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Criminal-Scanning Sunglasses

If you’re a criminal in Brazil, you may soon find it more difficult to hide from the police.

That’s because Brazilian police officers will be outfitted with special sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology.

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The Future of Farming

Aquaculture, which relies on a balanced ecosystem of fish and plants, could be the future of urban farming

One of the biggest challenges to conquering world hunger is the shrinking availability of farmland. That is why farms of the future need to occupy less space, rely on fewer pesticides, and produce food that travels blocks, not miles, to combat climbing fuel costs.

The solution may be aquaponic farming, a revolutionary system of mini vertical farms where fish and plants live symbiotically.

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Virgin Oceanic Goes Many Leagues
Under the Sea

After announcing the creation of one of the world’s first commercial spaceflight ventures, Virgin is now moving to explore more uncharted territory.

Virgin Oceanic will be the ultimate undersea expedition: five dives (one in each of the five oceans) over the course of the next two years. 

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Sign Me Up: Tsunami Research Class at Oregon State

Ask most engineers what drew them to the discipline, and crunching equations in the classroom probably doesn’t top any list. Studying explosions, building things, saving the planet—that’s more like it. A growing number of programs now give undergraduates a crack at cutting-edge research—often on socially relevant projects. Want to save lives when tsunamis strike? How about landing a robot on Mars or designing bomb-proof embassies? Check out our continuing series of posts on the country’s coolest engineering classes, which demonstrate that the fundamentals can still be fun.

After Japan’s devastating tsunami, did you wonder about building safer shelters? Students at Oregon State University’s College of Engineering in Corvallis not only get to design such structures; they can test them against the forces of nature in the Tsunami Wave Basin, the world’s largest, most sophisticated facility for studying earthquake-generated monster swells.

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Saving Marine Mammals Through Bioacoustics

In 2000, the U.S. Navy acknowledged that loud blasts of its sonar helped cause a mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas. And in 2005, 37 whales beached themselves and died along the North Carolina shore after Navy vessels used powerful sonar as part of a training exercise.

Thus, the Office of Naval Research has awarded two three-year grants to advance research on the effects of man-made noises on marine life.

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