moreover, the bacteria help to capture energy through photosynthesis. The activity of photosynthesis absorbs carbon dioxide; plus, the method of making ordinary concrete produces large amounts of greenhouse gas.

Bonus Benefits
Not surprisingly, due to the photosynthetic bacteria the material starts out green; as it dries, it turns light brown. Second, due to the biology of the new concrete, it virtually heals its own cracks. Finally, their process is positioned around bacteria: using them to build the concrete and keeping them alive so they make more when needed.

Announced to the world in a peer-reviewed journal
Described recently in the journal Matter, the new concrete is one of the first of a new class of low-carbon, designer construction materials. To create this living building material, the scientists began by putting cyanobacteria in a mixture of warm water, sand and nutrients. The microbes readily absorbed light and began producing calcium carbonate, slowly binding the sand particles together. But the process was too gradual for the project's funder, Darpa, the speculative research arm of the United States Department of Defense. The sponsor wanted the creation to go faster. That push from Darpa made all the difference.

The Secret Ingredient
Having previously worked with gelatin, Dr. Wil Srubar an engineer with the University of Colorado, Boulder knew that when dissolved in water and cooled, the substance forms special bonds between its molecules. Most important, gelatin can be used at moderate temperatures that are easy on the bacteria. Srubar suggested adding gelatin to strengthen the bonds being built by the bacteria; the team bought Knox brand gelatin at a local supermarket and added it into the solution with the bacteria. Then they poured the new mixture into molds and stuck it in a refrigerator; the gelatin provided more structure, making the living concrete grow stronger and faster.

A Building Material for the Space Age
Darpa is particularly interested in the reproductive ability of these LBMs---Living Building Materials for construction in remote and austere environments. Not only might LBMs help in environments harsher than even the driest deserts, but they are ideal to take into space and even to other planets, like Mars.

Find more information in the journal article published in Matter.


© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or https://hermangroup.com. To sign up, visit https://HermanTrendAlert.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

HOW DOES SHE DO IT?
Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for ExpertClick.com. You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @ http://www.ExpertClick.com/Discount.

APF'S FUTURES FESTIVAL IN 3 DAYS: ONLINE OCTOBER 24TH: FULL SPECTRUM FUTURES
The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

OUR VERSATILE TRANSLATOR ROCKS!
Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at marianalesti515@gmail.com or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web: https://hermangroup.com/alert/archive_10-21-2020.html.


Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.


Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]

 

7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566
E-mail: info@hermangroup.com


  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.