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A story so full of win we don't know where to begin

By Leonard Ho - Posted Aug 06, 2013 09:00 AM
What do wounded veterans, SCUBA diving, prosthetic limbs, youth, and coral restoration have to do with each other? Researchers are attempting to create better prosthetic "sea" legs for war vets who have lost their limbs, and they're conducting their underwater research ... by observing vets transplanting staghorn Acropora.

Staff Sgt. Pete Quintanilla, left, learns from a youth member of SCUBAnauts International how to transplant staghorn coral during the annual Mote Marine Lab coral’s mitigation project. Photo credit: COMBAT WOUNDED VETERAN CHALLENGE

The Tampa Bay Tribune published a fabulous piece this week about a story that "meld[s] science with the triumph of the human spirit."  It wouldn't do their article justice to simply retell the story, so here is a link to Howard Altman's report.

To summarize: The J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College has set out to design improved prosthetic limbs to help wounded veterans swim better.  In turn, veterans participating in the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge are assisting the coral reef restoration efforts of the Mote Marine Laboratory by growing staghorn frags (Acropora cervicornis) alongside youth volunteers. 

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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