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3 Technologies that Shook the World – Science & Technology

3 Technologies that Shook the World

Science & Technology

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1. Self-fertilizing crops

Biological Nitrogen Fixation

  • The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into the nitrogenous compounds through the agency of living organisms is called biological nitrogen fixation. The process is carried out by two main types of microorganism: those which live in close symbiotic association with other plants and those which are “free living” or non-symbiotic. 

  • Fertilizer runoff from farms can leach into local watersheds, contaminate ecosystems and is a major contributor to the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone
  • For corn farmers, a nitrogen-rich fertilizer is sprayed on newly planted seeds and as the corn is growing. Without this process, their harvests and health of their crop would suffer.
  • To create a self-fertilizing corn plant, Pivot Bio researchers looked to bacteria that were already present on corn roots that had the ability to create nitrogen for the plants encoded in their genes.
  • However, the bacteria’s nitrogen genes became dormant over time because of farmers using fertilizer in their fields.
  • After the corn plants had a chance to take advantage of any beneficial microbes in the soil, the researchers ground up the roots of the plant and created a microbial treatment that creates its own nitrogen using gene editing technology to rewrite gene expression of the bacteria.

2. 3D-printed houses

What is a 3D printed house? 

  • Houses that are designed and built using construction technologies that use the 3D printing method are known as 3D printed homes. 
  • 3D printed homes are faster to build and are superior to the traditionally constructed structures in many ways.

India’s first 3D printed house

  • Created by Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, a start-up founded by the alumni of IIT-Madras, this 3D-printed house overcomes the pitfalls of conventional construction. 
  • The process of building a 3D-printed Tvasta house is not just different but a lot quicker than conventional construction. 
  • It is built with focus on reduced build-time, zero-waste construction and optimised production. 
  • To start with, the structure was printed using a special concrete mix through which large-scale 3D structures were made.

3. Metaverse

  • It can be defined as a simulated 3 D digital environment that uses Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.
  • This ‘extended reality’ is predicted to be the next evolution of the internet and will blur the lines between physical and digital life.

Main metaverse components

  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • 3D reconstruction
  • Internet of Everything (IoE)
  • Blockchain technology

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