Getting A Wireless Connection Under The Sea

Researchers at the University of Buffalo recently tested a submerged Internet network that uses sound waves to transmit data. They envision a host of applications, including oceanographic data collection and tsunami warning.

What's the Latest Development?

University of Buffalo researchers recently dropped two 40-pound sensors into the waters of Lake Erie just off Buffalo and sent a command to them using a laptop on the ground. The series of chirps that resulted marked a major step in their development of a wireless underwater Internet that uses sound waves to transmit data directly to computers and smartphones. The system will differ from previous versions in that it eliminates the surface buoys used to convert sensors' sound waves to radio waves, which are then sent to computers via a satellite.

What's the Big Idea?

Several different organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, use sound wave-based systems to receive underwater data, but different infrastructures make sharing that data difficult. The University of Buffalo system would eliminate that problem by creating a worldwide standard. In addition to marine data collection, an underwater Internet could help improve tsunami warning systems, spot illegal submarine drug traffic, and aid in searches for sources of oil and natural gas. The researchers will present their project next month at the ACM International Conference on Underwater Networks and Systems.

Photo Credit:

Read it at KurzweilAI

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

Keep reading Show less

Cornell scientists engineer artificial material that has three key traits of life

An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less