Skin Care Becomes a Seaworthy Idea

A chance discovery sends a fledgling ballast-water-treatment firm on a beauty detour--skin care

Correction Appended: January 4, 2008

Tandem Technologies' ship had sailed. Literally. The cargo vessel promised to the young water-treatment company by the U.S. Maritime Administration was instead deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2002. Tandem's founder, Robert Lyles III, a recent graduate of Kenyon College, had planned to conduct research on the ship that would prove to investors the promise of the technique he had developed for treating the ballast water taken on by ships. And no ship could mean no funding. The sudden setback might have sunk Tandem. But surprisingly, it set the company on an unexpected...

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