Jellyfish engines.

U.S. News & World Report gets deep, looking at ways to make submarines swim like jellyfish:

Jellyfish create doughnut-shaped currents of rotating water when they swim…. these so-called “vortex rings,” enable jellyfish to go further on less energy, an idea that scientists hope to translate into new engineering designs.

In particular, they want to build new underwater research vehicles that can remain beneath the ocean surface for years at a time, rather than only hours or months, and on less fuel.

“It is important to have underwater vehicles that can study the changing properties of the ocean, such as temperature and pH, so we can improve our knowledge of the ocean and how it works,” said [Caltech bioengineering and aeronautics professor John] Dabiri, who recently was among those named to receive a prestigious $500,000 MacArthur “genius’’ award, a “no-strings attached’’ fellowship. “This is especially important in trying to understand the impact of climate change on the ocean.”