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Lice-Hunting Underwater Drone Protects Salmon With Lasers

A laser-wielding robot will help salmon farmers shoot their way out of the problem

4 min read
Gif: Stingray Marine Solutions/IEEE Spectrum

/image/Mjg3NzA5Ng.jpegA Fjord’s Friend: Aquaculture pens like these in Iceland, breed fish, but also the sea lice that feed off them.Photo: Jerzy Strzelecki

The pens holding cold-water fish in the fjords of Norway and quiet lochs of Scotland, whose depths are normally inky black after dark, now have an eerie night glow. There’s a perfectly rational explanation: Thousands of laser pulses are doing an important job, lighting up fish stocks in the latest bid to control a pesky parasite that can injure or even kill farmed salmon, and devastate an industry estimated to reel in about US $10 billion annually.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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