Biospheres TAOS–life in the Palm of your hand

A BEACH IN a BOTTLE – life in the Palm of your hand

Biospheres: what are they? Find a beach a genius or a message in bottle is normal narrative event. But finding contained in bottle instead a South Seas Beach, with its fine sand and the pasta shells, green algae and shrimp that DART alive and lively although sealed by years in there? It’s the reality of the BIO-SPHERE, total recycling, ecological, self-sustaining micro-environments enclosed with their water, air, shells, plants, everything, inside glass balls as big as bowling balls billiards or basketballs, or pyramids. Study on Shuttle and MIR for autonomy to full environmental cycle starbases, arrive at schools and homes to see, understand and experience vital balances. The New Age of Aquarius version: to keep them alive with just a bit of love and light.

At the press conference organized in 2000 in Milan for the presentation at Circle La Stampa  in Italy, talked about BIO-SPHERE and Beachworld:

  • Aldo ZULLINI
    Professor Zoology, Professor ecology and zoo-geography, Univ. Milan;
  • Maria Rita PARSI
    Psicoanimazione Professor, Department of social psychology, Univ. Florence;
  • Roberto LEONI
    Top Inspector Ministry Of Education;
  • Francis DALY 
    Provveditore agli Studi di Milano;
  • Sergio ANGELETTI 
    Member of the Academy of Sciences in New York.

The following are extracts of their speeches.

A LIVING WORLD in the PALM of YOUR HAND-Designed space, and for the health of the planet

In 1993 the two ‘ Biosferiani ‘ originating, Jane Poynter and her husband Taber MacCallum, were the main planners of the cultivated areas and analytical systems within the Biosphere 2: closed ecological system that worked for two years.
It is a steel frame (80 Km of pipes from the scaffold weighs 500 tonnes) and glass (6600 panels), built for Oracle in Arizona, an area of over an acre and a perimeter of 30 Km: contains scaling, and in proportion to each other, some terrestrial environments such as tropical rainforests, Savannah, desert , the swamp, intensive agriculture, the human habitat and the ‘ Ocean ‘, a tub of 25 meters deep with four million liters of sea water artificially synthesized. There are over 2000 species of animals and plants, not counting microbes.
Once completed the project Biosphere 2 the Poynter and MacCallum undertook research and design of miniature biospheres, conceived as scientific instruments for environmental tests and applications in space.
The solution of the draft “balanced self-sufficient ecosystem” that they have developed has thus resulted in the Biospheres ‘ laptops ‘.

8 months in space

Patented processes used to build them are the same ones used to create the Biospheres who have flown in space-a total of 8 months-on the Space Shuttle “Endeavor” (released on 19 may ‘ 96) from NASA and the Russian space station MIR.

The project Biosphere 2 shows that biorigenerativi systems materially closed (ABS-Autonomous biological systems) can be built successfully and that ‘ self ‘ for long periods of time. Also the scheme of these systems is very flexible and covers a wide range of applications, size and complexity, including systems designed exclusively for the support of human life. This has significant applications in two experimental areas of application:

-the development of an experimental tool for environmental research;

-the creation of bio-regenerative life support practice for use in difficult or remote locations: on our planet or outside it.

Environmental mathematics

Biosphere 2 is now being used as a tool to conduct research bio-geo-chemical and environmental in a way that had never been possible before. An extraordinary team of scientists-where you add up ecology specialists, analytical chemistry, aerospace engineering, to tackle so engaging and

dynamic environmental and spatial projects-is now working together on Biosphere 2, under the direction of Columbia University: Biosphere 2 provides a tightly controlled environment to study the natural processes that take place within a system biologically closed, whose components are mathematically quantify. The next step was to build small multiples of similar environments, the Bio-balls. This allows quantitative experiments and well-controlled studies (comparative) that can be several sets and can be compared to each other.

It’s sealed environments allowing bio-geo-chemical phenomena occurring within them to be quantified.

a Bio-sphere for model …

Small, identical multiple biospheres constitute a scientific instrument ductile. For example, changing a parameter in experimental biospheres operating 10 5, bio-geo-chemical effects and ecosystem of that variant can be studied in a comparative way.

Results that lend themselves to direct study through the use of multiple systems of biospheres include effects that occur from atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, the level of industrial pollution, the extinction and the introduction of a single species and effects of bio-diversity.

The reproducible of equal characteristics small constant biospheres is definitely one of the most fascinating and contentious issues. The idea of creating biospheres that ecologically are sufficiently similar to each other to have scientific value, even with biospheres of the greatness of a small room, it poses a fundamental problem in chaos theory.

Chaos and biospheres

It is also possible to create biospheres that converge in the same basic ecological structure, or they will diverge more and, given the chaotic dynamics of a complex biological system?

