New tech aims to make the ocean healthier for marine life

New tech aims to make the ocean healthier for marine life

Overabundance of dissolved carbon dioxide poses a threat to marine life. A new system detects elevated levels of the greenhouse gases and mitigates them on the spot.

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A defunct drydock basin arched by a rusting 19th century steel bridge seems an incongruous place to conduct state-of-the-art climate science. But this placid and protected sliver of water connecting Brooklyn’s Navy Yard to the East River was just right for Garrett Boudinot to float a small dock topped with water carbon-sensing gear. And while his system right now looks like a trio of plastic boxes wired up together, it aims to mediate the growing ocean acidification problem, caused by overabundance of dissolved carbon dioxide.

Boudinot, a biogeochemist and founder of a carbon-management startup called Vycarb, is honing his method for measuring CO2 levels in water, as well as (at least temporarily) correcting their negative effects. It’s a challenge that’s been occupying numerous climate scientists as the ocean heats up, and as states like New York recognize that reducing emissions won’t be enough to reach their climate goals; they’ll have to figure out how to remove carbon, too.

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Lela Nargi
Lela Nargi is a Brooklyn, NY-based veteran freelance journalist covering food and agriculture system, social justice issues, science & the environment, and the places where those topics intersect for The New York Times, The Guardian, the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), Eater, Modern Farmer, USA Today, and other outlets. Find her at lelanargi.com.
Breast cancer patients can now remove their tumors with ice instead of surgery

A woman receives a mammogram, which can detect the presence of tumors in a patient's breast.

When a patient is diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, having surgery to remove the tumor is considered the standard of care. But what happens when a patient can’t have surgery?

Whether it’s due to high blood pressure, advanced age, heart issues, or other reasons, some breast cancer patients don’t qualify for a lumpectomy—one of the most common treatment options for early-stage breast cancer. A lumpectomy surgically removes the tumor while keeping the patient’s breast intact, while a mastectomy removes the entire breast and nearby lymph nodes.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.

A new oral vaccine could prevent urinary tract infections for years

Urinary tract infections account for more than 8 million trips to the doctor each year.

Getty Images

Few things are more painful than a urinary tract infection (UTI). Common in men and women, these infections account for more than 8 million trips to the doctor each year and can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms, from a burning feeling during urination to fever, vomiting, and chills. For an unlucky few, UTIs can be chronic—meaning that, despite treatment, they just keep coming back.

But new research, presented at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Paris this week, brings some hope to people who suffer from UTIs.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.