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Maker Faire New York: Studying Evolution with Robots

John Long's Robots

Vassar college Professor John H. Long is a marine biologist, by training, and, now, a roboticist by trade. Essentially, he builds robot populations closely modeled on extinct (and living) fish, and then subjects them to simulated evolutionary pressure—to hype it up a bit, he "pits them against each other"—to learn... Read more »

Maker Faire New York: Using Microbes to Etch PCBs


Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans is a gram-negative bacterium that lives, in the natural world, in iron sulfide (aka "pyrite," aka "fool's gold) deposits, where it eats iron and sulfur and excretes sulfuric acid. Now, a team of graduates, undergraduates, and post-docs at New York's Columbia and Cooper Union universities is working to... Read more »

Cypress Hill Played Through a Squid’s Fin

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Cephalopods like squid and octopuses have¬†color-changing cells called chromatophores, which enable them to blend into their surroundings to hide from predators and prey. Chromatophores can be triggered by electrical signals, so watch what happens when the folks at Backyard Brains play music through a squid fin. The song selection is... Read more »