11,000-year-old deep sea animal fascinates scientists

August 4, 2016 by  
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It’s no secret that some animals on Earth live longer than many humans do. A parrot in captivity can live over 80 years, the giant tortoise can reach 100 years old or more, and the oldest known bowhead whale lived for at least 211 years. But one tiny ancient creature beats them all, surviving an estimated 11,000 years  in its frigid habitat under the sea. Scientists estimate an individual deep sea sponge belonging to the species Monorhaphis chuni  has lived at least 11,000 years, according to a study in the journal Aging Research Reviews. That variety of glass sea sponge is also, perhaps incidentally, the largest biosilica species on Earth with needle-like spicules measuring up to 10 feet (three meters) in length. Related: MIT researchers say Earth’s first animal was most likely a humble sea sponge Between its insane age and record-breaking length, the sponge is at the center of attention in many scientific circles, as researchers yearn to understand how its biological functions work. First and foremost, researchers hope to gain an understanding of how it is even possible for a living creature to survive for such a long time, given that no other animal on Earth has a lifespan that comes even close to that of the sponge. Via National Geographic Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 ) and Werner E. G. Müller, University Medical Center Mainz

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11,000-year-old deep sea animal fascinates scientists

Historic LA port to get new life as a deep green ocean research hub

June 14, 2016 by  
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AltaSea’s state-of-the-art, net-positive campus will be built on City Dock No. 1, with access to the deep sea. This location will allow scientists to study marine life and develop programs for sustainability. The organization’s executive director, Jenny Krusoe, said in press release , “AltaSea will be a campus dedicated to finding ocean-related solutions to our most pressing challenges: food security , energy security and climate security.” Related: Gensler proposes electricity-generating bike paths for London Underground’s disused tunnels The dock’s historic features will be both honored and updated as renovation proceeds, thanks to the mesmerizing design by Gensler . Renewable models for energy and rooftop solar fields illuminate the campus’ central themes and engage visitors in its mission. The Wharf Plaza Education Center is part of the $150 million Phase 1, where ocean exploration and sustainable solutions are at the core of the project’s vision. Other phases will include a Science Hub for oceanographic and marine biology research, where the Southern California Marine Institute will be housed, and an educational Engagement Center for visitors. + AltaSea + Gensler Via Gizmodo Images via Gensler

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Historic LA port to get new life as a deep green ocean research hub

China aims to construct a "space lab" 10,000 feet under the South China Sea

June 13, 2016 by  
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China takes top billing in this week’s news of the “what the huh?” variety. China is working to secure rights to the South China Sea in order to build what can only be called a “space station” deep below the ocean’s surface . The proposal involves a platform built 9,800 feet under the waves, where dozens of crew members would be stationed. The purpose? Primarily to aid in the country’s offshore mining efforts. Evidently, word has not yet reached China about what a devastating practice that can be. The Chinese Science Ministry recently gave a presentation on the plan, although many details aren’t available to the public at this point. Essentially, the country wants to construct a deep sea scientific hub where crews could survive, underwater, for up to a month. Theoretically, all manner of ocean-related scientific research could be conducted there. The project was mentioned in China’s five-year economic development plan, released in March, wherein this deep sea lab was ranked second in priority among the top 100 scientific projects the country aims to undertake. Related: China is building artificial islands in disputed South China Sea territory After Chinese authorities reviewed the plan, it was evidently decided to speed up progress on the underwater platform, although there have been no announcements related to the project’s time line, design, cost, or specific location. It’s presumed at this time that President Xi Jinping’s administration is targeting the South China Sea , evidenced by the country’s efforts to secure sovereignty over the highly disputed waters. China already considers more than 80 percent of the South China Sea under its sovereign territory, in the face of opposition from Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines, which all stake some claim to various parts of the same region. What will happen next in the evolution of China’s underwater ‘space station’ project is anyone’s guess. Via Motherboard Images via Jennifer C/Flickr and  Wikipedia

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China aims to construct a "space lab" 10,000 feet under the South China Sea

