From around the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area comes the latest business news and announcements. Engineers at a Virginia Tech lab are working on a giant, synthetic, robo-jellyfish, which one day could autonomously patrol the high seas. The project, which is funded by a $5-million grant from the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research, has already yielded one workable prototype: a 170-pound monster nicknamed Cyro. The Maryland Senate voted 27-20 on Friday to approve the state’s first gas tax increase in just over 20 years, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who pushed the proposal earlier this month to raise badly needed revenue for transportation projects. Virginia’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 percent in February for the third straight month, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Friday. College’s across the country, including Howard University, have found sneaky ways to raise tuition through various fees. George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis predicts the region will actually lose fewer jobs under sequestration than initially thought, after taking into account the federal spending plan passed last month. A study that suggests more hospitals will be eyeing primary care practices this year is in line with some hospital administrators’ strategies in Maryland.
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