Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/19/2018

Students in Petaluma, Calif., will be planting native vegetation in the fall in a riverfront park using funds from a grant and a novel tax for Bay Area wetland restoration. The effort will include plants selected to survive changing weather patterns.

4/19/2018

Shipowners may soon be exempt from requirements to clean up ship ballast whose release introduces invasive species. The Senate is due to consider a bill that's aimed at exempting the US Coast Guard from the Clean Water Act, but opponents fear the bill could have far-reaching consequences.

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Bill, US Coast Guard, US Senate
4/19/2018

A study in the Solomon Islands finds that logging in tropical forests leads to major erosion that threatens water quality and leaves land unable to support farming. Even the introduction of best practices failed to do much to mitigate the problems.

4/19/2018

A better way to warm babies could prevent more than 25% of the millions of infant deaths recorded globally each year. The Otter newborn warmer from Design That Matters is targeted at the developing world with a number of improvements that include lower cost, less required energy and simpler operation and sterilization.

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ASME
4/19/2018

Swiss scientists have engineered an invisible tattoo that, applied to a mouse, becomes visible when it detects elevated levels of calcium in the blood, a possible indication of disease. Specially engineered cells contain a calcium receptor and can produce melanin when the receptor is triggered.

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Gizmodo Australia
4/18/2018

Carbon fiber for its strength and rubber for its deformability combine in an artificial muscle that can lift 12,000 times its own weight. The muscle developed by researchers at the University of Illinois is induced to contract with a small electric current that heats the silicone rubber and causes it to force apart the surrounding carbon fibers, leading to an expansion in width and a corresponding contraction.

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New Atlas
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University of Illinois
4/18/2018

The new Gentlewasher incorporates standard design elements with human power to bring washing machines to parts of the world where they are currently unknown. The machine also boasts the advantage of using less than half as much water as a regular washing machine to clean a 6-pound load of laundry.

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ASME
4/18/2018

The liquefied natural gas-fueled cruise ferry Viking Grace now has a rotor sail to further improve its green credentials. It has the further distinction of becoming the first passenger vessel with the sail technology.

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Marine Log, New Atlas
4/18/2018

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating three vehicles crashes that involved semi-autonomous driving systems -- two in Teslas and one in a Volvo operated by Uber -- as safety experts continue to question the safety of autonomous vehicles. The inability to keep drivers alert at the wheel while using self-steering systems has prompted some companies to install infrared cameras to monitor driver's head and eye movements.

4/17/2018

Cliffs left by erosion along Snow's Cut in North Carolina's New Hanover County are now ameliorated by gently sloping rock fields that serve to prevent further losses. The fields stretch about 500 feet at the north and south banks east of the Snow's Cut bridge.