New Low-Cost Material Can Pull Buckets of Drinking Water from the Air
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin developed a low-cost gel film that can pull multiple liters of drinking water from the air—even in arid conditions—and release it easily. The material is made up of two common and inexpensive ingredients: konjac gum and cellulose. The gum’s porous structure attracts water from the air, while the cellulose, when responding to gentle heat, turns hydroponic and releases the captured water. Because the ingredients are affordable (the film costs as little as $2 per kilogram) and the process (which involves mixing the components, setting them in a mold and then freeze-drying them) is relatively simple, it’s a major development that could provide vital water to remote and under-resourced areas. Learn more about it at New Atlas.
Image courtesy of University of Texas at Austin
A Healthcare Delivery App That Benefits Nurses and Patients
In Mexico City and Bogotá, residents can order healthcare services—namely clinical lab tests for pregnancy, STIs and COVID-19 as well as vaccinations—through an app called Rappi, which directs a nurse to the user’s home to perform the required task. Tests are then taken to the lab and results are received within the next 24 hours. Born during the pandemic, the app offers direct business-to-consumer services at a critical time when people have had to stay at home. Not only does this model benefit patients, who receive quick, efficient medical care, but it also benefits workers. Unlike typical delivery services, which see gig workers in precarious positions and receiving low salaries with few benefits, Rappi offers opportunities for full-time employment with clear, demarcated hours. “For medical workers like us,” says one nurse from Rappi, “it’s very fulfilling to be closer to the patients in times like these.” Learn more about the app and its beneficial labor model at Rest of World.
Image courtesy of Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto/Getty Images
It’s Nice That’s Print Sale For Ukraine
London-based creative platform It’s Nice That has launched an online print sale with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. More than 15 artists and designers took part in the project (including Jean Jullien, Lily Kong, Mona Chalabi, Naomi Anderson-Subryan, Ram Han and more) and all of them provided their work free of charge. These museum-quality giclée prints, set on heavy-duty Hahnemühle photo rag, are £40 unframed or £70 framed. Peruse and buy the affordable works at It’s Nice That.
Image courtesy of Ram Han
Biodegradable At-Home COVID Tests
Over the past couple of years, we’ve become accustomed to seeing face masks and rapid at-home COVID tests thrown in the trash. In fact, every at-home test results in approximately 10 grams of plastic that’s destined for landfill. To counter this, London-based studio Morrama has designed the Eco-Flo—a biodegradable and recyclable iteration—that aims to drastically reduce waste and provide a more user-friendly experience. The prototype, designed by Morrama’s founder and creative director, Jo Barnard, is made from recyclable paper pulp, comes in a biodegradable sachet and calls for saliva-based testing—meaning no more nasal swabs. “The test kit was wildly reinvented to be more user-friendly and accessible, too: no more verbose leaflets, painful nose swabs, and faint pink lines that can’t be deciphered by low-vision people,” writes Elissaveta M Brandon for Fast Company. Find out more there.
Image courtesy of Morrama
Jeff Koons’ New Project Will Land on The Moon
For his first entry into the NFT space, Jeff Koons will send sculptures to the moon. The project, called Jeff Koons: Moon Phases, is slated to launch (literally from the Kennedy Space Center) later this year thanks to a collaboration between the artist, NFMoon, 4Space and Pace Gallery. Each moon-destined physical sculpture has a one-of-a-kind NFT counterpart that is available for purchase. Koons says in a statement, “I’ve always enjoyed the idea of creating a global art, art that really is about every human being’s aspiration to have a more fulfilling life. To be able to touch on meaning, what it means to be a human being.” The works, which have yet to be unveiled, are destined for the moon’s largest mare (a lunar plain), Oceanus Procellarum. Read more at NFT Now.
Image courtesy of NASA