Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
11/22/2017

A new declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency should save Alabama's Dauphin Island most of the $5.5 million repair estimate for recovery from Hurricane Nate. The effort includes removing 400,000 cubic yards of sand now piled along a boulevard, sifting it and restoring it to the island's beaches.

11/22/2017

Trees, especially the most impressive specimens, are taken seriously in South Carolina, where many local ordinances protect them. But the laws also curb clearing of lots that can reduce buffering and speed runoff and erosion.

11/22/2017

Thirty percent of the sand on North Carolina's Nags Head beach was lost to Hurricane Matthew last year, but now the Outer Banks town plans to rebuild. The effort will involve restoring 1 million cubic yards of sand in a way that will also prepare for future damage.

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Hurricane Matthew
11/22/2017

US Steel is the target of penalties sought by Indiana regulators over illegal pollutant discharges into Lake Michigan in April and October. The company will also be the subject of a lawsuit filed by the University of Chicago's Abrams Environmental Law Clinic over repeated violations of the Clean Water Act.

11/22/2017

Boosting the average free-flow discharge in multiple pulses during the free-flow flushing stage on the catchment of a reservoir on Japan's Kurobe River improves flushing efficiency by as much as 13%, an international study has found. The study also concludes that construction of an auxiliary channel in the reservoir's wide midstream could increase sediment erosion locally.

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MDPI (Switzerland)
11/22/2017

Cosmic rays, products of astronomical events constantly speeding through the universe, can now be detected by spending $100 and a little time building the right tool. Researchers at MIT have developed a kit for a handheld device that detects the muons that cosmic rays decay into in the atmosphere, complete with a plastic scintillator, a silicon photomultiplier, an Arduino Nano computer and a 3D-printed casing to contain it all.

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New Atlas
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handheld device, MIT
11/22/2017

Sealing wounds with sutures raises the risk of infection, and glue offers a possible alternative if only it can be flexible enough to accommodate natural movement and won't degrade into toxic chemical components. Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a hydrogel adhesive from artificially produced human elastin that's flexible enough to seal lungs in animal surgery without the aid of mechanical bindings.

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Wyss Institute, Harvard
11/21/2017

Priority is often assigned to the arms and legs disabled by a stroke, leaving the patient's hands for later. But now researchers in Texas are working with soft robotics that can uniquely mimic the highly intricate movements of fingers and thumbs and provide more timely hand therapy.

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stroke
11/21/2017

The erosion control ordinance of Elizabethtown, N.Y., was the topic of concern at a recent City Council work session at which building professionals offered their thoughts on potential changes. Costs were the main bone of contention over changes designed to prevent future erosion, possibly entailing additional burdens for engineers and builders.

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City Council
11/21/2017

Louisiana is seeking an engineering and design company
for one of its two major Mississippi River sediment diversion projects and next month will launch a contractor search for the second one. The movement comes as the state prepares to open a state-of-the art physical model of the lower Mississippi to examine the effects of dredging and how the diversions will affect each other.