Living fossils meet modern technology

The world’s oceans in their great vastness support an incredible diversity of aquatic species. But how much do we really know about life beneath the surface? For instance, in the deep waters off the coasts of B.C. and Alaska, a truly unique community of organisms combines to form glass sponge reefs that were once thought to be extinct — a discovery so unexpected that scientists often compare it to finding a herd of dinosaurs still roaming the earth.

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Saving energy and money with hybrid heating (Byte-Sized Science)

Jeremy Sager, a research engineer at CanmetENERGY Ottawa, assesses the performance of different, more energy-efficient heating ventilation and air conditioning systems in residential homes. He takes us through a house where an air conditioner was replaced with a heat pump. When the air conditioner gets old, the heat pump can do some of the heating and save energy.

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Satellite Navigation: The familiar blue dot could soon mark a better spot

Getting from point A to point B using your smartphone’s web mapping application with the familiar pulsing blue dot is part of our daily lives — thanks to satellite system receivers that use global positioning systems (GPS) to give location and time information. Positioning technology is evolving, and today a typical smartphone can pinpoint a person’s location within a few metres, which is adequate for most personal use. But for a future that includes autonomous driving, precision agriculture and natural disaster early warning systems, centimetre-level accuracy will be crucial.

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Separating Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are used in manufacturing parts for a wide range of high-tech consumer products such as cell phones and computer hard drives. Natural Resources Canada scientist Tesfaye Negeri explains the processes he is developing to separate and isolate rare earth elements.

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