VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Science & Technology POSTED ON: 6/11/2010
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Tomorrow in brief © PHOTODISC INC. Capturing Energy Under the Sea Liquid-Wood Toys Slow-moving ocean and river enhances the slow currents by A bioplastic made of renewable currents may be a new source creating vortices, then captur- “liquid wood” rather than petro- of reliable and affordable ing their power. The device chemicals could be an ideal power. Most of the world’s wa- works much like the way fish component for toys. No matter ter currents move slowly (un- use each other’s wake to pro- how roughly a child treats the der three knots), but to capture pel themselves through water. toy, it releases no heavy met- energy efficiently, turbines and Besides providing renewable als or other ingredients that water mills require currents at energy, the device would also would cause harm. The mate- nearly twice that speed. A ma- be less likely to harm marine rial, known as Arboform, was chine called VIVACE (Vortex- life than dams and water tur- developed at the Fraunhofer Induced Vibrations for Aquatic bines, says Bernitsas. Institute for Chemical Technol- Clean Energy), developed by ogy ICT in Germany. Though Traditional medicine or alternative? Patients Source: University of Michigan, University of Michigan marine News Service, Ann Arbor, Michigan bioplastics using cellulose from increasingly want the best of both. engineer Michael Bernitsas, 48109. Web site www.ns.umich.edu. wood have been used in other products, they have been un- Hospitals and Patients SCOTT GALVIN / COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN suitable for toys because of OMAR JAMIL / COURTESY OF Seek Alternatives UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN additives such as sulfur. Arbo- form’s sulfur content was re- More than one-third of Ameri- duced by 90%; the next chal- can adults and 12% of children lenge was to find suitable use some form of complemen- additives that keep the bioplas- tary or alternative medicine, tics from dissolving in water—a such as herbal and dietary big problem since children tend supplements, according to a to suck on their toys or leave report from the National Insti- them out in the rain. tutes of Health. Therapies VIV ACE system creates vortex in demonstration tank. The cylinders showing significant increases Source: Fraunhofer Institute for along the ocean or river bottom would enhance slow vibrations by Chemical Technology, Joseph-von- in popularity in the past five creating vortices, then capture the energy. Inset: Artist’s concept of Fraunhofer-Strasse 7, 76327 Pfinz- years are deep-breathing exer- VIV ACE converters along ocean floor. tal, Berghausen, Germany. Web cises, meditation, massage site www.ict.fraunhofer.de. therapy, and yoga. Hospitals © TECNARO GmbH are responding to increased
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