IT’S JAM BAND FRIDAY oh my caps lock got stuck
If you scan DIGG it sure seems that way:
Ships to be made with a slimy hull inspired by whale skin
By Bryan Nelson
Mon, Oct 05 2009 at 7:56 PM EST
WHALE SKIN: Pilot whales also ooze a gelatinous mix of enzymes from their skin, which deters barnacles and other sea parasites from attaching. (Photo: Scubaben/Flickr)
The biological world continues to inspire some of the most efficient, yet bizarre, technological innovations. Now scientists are designing ships with hulls that ooze a slippery, gelatinous slime which continually sloughs off, in an attempt to mimic the skin of pilot whales.
Long-finned pilot whales are known for their smooth, blemish-free skin. For whales, that means being free of barnacles and other marine life forms which can taint and irritate them. But how do they do it?
It turns out that the fresh-faced fins manage to stay so smooth due to a criss-cross of nanoscale canals in their skin which are too small for any barnacle larvae to attach to the skin. In addition, the canals are filled with a gel of enzymes that destroy proteins on the surface of bacteria and algae.
That gave researcher Rahul Ganguli of Teledyne Scientific an idea, reports New Scientist. He is now working on a design for ships that similarly self-clean themselves by sweating a sticky, biosafe chemical that becomes more viscous on contact with seawater. The slimy goo, secreted by pores, would fill gaps in a specially designed metal mesh on the outer layer of the hull. As it eventually sheds, it will take with it any barnacle that managed to gain a foothold.
From the water to the air.
Oct 8th 2009
By Ian Fortey
A new high-rise building in Boston USA may be the future home of a bunch of green slime. Plans to turn the building into a vertical urban farm are moving ahead with the intended crop to be biofuel algae. Potatoes would be cooler, but hey, whatever works.
The project is going to be called Eco-Pod and confirms that we finally live in the future, where a bunch of detachable pods grow algae and act as incubators for scientists to study the production of biofuel. They also plan to include parks and gardens, because people like wandering through slime fields, especially if they’re modular.
Slightly crazier than the concept itself is some of the infrastructure. Since the pods will be able to move and be reshaped, the whole structure will come complete with a robot arm, powered by the biofuel, that can rearrange the pods as necessary. We can all agree a giant, robot arm that moves around slime pods is just what Boston tourism needs.
This has got to be a teenager’s delight. But if it locks up carbon and provides energy well….what the heck.