18 news posts from May 2015

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Puget Sound’s clingfish could inspire better medical devices, whale tags

Northern clingfish.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories are studying the Northern clingfish, a finger-sized fish that scoots around the coastal waters of Puget Sound and can use suction forces to hold up to 150 times its own body weight. They’re trying to better understand how clingfish summon such massive power in wet, slimy environments—something current industrial suction devices can’t do—and if the biomechanics of clingfish could be instructive in designing surgical instruments and, possibly, a new way to tag whales without puncturing their skin with darts.  

Read more at UW Today »

Seafloor sensors record possible eruption of underwater volcano

This custom-built precise pressure sensor detects the seafloor’s rise and fall as magma, or molten rock, moves in and out of the underlying magma chamber.

Thanks to a set of high-tech instruments installed last summer by a team of scientists, many at the College of the Environment, the deep sea is online and scientists were able to observe the eruption of the Axial Volcano on April 23. About 300 miles offshore from Astoria, Oregon, and one mile deep, the data collected flowed back to the land at the speed of light through fiber optic cable. 

Read more at UW Today »

Sustainability progress should precede seafood market access, researchers urge

A fish market in the Solomon Islands, near Papua New Guinea.

A team of researchers, including Edward Allison from the College of the Environment’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, has evaluated fishery improvement projects designed to bring seafood from wild fisheries to the certified market while promising sustainability in the future. In a policy paper appearing May 1 in Science, the team concluded that these projects need to be fine tuned to ensure that fisheries are delivering on their promises. 

Read more at UW Today »