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Marine Feature

Groundbreaking underwater exploration craft nears production

Ornithorhynchus anatinus is a bizarre creature. Not only due to its crazy duck, beaver and otter mash-up anatomy, but because it inhabits two watery worlds – one at the surface of small streams or rivers and the other below. When François-Alexandre Bertrand saw one sploshing about during a séjour in Australia, he'd found the perfect name for an above/below water craft concept he was mulling over. Design renderings for the Platypus emerged in 2011, followed by a working prototype two years later and a production timeframe set for 2014. It's taken a little longer than expected to get there, but the Platypus team is finally bringing the novel exploration craft to market later this year. We popped down to the south coast of France a few days ago to talk new design and production plans. And to ride on, and under, the surprisingly chilly waters of the Mediterranean.Read More

Outdoors

Tepui's new roof-top tent carries gear and camps out

Last month at Overland Expo, Tepui previewed its all-new hard shell tent. It was so fresh from the manufacturing plant that it didn't even have a name, outside of "Hard Shell Tent." The company has now labeled it Project White Lightning and put it up on Kickstarter. The new tent offers the most comprehensive feature set we've seen on a roof-top tent, including integrated roof rails, the ability to double as a roof-top cargo box and a low-profile design that shouldn't take away too many mpgs on your campground commute.Read More

Computers

Home PC outperforms a supercomputer in complex calculations

The GPU in your gaming rig performs crazy amounts of calculations to really bring to life the Cyberdemon in the new Doom, but scientists are increasingly applying that power to more academic pursuits. Russian physicists have put a computer running a consumer-level Nvidia GPU to work on equations that are normally performed using a powerful supercomputer, and found that the home PC solved them in 15 minutes – far faster than the supercomputer's time of two or three days.Read More

Environment

Pig manure may pave the way to sustainable road building

Researchers from North Carolina A&T State University have developed a process that uses pig manure as a low-cost replacement for petroleum in the production of road asphalt. In searching for bio alternatives, the group discovered that swine waste is especially rich in oils very similar to petroleum, at a grade too low to make gasoline but suited for asphalt.Read More

Medical

Using the power of the sun to deliver life-saving oxygen

For sufferers of pneumonia, access to concentrated oxygen can be the difference between life and death, but in some parts of the world such supplies aren't always so readily available. Researchers have developed a solar-powered oxygen concentrator and put it to use in hospitals in Uganda, where it is already supplying those desperately in need with round-the-clock care. Read More

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