Determination of reproducible of complex biospheres, produced with rigorous, scientifically controlled methods and represents the last major step before the biosefere become a tool of science really effective.

Life support

All the basic components of a generative system of bio-life support were developed in labs around the world.

Biosphere 2 and the experiments conducted in Russia have shown that concepts in support of bio-regenerative life support system are actually feasible, although there is still the challenge to build and operate a fully functional system with humans inside for a long time. To be useful, these closed systems and semi-enclosed must be engineered for use in remote and hostile environments (on the planet and out of it) where the production of food, air and water recycling and waste reduction Act many practical benefits: deserts, orbiting star bases, settlements on the Moon, other planets.

The use of biospheres for environmental research and support of life creates a unique integration of many fields of science that would otherwise be separated. Chaos theory disciplines ranging from chemistry, medicine and biology are urged to bring their relevant contribution to the field of “Biosferic”. Although it is hard to imagine now, seven years ago the term Biosphere was far from everyday language.

As increasing application multiple disciplines, the Biosphere technology has the potential to become a unique field of study that integrates many disciplines otherwise separate: educational, scientific and cultural potential can begin now to be understood by all.


In Italy according to the latest ratings, you can count (1996) more than 25 millions of pets: over six million dogs, more than seven million cats, over 12 million birds. However, there are other multitudes of animals that live in the homes of Italians. In nearly five million families live well 25,500,000 fish. These are the most popular pets in our homes.

The great attention and attraction of aquariums is an important sign of the times that we are living. Most competent and dignified versions they are a representation of a natural environment. Can also be considered models of ecosystems. In ecology are in use terms “fine” to define aquariums set up to research and teaching: aquatic microcosms.

Aquatic microcosms

Experimental Biology tutorials, to DHS, the aquatic microcosms are the subject of many attentions. Even in the schools of other levels in aquariums and terrariums have admirably replaced, in scientific observations, the mundane trials they had, as protagonists, beans that germinated in the wet cotton wool or frogs to dissect. For environmental education, which requires a systemic approach, aquatic and terrestrial microcosms are a useful model that checks the relationships between the living components (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) of an ecosystem. Their degree of autonomy, and that is whether they can maintain a balance without an excessive energy intake, food, maintenance from outside is the goal that the top professionals and the most skilled amateurs, trying to reach.

The charm of Bio-balls

The fascination that these “biospheres” now arouse lies, in my opinion, in this characteristic of ‘ solar ‘ self-sufficiency.

With their success, will represent one of the many symptoms of profound changes that you can perceive, in society, in relation to the relationship between humans and animals. The idea of a self-sufficient microcosm or, at least, very little picky, may be important and reassuring. Like most aquaria, which in many cases have sedative effects are detected, but also a source of tension for all the attention they require.

The recommendations of the ecologist

The ecologist Eugene p. Odum had already recommended to use simple systems (as of glass containers placed in a climatic chamber under a good light source) filled with a broth culture and inoculated with water samples and sediments from a pond. These systems contain evidently living entities (bacteria, algae, protozoa, fungi and so on), but you can see, with time variations in photosynthetic production, in breathing and in quantity (biomass) of organisms present. These variations are similar to those observed in the evolution of an open system of much larger. At the beginning the production is greater than the breathing and only later, if you reach the balance, the two values are equivalent.

The same Odum suggested, for experimentation, to set up microcosms with microorganisms perfectly known and selected-exactly what are the Bio-balls-but even then considerable effort is required to compare observations that take place in microcosms to those that take place in reality, in the macrocosm.

An effort which seem useful.

From notes of prof. Ettore Tibaldi – Professor of ecology, Biology Department, Univ. Milan


Environmental education, intended primarily as a knowledge and respect for the natural world, of living organisms-creatures-is certainly one of the most important and urgent educational factors.

Sustainable development requires, in order not to be an empty slogan, a new kind of cultural approach, rooted in the values, the relationship between man and nature.

Certainly the formation does not happen if not supported by knowledge, practical and operational.

If this is ever so much more so if it relates to the knowledge of the natural world: books, drawings, encyclopedias, multimedia tools can never replace direct contact with the natural world.

Hence the classroom must become a natural laboratory: crops, aquariums and whatnot are complete furniture but not of concrete knowledge and training.

The Italian school, also with the contribution of regional institutions and scientific associations and environmental groups, is very committed to this point of view, and certainly will welcome with great interest a tutorial as the Bio-Sphere which combine the ability to bring nature into the classroom with respect of living organisms and the use of advanced technologies.

The Aquarium, in the version of the Bio-Sphere, is that world balanced and harmonic mentioned Conrad Lorenz in his wonderful book King Solomon’s ring.

As environmentalist and as a man, who for many years has coordinated its environmental education in Italian schools, I would like to thank Sergio Angeletti, scientist and distinguished writer, for being at the school this important working tool, knowledge, education.

