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Sea Urchins on Crusade to Save Coral Reef

A new project in Hawaii is releasing a massive amount of sea urchins into the sea to help the coral reef in Kāne‘ohe Bay that is being slowly smothered by an invasive seaweed species.

The project is the culmination of years of research among the state Aquatic Resources division, The Nature Conservancy and tramadol dosage online tramadol dosage University of Hawaii.  The urchins have been raised in a hatchery and fed a diet of native seaweed.  The project is actually one of the first in the world to raise native sea urchins in captivity. The first 1,000 were released by the scientists last weekend, with another 25,000 to be released each month.  Some urchins will inevitably be eaten by fish and octopus.

The hope is tramadol echeck overnight that the urchins will feed on the seaweed, specifically two species of seaweed algae called Kappaphycus alvarezii and K. striatum, to a degree that keeps the invasive species in check.  The researchers say there isn't a concern for an over-population of urchins since the animals are easy to herd and relocate, and with monitoring, should stay under control.

via Scientific American

Images via The Nature Conservancy


Using Bacteria to Heal Cracked Concrete


University of Newcastle building scientists have developed a means of repairing damaged or deteriorated concrete using a genetically engineered strain of a common soil bacteria. Nicknamed "BacillaFilla," the bacteria have been modified so that they migrate into the deepest parts of cracks where they then begin to produce calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate binds with concrete and can repair small fractures and restore broken concrete to its original strength.

This is not unlike an earlier EcoGeek story about bendable, self-healing concrete which also uses calcium carbonate to heal small cracks in concrete. But where that method called for the purchase cialis from us introduction of the calcium carbonate into the concrete when it was produced. The bacterial method allows the same process to be applied to old concrete that was not made with calcium carbonate.

A number of safeguards have been incorporated into the bacteria to ensure that they work only where it is wanted. The researchers have tweaked its genetic properties such that it only begins to germinate when it comes in contact with the highly-specific pH of concrete. Once the cells germinate, they are programmed to crawl as deep as they can into cracks in the concrete, where quorum sensing lets them know when enough bacteria have accumulated. This enables the bacteria to target the weak points of only today cheepest cialis damaged concrete and to work in a useful and organized fashion only where the repair is needed. In addition, the bacteria also contains a self-destruct gene, so that it will not propogate beyond where it is intended to go.

As we noted earlier, "[Concrete] is not the drug cialis most beloved green building material, [but] it has properties that make it eminently useful for engineers and architects for a number of purposes. Given that there is not going to be a sudden moratorium on using the stuff, it's better to have improvements that can keep from having it go from useful building material to landfill."

image: CC 2.0 by ShaireProductions

via: Archinect and BoingBoing


Snakebot - a Robot that Maneuvers Like a Snake


We are always intrigued by biomimetic technologies that find answers based in imitating naturally developed systems. Mechanical locomotion that imitates animal locomotion is particularly interesting. So we liked finding this video of a robotic snake being which is developed by a team at Carnegie Mellon University.

The motion of the snake-bot would allow it to maneuver through tighter spaces than either people or other mechanisms can easily move through. According to the researchers, "Snake robots can use their many internal degrees of freedom to cialis online in usa thread through tightly packed volumes accessing locations that people and machinery otherwise cannot use." The flexibility and maneuverability of the snakebot allow it to move through a wide range of terrain types, and could be useful for a range of tasks from building maintenance to field research.

See the video after the jump...


Plant Enzyme Converts Car Exhaust Into Fuel

Scientists have discovered a plant enzyme capable of turning carbon monoxide into propane, which lets us imagine a future where cars could run off their own exhaust.

The microbe Azotobacter vinelandii, found in the roots of many food plants including soy beans, creates the enzyme vanadium nitrogase, which produces ammonia from nitrogen found in the soil.  Scientists fed the enzyme carbon monoxide instead of nitrogen and found that it created short carbon chains, two or three atoms long -- essentially propane.

The scientists think that the enzyme could be modified to produce even longer chains until it ultimately produces gasoline.  If perfected, cars could run partially off of their exhaust or carbon monoxide in the air around them, reducing pollution and cutting down on the oil we use.

While it's being heralded as an amazing discovery, scientists say there's a lot of work left to do.  The enzyme is buy cialis from canada currently hard to extract and buy tramadol online aramex scientists are working on ways to mass produce it.

via PopSci



Warm Air Stored in the Summer Will Heat a Swiss School in the Winter

In icy climates, it's not unheard of to have buildings using stored ice and snow from the price viagra winter for cooling in the summer, but a new plan in Switzerland will turn that approach on its head.  Hoggenberg Campus in Switzerland is building a new phase of the school called Science City where warm air will be stored in the summer to levitra pills canadian be used for heating in the winter.

The plan involves capturing excess heat from appliances, computer servers, and even body heat during the summer and pumping it underground into two heat storage fields made up of 800, 200-meter-long, water-filled pipes.  Those pipes will be five meters underground, beneath and alongside the buildings.

The heat will be stored in the circulating water at about 46 - 64 degrees Fahrenheit.  In colder months, the heat will be pumped through the system and electricity will bring the temperature up to 86 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit for warming the buildings.

The campus and so-called heat-exchanger system won't be completed until 2020, but when it's done, the system, along with energy efficiency and insulation improvements, will allow the buildings to use electricity for only one-twelfth of its heating and visit web site buy viagra online canada cooling needs.

via PhysOrg

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