Earthquake-resistant affordable home stacks together like Legos in just six days

June 13, 2016 by  
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Used as a stronger alternative to brick walls, ferrocement can be handcrafted from locally available materials to reduce the structure’s impact on the environment and its cost. The Full Fill Home prototype at the Venice Biennale, for instance, was constructed using materials recycled from the German Pavilion used for last year’s Venice Biennale. “We’re not just talking about affordability in terms of money here, we’re also talking about impact on the environment,” Kundoo told Dezeen . “We can’t afford to keep building the way we do.” The material is low-tech enough to be produced by masons in their backyards, yet strong enough to withstand harsh winds and mild earthquakes. Related: The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue Flexibility is a main factor in the prototype house design, which comprises modular and hollow ferrocement blocks that can be stacked like Legos to build anything from walls to furniture. The simple modular blocks can also double as storage and be in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit the homeowner’s needs. Each house can be assembled in as little as six days and disassembled in one day. Following the conclusion of this year’s Venice Biennale, the Full Fill Homes property will be donated to Marghera and used to house the homeless. + Anupama Kundoo Via Dezeen Images via Anupama Kundoo

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Earthquake-resistant affordable home stacks together like Legos in just six days

Walking fish unlike any other on Earth discovered in Thailand

March 30, 2016 by  
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Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology have discovered a strange new species of fish in the caves of Thailand. The blind cavefish, newly dubbed Cryptotora thamicola , is able to walk on land and even crawl up waterfalls the same way a four-footed animal would. Though there are other species of fish in the world that can walk outside of water , none of them bear the strange features of Cryptotora . Read the rest of Walking fish unlike any other on Earth discovered in Thailand

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Walking fish unlike any other on Earth discovered in Thailand

Renovated Ibiza farmhouse boasts ultra thick walls for passive cooling

March 30, 2016 by  
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Renovated Ibiza farmhouse boasts ultra thick walls for passive cooling

This adorable little sea slug is solar powered

August 7, 2015 by  
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Costasiella kuroshimae , known commonly as Leaf Sheep, is an ocean-dwelling grazer that “steals”  photosynthesizing chloroplasts from the food it eats in order to generate energy. The Leaf Sheep is a species of sea slug that munches on algae instead of grass, like the sheep you find on dry land. Reaching a length of 5 mm, the tiny aquatic slug has the distinction of being one of the few animals that are able to photosynthesize. Read the rest of This adorable little sea slug is solar powered

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This adorable little sea slug is solar powered

Underwater “Stonehenge” discovered near Sicily is over 10,000-years-old

August 7, 2015 by  
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Off the coast of Sicily, researchers have discovered a giant stone monolith submerged in a shallow channel. A report published in Science Direct suggests the man-made object was created by an ancient civilization for a purpose likely akin to that of Stonehenge, which the monolith resembles. Researchers estimate the monument’s age at over 10,000 years, and believe its existence confirms “significant Mesolithic human activity in the Sicilian Channel region.” Read the rest of Underwater “Stonehenge” discovered near Sicily is over 10,000-years-old

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Underwater “Stonehenge” discovered near Sicily is over 10,000-years-old

Scientists want to name this unbelievably cute octopus “Adorabilis”

June 18, 2015 by  
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From movies to comics to literature, the octopuses of this world tend to get a pretty bad rap—but the goggled-eyed flapjack octopus shows us a sweet, cartoonish side of the cephlapod species. Scientists have only been aware of the creatures, which live some 1,400 feet below the ocean’s surface, since the early 1990s—and now one researcher at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has the privilege of being the first to formally describe the unusual octopus. So endeared to the unbelievably cute sea creature, she is considering the name Opisthotheusis Adorabilis . Read the rest of Scientists want to name this unbelievably cute octopus “Adorabilis” Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adorable octopus , cute octopus , deep sea creatures , deep sea ecosystem , flapjack octopus , marine biology , mbari , monterey bay aquarium , Opisthoteuthis , Opisthotheusis Adorabilis

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Scientists want to name this unbelievably cute octopus “Adorabilis”

Conflict-free Fairphone 2 is an ethically-sourced smartphone you can fix yourself

June 18, 2015 by  
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In the last few years smartphones have have become ubiquitous, connecting people worldwide and becoming an everyday, multipurpose tool. Yet, non-ethical sourcing of materials and worker exploitation in their production has left a sour taste in consumers’ mouths. In 2013 , the people at Fairphone unleashed a game-changing, socially- and environmentally-conscious upgrade to the standard smartphone. Today, they prepare to release the Fairphone 2 model and it is ready to impress. Read the rest of Conflict-free Fairphone 2 is an ethically-sourced smartphone you can fix yourself Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: environmentally conscious technology , ethically sourced smartphone , fairphone , fairphone 2 , hd display smartphone , smartphone technology

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