Ostracus writes to share a new take on the word "treehouse." Engineers and plant scientists from Tel Aviv have taken the application of tree shaping to the next level
, designing everything from streetlamps to houses. "A home built from trees, the researchers said, would be a natural storm protector. 'After earthquakes and after tsunamis the only structures that still survive are trees,' said Yaniv Naftaly, director of operations at Plantware, a company founded in 2002. Naftaly told LiveScience the same sturdiness should apply to tree-made homes. Eshel and TAU colleague Yoav Waisel are working with Plantware to commercialize the leafy designs. The team found that certain tree species grown aeroponically (in air instead of soil and water) have roots that don't harden. Once the malleable, so-called soft roots grow long enough in the lab, they are molded around metal frames in the shape of a playground or park bench."