The Pacific Northwest, famous for its delectable fried oysters and succulent steamed clams, is one of several coastal “hot spots” where shellfish are subject to “acidification” — seawater whose chemistry is becoming corrosive because of greenhouse gases.
In the ocean’s darkest depths, superheated water seeps from cracks on the seabed. This lightless world supports exotic creatures like tubeworms and giant clams. It’s their very oddity that makes them exciting to OSU medicinal chemist Kerry McPhail.
The whole world could be powered by a tiny fraction of the ocean’s untapped energy — if it could be harnessed.
On a typical low-visibility-day out among Oregon’s rocky reefs, scuba divers float in a murky, monochromatic world. Sunlight filtering through the algae-rich brine of near-shore waters casts a green patina on everything.
With seed funds from Oregon BEST, researcher Goran Jovanovic is working on a novel “capacitive deionization” process that could remove salt from seawater using half the energy of prevailing technologies.
Last summer when Oregon State University researchers announced the development of a new strain of seaweed tasting remarkably like bacon when cooked, the news caught the attention of foodies everywhere. It was hailed as the holy grail of good eating — a nutrition-packed marine plant as yummy as a fat-loaded meat product.