Researchers at EPFL have come up with a way of imprinting nanometric patterns on the inside and outside of polymer fibers. These fibers could prove useful in guiding nerve regeneration and producing optical effects, for example, as well as in eventually creating artificial tissue and smart bandages.
Oceanographers commonly calculate large scale surface ocean circulation from satellite sea level information using a concept called 'geostrophy', which describes the relationship between oceanic surface flows and sea level gradient. Conversely, researchers rely on data from in-water current meters to measure smaller scale motion. New research led by the University of Hawai'i has determined from observational data the length scale at which using sea level height no longer offers a reliable calculation of circulation.
A 4th engineer on board a container ship describes his first voyage through the Panama canal as he takes responsibility of the engine room during the transit. Learn more about his experience inside the article.
Most sponge that we use today are synthetic, but in the old days sponge was collected from the sea bed. Some of the finest-quality sea sponge, a jelly-like marine creature with a body full of pores, can be found in the warm waters of southeastern Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks knew about these animals and their usefulness in scrubbing and cleaning purposes, and for maintaining personal hygiene. Sponge was also used for padding helmets and for filtering water.
The entire Greek sponge industry was centered on a string of islands in the Aegean Sea, called the Dodecanese Islands. For generations, young men and their fathers and their forefathers earned their living by diving for sponges. Traditionally, the sponge was gathered from the ocean floor by ‘skin diving’, or free diving without clothes and without using any breathing apparatus. Sponge divers would dive to the bottom of the sea on just a single breath of air, weighing their body down by a piece of flat stone that weighed up to 15 kg. The heavy stone would drag the naked bodies quickly to the bottom. The presence of sponge on the dive site would have been already verified by the crew above using a cylindrical viewing pipe with a glass bottom. Once the diver reaches the floor, he would cut loose as many sponges as he could and stuff them into a mesh bag. A skilled diver could dive up to depths of 30 meters and stay under water for 3 to 5 minutes.
Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of archaeologists, led by the University of Arizona, developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to the two major collapses of the Maya civilization.
New work reveals that the process of synthesizing many important master proteins in plants involves extensive modification, or 'tagging' by sugars after the protein is assembled. Their work uncovers both similarity and distinction between plants and animals in their use of this protein modification.
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