The Navy will look at basic hull forms that can accommodate changes over time as it contemplates replacements for its aging fleet of cruisers, according to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "I'd like to do the whole thing, well, as fast as possible but do it in the frigate time frames: in terms of defining what we want, the requirements, getting industry involved, making it a very open competition," he said.
A 10,000-square-foot model reproduces the lower Mississippi River, giving researchers a powerful tool in the battle against erosion along Louisiana's coastline. The Louisiana State University model reproduces nearly 200 miles of the river leading down to the Gulf of Mexico.
The growth of urbanization had degraded waterways in a variety of ways, a phenomenon that has been addressed with riparian restoration that on occasion has introduced invasive species of flora. A Temple University study in particular examines the effects of Japanese knotweed, an invasive species, and found greater erosion in areas where the plant dominated over trees.
Students in Petaluma, Calif., will be planting native vegetation in the fall in a riverfront park using funds from a grant and a novel tax for Bay Area wetland restoration. The effort will include plants selected to survive changing weather patterns.
Shipowners may soon be exempt from requirements to clean up ship ballast whose release introduces invasive species. The Senate is due to consider a bill that's aimed at exempting the US Coast Guard from the Clean Water Act, but opponents fear the bill could have far-reaching consequences.
A study in the Solomon Islands finds that logging in tropical forests leads to major erosion that threatens water quality and leaves land unable to support farming. Even the introduction of best practices failed to do much to mitigate the problems.
A better way to warm babies could prevent more than 25% of the millions of infant deaths recorded globally each year. The Otter newborn warmer from Design That Matters is targeted at the developing world with a number of improvements that include lower cost, less required energy and simpler operation and sterilization.
Swiss scientists have engineered an invisible tattoo that, applied to a mouse, becomes visible when it detects elevated levels of calcium in the blood, a possible indication of disease. Specially engineered cells contain a calcium receptor and can produce melanin when the receptor is triggered.
Carbon fiber for its strength and rubber for its deformability combine in an artificial muscle that can lift 12,000 times its own weight. The muscle developed by researchers at the University of Illinois is induced to contract with a small electric current that heats the silicone rubber and causes it to force apart the surrounding carbon fibers, leading to an expansion in width and a corresponding contraction.
The new Gentlewasher incorporates standard design elements with human power to bring washing machines to parts of the world where they are currently unknown. The machine also boasts the advantage of using less than half as much water as a regular washing machine to clean a 6-pound load of laundry.