Dr. Prof. Roberto Leoni-top Executive for afunction M.P.I. Inspection


Everything that happens on our planet (the flight of a swallow, the growth of a plant, even the ride of a car) is made possible by two large groups of phenomena: the recycling of items made, in turn, can be a flow of energy.

About loop means simply say that the Earth is a closed system, meaning that it spontaneously does not lose nor buy matter (aside from the negligible contribution of meteorites).

For example, one carbon atom, within a few years, can pass from one rock (calcium carbonate) to a gas (carbon dioxide) with a plant, an animal (herbivore), and from him eventually to Carnivore, then back to a gas, an aquatic animal, such a rock, and so on: is inserted into a cycle of matter that affects the entire surface and beyond our planet.

But all of this is possible because ecosystems (Oceans, forests, cultivated fields etc.) are constantly being crossed by a stream of energy from outer space — from the Sun Star. It is the solar radiation to move, ultimately, sea waves, hurricanes, animals (their hearts, their cells etc.), the growth of plants and machines that use fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and derivatives).

Remember that the fuels, as well as the food, are nothing but solar energy absorbed, processed, and stored. There is a flow of energy that, in various forms (radiant energy, chemical, mechanical, thermal, etc.) moving everything there is on Earth thanks to the fact that plants through photosynthesis, are able to convert radiant energy (light) in biologically useful energy. Except for few exceptions (geothermal energy and nuclear), all the energy on earth comes from the Sun. It ‘ moves ‘ the living and nonliving world then disperse back into outer space in the form of heat energy.

and a Bio-sphere for model …

In conclusion, all the phenomena of life (and others) are possible thanks to a flow of energy, external source/cosmic, waging a series of bio-geo-chemical cycles. Our planet is closed, therefore, regarding the matter and open with regard to energy. Just like the tiny model of Biosphere-Bio-Sphere-of which we speak.

Even in this glass sphere takes place a cycle of matter in which carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements move continuously vegetable compartment (seaweed), to that animal (shrimp) to that of decomposers of organic matter (bacteria), and vice versa.

In it, the whole thing is powered by a flow of energy that originates from sunlight.

This model is interesting precisely because it is culturally and educationally, in miniature, a partial replica of what is happening, milmiardi years globally.

From notes of Prof. Aldo Zullini-Professor of Zoology, Professor ecology and zoogeography, University of Milan

Those who live within the Beachworld?

Populate the Beachworld shrimp that are found only on some Hawaiian Islands. Living in inland bodies of water found in the lava rocks. Thick layers of algae cover the walls of dark red puddles, along with other types of macro algae. Shrimps eat algae, but rather the cure, nourishing of microalgae and bacteria that grow on layers of seaweed. They are literally the gardeners of their environment. Maintain the balance within the puddles, and store them clean so that the large algae can thrive. In your Beachworld observe shrimp “graze” and also carry a grain of sand. If the shrimp are disturbed tend to temporarily lose the bright red in an attempt to blend in with the sand. Once calmed soon become red.

Unlike in their natural environment, there are predators in B.W., so life of shrimps can be very long, up to about 12 years. Normally do not reproduce within the Beachworld because love thrive dark, secluded places. The Beachworld are too small to support a growing number of shrimp, so we do not provide places to play. The prediction of life from 3 in Beachworld has 6 years, but there have been cases where they lived up to 12 years.

Those who live within the Biospheres?

Within these water worlds there are beautiful aquatic plants, snails, tiny shrimp (called Amphipods), rotating aquatic insects and microscopic organisms that live in harmony. Life within the BS derives mainly from fresh water habitats of the United States, however you can find relatives of this species throughout the world. The bigger the BS, more varied and plentiful is the life within it.

What are the Biospheres?

Our planet is a closed system in which living organisms operate in cooperation: a perfect biosphere that leaves no one enter or leave anything except sunlight. Your Bio-Sphere is a miniature biosphere encompasses the fundamental task of our land, including reproduction.

A complex interaction between plants, animals and the environment maintains a delicate balance. The Sun’s energy rule biospheric cycles and promotes the growth of plants and animals. Sunlight causes plants to undergo a process called “photosynthesis”, which uses light energy to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, in Exchange for animals produce carbon dioxide and nutrients needed by plants.

The BS was created by an engineer from a space station and two of the members of “BIOSPHERE 2”. The duo of “BS 2” lived and worked for two years within the large closed ecosystem located in Arizona without ever leaving the hotel together with other members. The glass and steel building covers 3.15 acres and contains many different environments, including tropical rainforests, Savannah, desert, swamp and the ocean. Columbia University manages “BS 2”, where scientists continue to do research on the changes of the globe. The creators of BS they completed a 10-day space experiment on the American shuttle and two four month experiments on board the Russian space station MIR, with closed ecosystems similar to BS.

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