A palm-sized device inspired by a tiny purple beetle that feeds on palm leaves could one day enable humans to walk up walls in manner similar to comic book hero Spiderman.
A palm-sized device inspired by a tiny purple beetle that feeds on palm leaves could one day enable humans to walk up walls in manner similar to comic book hero Spiderman. "Engineers at Cornell University, in New York, invented the device that uses the adhesive power of water to create a reversible adhesive bond capable of sticking to glass, wood and even brick. The researchers, whose work was funded by the US military, hope to use their invention to develop gloves and shoes that will allow the wearer to climb up even the blankest of walls. The technology was inspired by the Palmetto tortoise beetle from Florida, which uses surface tension from tiny droplets of oil secreted by glands at the top of its legs to clamp its shell down onto a leaf when it is under attack from ants. Once attached, the beetle is capable of holding loads 100 times its own weight. Professor Paul Steen, a biomolecular engineer at Cornell University, found that by pumping tiny droplets of water through microscopic holes in a flat plate, he could exploit the surface tension of the water to ‘glue’ the plate to another surface. Using an electrical field to pump the water through the holes, he was also able to reverse the process, allowing the plate to become unstuck on demand simply by changing the electric field."
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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