Scientists Create Plants That Emit Light

Led by Pavlo Gordiichuk, engineers at MIT have devised a way for plants to emit rechargeable light. The research around this concept stems from an emerging field called “plant nanobionics,” which explores the power of plants when modified with nanoparticles. To create the plant-based lighting, researchers assembled a capacitor (the part of an electrical circuit that stores electricity) to hold light and gradually release it …

Elephants Contribute to the Fight Against Climate Change

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that elephants—some of the last remaining megaherbivores in rainforests—are crucial to protecting the planet. Analyzing the animals’ feeding habits in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo and LuiKotale, researchers discerned that elephants are picky eaters whose choices aid the capture of carbon. They tend to opt for leaves from …

A Robot That Melts and Reforms

Researchers have devised a robot that can liquefy and then reform—an characteristic inspired by sea cucumbers that rapidly change their stiffness. The shape-shifting invention can move between liquid and solid states by making clever use of materials. It’s composed of a metal with a low-melting point called gallium which researchers then embedded with magnets to control movement. Through the process of induction the robot melts …