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Vancouver Hosts a Green Olympics

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As the 2010 Winter Olympics wrap up, it’s time we recognized some of the achievements in Vancouver, and we’re not talking about gold medal performances. The Canadian city is notable for its efforts to set new standards of sustainability by making this year’s games the greenest yet.

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Earth’s Largest Classroom

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These days, living inside a bubble is beginning to look more and more attractive. South Korea is planning to construct a series of giant eco domes that mimic the world’s ecosystems while providing a place for scientists and regular citizens to study the environment.

We’ve written about smog-eating cement and vertical farms, but now, green buildings may have the ability to recreate entire ecological environments. Designed by SAMOO Architects and Engineers, the Ecorium Project spans 33,000 square meters and will feature an education center, a wild plant area, a wetland reserve, an environmentally-focused think tank, and a large system of interconnected greenhouses.

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Engineers Learn from Slime Molds

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The slime mold, a type of single-celled amoeboid organism, looks to be more of a smartypants than scientists previously thought. Why? Because these gooey blobs are actually capable of growing sophisticated networks in order to feed themselves. In experiments where slime molds were exposed to an array of food sources (think: a scattering of crumbs or cereal), they showed an unexpected ability to grow very efficient connections between feeding hubs. These web-like structures (you can view them here) even mimicked modern transportation networks, like the Tokyo subway system.

Engineers are now searching for this special “slime formula”, which could make it easier to design a variety of networks (from public transportation to the internet) more efficiently.

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eGFI@: Discover Engineering Family Day

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This past Saturday we at eGFI were fortunate enough to take part in Discover Engineering Family Day in Washington, D.C. Thousands of people flocked to the National Building Museum for fun engineering activities, cool gadget demos, and free popcorn (!). If you didn’t get a chance to go, you can still check out our photos in the slideshow.

Oh and congrats to our iPod Touch raffle winner, Andy Turets!

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Mosquito-Blasting Laser Gun Unveiled

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Malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease, kills between one and three million people annually. Although both treatable and preventable, it still claims the lives of more than about 2 children every minute (most of them from poverty-stricken areas of Africa).

To fight this serious epidemic, Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures Lab has designed a mosquito-killing laser gun. The device, made from spare parts found on Ebay, has the ability to track mosquitoes in flight and shoot them down with a precise death-ray. [Video after the jump]

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