Electroporation, a technique normally used to open cell walls to deliver medicine, is the key to a newly developed nanochip Ohio State University researchers have used to regenerate nerve and muscle cells. The chip injects customizable DNA molecules that contain biological instructions that send electric shocks to force the DNA through the membrane.
Rolls-Royce is looking to build on its Intelligent Awareness system for ships that gathers data from sensors around the vessel and to move toward autonomous ships monitored from land. "Tugs, ferries, and short-sea transport, these are all classes of vessels that we believe would be suitable for completely autonomous operations," said Kevin Daffey, Rolls-Royce's director of marine engineering and technology.
Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division will use powdered metal and lasers to produce the first 3D-printed part, a prototype piping assembly, for a US nuclear aircraft carrier. Charles Southall, the division's vice president of engineering and design, called the news a "watershed moment" and "a significant step forward in naval and marine engineering."
New Zealand-based Sealegs has introduced a rigid-hulled, inflatable boat known as the Electric E4 with three retractable wheels that allow it to move in and out of water independently. The boat's motors are powered by a central 48-volt, 7-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack supplemented by a regenerative braking system and, optionally, by a solar panel.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University are looking into and finding advantages of natural solutions over constructed walls and barriers guarding against coastal erosion. Amirkhosro Kazemi and his adviser, Oscar Curet, have examined mangroves and their characteristics, which appear ideally suited to minimize erosion.
Solar energy is a vital tool in the renewable energy toolbox, but it can be hard to adopt in cloudy areas. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a possible solution in the form of a biogenic solar cell that uses lycopene, which is highly sensitive to even dim sunlight and degrades rapidly, releasing enough electrons to produce a current.
A golfing resort under development at Virginia's Fones Cliffs is the object of an environmental lawsuit filed against the developer by the state's attorney general for not complying with local erosion and sediment controls. Virginia True Corp. failed to obtain required permits and stormwater management approval last year before clearing 13.4 acres atop the cliffs.
California's Del Mar coastline has been the scene of three sudden cliff collapses over the past few weeks. Experts say the events are unusual in such a closely spaced series but that they aren't surprising, given the perilous nature of the cliffs and rising sea levels.
Iberia Parish President Larry Richard highlights flood protection, erosion control, wildlife habitat, fisheries and water quality as reasons it is important to preserve Louisiana's coastal wetlands. But despite their importance, coastal wetlands are disappearing twice as fast as they are being rehabilitated, he says.
Salem, Mass., plans to plant salt marsh grasses and install biodegradable "coir logs" to protect parts of its Collins Cove shoreline using new state funds. "By creating a living shoreline along the path at Collins Cove, our hope is to stabilize this section of eroding shoreline and increase its capacity to absorb wave action," says Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.