August 17, 2012 |
Researchers at Harvard University have created a robot that can change color in seconds, allowing it to blend seamlessly into a background like a chameleon, or stand out so that it is easy to see. It can even glow in the dark, and change its temperature. These are just the latest additions to a family of rubbery, bendable robots first described in a 2011 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by the Whiteside Group, a Harvard-based research group.
August 12, 2010 |
Thousands of people have tried, in their own quixotic ways, to help BP protect wildlife and clean up crude in the Gulf of Mexico after the worst oil disaster in the country's history. There were those who shaved their dogs and sent the hair south for the company to use to soak up the oil. And there were inventors who flew to Louisiana hoping that their cleanup gadgets would catch BP's eye. A Taiwanese billionaire retrofitted a giant tanker to skim oil from the ocean. And then there's Jack Rudloe, who's determined to protect vulnerable and important sea life — and his business — all on his own. Rudloe, 67, wants to save the gulf's mollusks, shrimp, crabs, seahorses and other invertebrates from what he sees as potential extinction.
July 9, 2005 |
Scientists have discovered a jellyfish-like creature a mile below the ocean's surface that is the first marine invertebrate to use red fluorescent light to lure prey. The researchers, led by Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, used robotic submarines to capture specimens from depths of 5,200 to 7,500 feet, roughly 50 miles off the Central California coast. The specimens were found to be a previously unknown species of the genus Erenna.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2012 |
The Los Angeles Zoo is opening a snazzy new home for reptiles and amphibians today, a $14-million condominium complex for Mexican beaded lizards, Rowley's palm vipers, radiated tortoises and other creatures that slither and croak. The LAIR — the acronym for Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles — was five years in the making and will be one of just a few reptile houses to open in North America in the last decade. "We've got one of the best in the nation," zoo Director John Lewis said as workers prepared by cleaning display windows, planting feathery ferns, adjusting temperature and humidity controls and using metal hooks to place venomous snakes carefully into their spacious new homes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 2013 |
A proposed seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach could significantly harm parts of the Southern California ocean environment unless substantial changes are made in its design and operation, according to the staff of the state Coastal Commission. A staff report prepared for this week's commission vote on the project highlights the potential downside of large-scale efforts to turn the salty water of the Pacific Ocean into drinking supplies for coastal California. "There are ways to do desal in a fairly environmentally benign way," said Tom Luster, an environmental scientist with the commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2013 |
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Dreamers have long looked to the Pacific Ocean as the ultimate answer to California's water needs: an inexhaustible, drought-proof reservoir in the state's backyard. In the last decade, proposals for about 20 desalting plants have been discussed up and down the coast. But even with construction about to begin on the nation's largest seawater desalination facility, 35 miles north of San Diego, experts say it is doubtful that dream will ever be fully realized. "While this Poseidon adventure may work out, I don't look for a lot of that," said Henry Vaux Jr., a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of resource economics who contributed to a 2008 National Research Council report on desalination.