A team of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) researchers in Saudi Arabia have developed Marine Skin, a smart patch that could be used to electronically tag marine animals.
Marine Skin is derived from flexible silicone elastomers that can tolerate high pressures in deep waters.
Former KAUST team member Joanna Nassar says the patch tracks an animal's movement and diving behavior, as well as the health of its surrounding marine environment, in real time. The Marine Skin prototype supplements location data with temperature and salinity readings, and the data can be retrieved wirelessly when the patch is removed.
Nassar thinks the prototype and planned enhancements will enable more comprehensive analysis of the marine ecosystem, and she says probing behavioral changes of organisms as they relate to the quality and health of the ocean will help evaluate habitability in the face of rising global temperatures, increased pollution, and the impact of overfishing.
From KAUST Discovery
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