From their central position, the turbine
wings can move 40 degrees to either
side thanks to the flexible hinges.
Flapping up and rotating, the wing
follows a figure eight pattern.
The figure eight pattern allows the
wind to flow optimally around the wing,
ensuring optimum wind energy generation.
The flapping wings attach to gears,
and generate energy in the turbine.
Flapping winds harvest
The wings are mounted on flexible
hinges, allowing the turbine to harvest
energy, as the wings flap up and down
like a bird’s.
MEDICINE Swedish scientists have grown
spider silk reminiscent of the real thing, which
is flexible, super strong, and biodegradable.
The scientific break-through came, when the
scientists combined silk genes from two
different spider species, and loaded the genes
into bacteria which mass-produce the silk
proteins. The artificial spider web has huge
potential. It can be used for wound suture,
repairing and splicing
injured nerves, and
for producing new
types of lightweight
packaging. Best of all,
it's not plastic.
ASTRONOMY According to
an analysis of a rare meteorite
from Mars, the Red Planet is
home to a volcano which
remained active over two billion
years, making it the oldest in
the Solar System.
Geologists have analysed the
make-up of isotopes in a 200 g
Martian meteorite discovered in
Algeria in 2012. The meteorite
was ejected into space after an
asteroid impact in a volcano or
in a lava field about one million
years ago, eventually ending up
on Earth. Scientists have
discovered a total of 11
meteorites with the same
chemical make-up, indicating
that they are from the same
Martian volcano. The youngest
of the other meteorites is only
327 million years old, whereas
the meteorite from Algeria is 2.
billion years old. That means an
age span of about two billion
years – and at least two billion
years of volcanic activity on Mars.
Scientists produce artificial spider web
Scientists have made bacteria produce a super strong
and flexible silk with many possible uses.
A 2.4-billion-year-old meteorite
indicates that Mars has been
volcanically active for 2 billion years.
The United Arab Emirates
believes that by this date, it
will have designed, launched
and successfully established
a colony on Mars.
Mars has the
LENA HOLM/SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
Artificial spider web can
absorb lots of energy and
stretch without bursting
making it an ideal material
for car airbags.
Editor: Karine Kirkebæk
TYER WIND, SHUTTERSTOCK & CLAUS LUNAU
scienceillustrated.com.au | 11