Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:31 am
By Michaeleen Doucleff
Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Credit Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech
Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.
A practical joke? No, not in the least.
Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.
There's some disturbing news out today about a disease we don't hear about much these days: gonorrhea. Federal health officials announced that the sexually transmitted infection is getting dangerously close to being untreatable.