Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:
- New ways of fighting mosquitoes: According to Bill Gates, mosquito represents the deadliest animal in the world, responsible for 750,000 human deaths each year. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded numerous research studies focusing on this global problem and new ways of fighting it. Since females mosquitoes can usually lay eggs on modest sips of nectar obtained from flowers or ripe fruit, one research project by scientists from Hebrew University in Jerusalem uses this fact to poison them too. The research team lead by Dr. Schlein created a series of nectar poisons known as Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits, which are inexpensive, easy to make and also environmentally friendly. As part of their project, these test baits were able to reduce mosquito populations in Israel and in West Africa by up to 90 percent. They actually almost eliminated older females, which are the most dangerous to humans. Only female mosquitoes bite humans, and older they get-higher chance that they have already picked up malaria, dengue or another infectious diseases from one human and can pass it on other humans.
- A portable green living cell designed by students: Renewable Energy and Ecological Design (REED) students from Vermont’s Green Mountain College have recently designed OTIS, a tiny portable home of only 70 square feet. OTIS, which stands for Optimal Traveling Independent Space was both designed and built by a group of sixteen students. It has an aerodynamic, pod-shaped design, intended to be towed on a standard 5 by 8 foot trailer and a four-cylinder vehicle. It’s equipped with a rainwater collection system feeding into the plumbing system, with a 120-watt solar panel system supplying the home with electricity, and with a composting toilet to handle human waste.