Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Ocean

A six-gill shark sports one of the camera packs

Perhaps you've seen footage from National Geographic's "Crittercam," an underwater video camera that has been attached to animals such as sharks and whales. Well, scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Tokyo have gone one better. Not only have they been putting cameras on sharks to see what they get up to, but they've also been slipping them ingestible sensors, to monitor their dietary habits. The data that they've gathered could help protect shark populations, and the overall health of the ocean.  Read More

Artist's impression of the undersea pipline X-ray in operation (Image: GE)

Using X-rays and other forms of radiation has been a standard tool for testing pipelines for decades, but until now it's been largely confined to factories and land-based pipelines instead of the deep seabed. That’s changing as GE adapts its medical X-ray systems to work in the crushing pressures of the deep oceans, as part of a remote-controlled submersible rig for examining pipelines in place.  Read More

A rubber mat forms the 'carpet,' and sits atop a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders an...

Many organizations around the world are looking at ways to harness the power of waves as a renewable energy source, but none are covering quite the same ground as a team of engineers from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The seafloor carpet, a system inspired by the wave absorbing abilities of a muddy seabed, has taken exploring the potential of wave power to some intriguing new depths.  Read More

The Snorkelboard – it's like a glass-bottom boat, except a tad smaller

Just about everyone who's comfortable with swimming in the ocean is at least somewhat interested in seeing what's in the water below them. Not everyone, however, is so keen on actually sticking their head below the surface and breathing through a snorkel. If you're one of those people, you might like the Snorkelboard.  Read More

Heat stored in the Pacific Ocean could be a ticking climate time bomb (Photo: Shutterstock...

Despite an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that warming trends over the past century are most likely the result of human activities, some claim that a plateau in global surface air temperatures since 2001 is evidence to the contrary. However, a new study suggests the recent stabilization of air temperatures is a result of abnormally strong east to west trade winds, causing warmth to be stored temporarily beneath the western Pacific ocean.  Read More

Starboard profile of Alvin that is returning to service after a three-year overhaul

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on Friday that the Alvin deep-sea submersible is returning to service. The DC3 of the oceanographic world was launched fifty years ago in 1964 and is ready to begin its second half-century of service after a three-year overhaul involving significant redesigns and upgrades.  Read More

The Ovision underwater housing for iPhones 4 thru 5C

If you want to snap some pics with your iPhone while snorkeling or scuba diving, there are already a number of polycarbonate underwater housings that will let you take your phone to a depth of 30 meters (100 ft) or so. A few others can protect it down to around 57 m (187 ft). According to Montreal-based product designer Pierre-Yves Pépin, however, his Ovision housing is good to at least 91 m (300 ft).  Read More

The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize aims at combating ocean acidification (Image: NOAA)

Since 1995, XPrize has been promoting science and technology by setting “Grand Challenges” with cash incentive prizes. On Monday, the organization announced the launch of three new competitions by 2020 as part of its XPrize Ocean Initiative, which is aimed at improving the health and understanding of the world’s oceans.  Read More

Artificial shells for hermit crabs by Aki Inomata (© AKI INOMATA)

About this time two years ago, we looked at the efforts of Miles Lightwood and the Thingiverse community to 3D print shells for hermit crabs, but Tokyo-born artist Aki Inomata has been creating artificial shells for hermit crabs since 2009. Her most recent efforts are intricate and ornate, incorporating ideas on the theme of national identity through depictions of city skylines and vernacular architecture. The hermit crabs seem to like them too.  Read More

Fabien Cousteau in the porch of the Aquarius Reef Base (Image: Mission 31)

Fabien Cousteau, filmmaker, explorer, and grandson of pioneering oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, is set to take a page out of his grandfather’s book by conducting a month-long scientific research mission in the world's only underwater habitat and laboratory. Mission 31 beings on November 12 at the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of the Florida Keys, marking the 50th anniversary of his the elder Cousteau's historic Conshelf II habitat experiment.  Read More

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