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E.g., 10/20/2017
E.g., 10/20/2017
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  • photomontage of mosquito taking off
  • KC Huang
Your search has returned 129 articles:
  • News

    The physics of mosquito takeoffs shows why you don’t feel a thing

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    Discovering an itchy welt is often a sign you have been duped by one of Earth’s sneakiest creatures — the mosquito.

    Scientists have puzzled over how the insects, often laden with two or three times their weight in blood, manage to flee undetected. At least one species of mosquito — Anopheles coluzzii — does so by relying more on lift from its wings than push from its...

    10/18/2017 - 18:00 Biophysics, Animals
  • News

    Superbugs may meet their match in these nanoparticles

    Antibiotics may have a new teammate in the fight against drug-resistant infections.

    Researchers have engineered nanoparticles to produce chemicals that render bacteria more vulnerable to antibiotics. These quantum dots, described online October 4 in Science Advances, could help combat pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotics (SN: 10/15/16, p. 11).

    “Various superbugs...

    10/09/2017 - 07:00 Technology, Biophysics
  • Feature

    KC Huang probes basic questions of bacterial life

    KC Huang, 38PhysicistStanford University

    Physicists often ponder small things, but probably not the ones on Kerwyn Casey “KC” Huang’s mind. He wants to know what it’s like to be a bacterium.

    “My motivating questions are about understanding the physical challenges bacterial cells face,” he says. Bacteria are the dominant life-forms on Earth. They affect the health of plants and animals,...

    10/04/2017 - 13:50 Microbiology, Biophysics
  • Science Ticker

    Why bats crash into windows

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    Walls can get the best of clumsy TV sitcom characters and bats alike.

    New lab tests suggest that smooth, vertical surfaces fool some bats into thinking their flight path is clear, leading to collisions and near misses.

    The furry fliers famously use sound to navigate — emitting calls and tracking the echoes to hunt for prey and locate obstacles. But some...

    09/07/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    Why bats crash into windows

    View the video

    Walls can get the best of clumsy TV sitcom characters and bats alike.

    New lab tests suggest that smooth, vertical surfaces fool some bats into thinking their flight path is clear, leading to collisions and near misses.

    The furry fliers famously use sound to navigate — emitting calls and tracking the echoes to hunt for prey and locate obstacles. But some...

    09/07/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Science Visualized

    Why midsize animals are the fastest

    Speed has its limits — on the open road and the Serengeti. Midsize animals tend to be the speedsters, even though, in theory, the biggest animals should be the fastest. A new analysis that relates speed and body size in 474 species shows that the pattern holds for animals whether they run, fly or swim (see graphs below) and suggests how size becomes a liability.

    This relationship between...

    08/11/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Biophysics, Ecology
  • Mystery Solved

    How spiders mastered spin control

    A strange property of spider silk helps explain how the arachnids avoid twirling wildly at the end of their ropes.

    Researchers from China and England harvested silk from two species of golden orb weaver spiders, Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes, and tested it with a torsion pendulum. The device has a hanging weight that rotates clockwise or counterclockwise, twisting whatever fiber it...

    08/08/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News

    Newly discovered lymph hydraulics give tunas their fancy moves

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    In fishes as familiar as tunas, humans have managed to find some unknown anatomy: a hydraulic system based on lymph.

    Often the underdogs of body parts, vertebrate lymph systems can do vital chores such as fight disease but rarely get the attention that blood systems do. Yet it turns out to be lymph, not blood, that rushes into two sickle-shaped tuna fins and fans...

    07/31/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • It's Alive

    The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly alive

    An adult insect wing is basically dead.

    So what in the world were tiny respiratory channels doing in a wing membrane of a morpho dragonfly?

    Rhainer Guillermo Ferreira was so jolted by a scanning electron microscope image showing what looked like skinny, branching tracheal tubes in a morpho wing that he called in another entomologist for a second opinion. Guillermo Ferreira, then at...

    06/30/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Teaser

    Ladybugs fold their wings like origami masters

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    Those who struggle to fit a vacation wardrobe into a carry-on might learn from ladybugs. The flying beetles neatly fold up their wings when they land, stashing the delicate appendages underneath their protective red and black forewings.

    To learn how one species of ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) achieves such efficient packing, scientists needed to see under the...

    06/13/2017 - 11:30 Biophysics, Animals