In a treasure hunt through Western Australia’s south-west more than 20 new species of trigger plants have been discovered – small plants that catapult pollen onto visiting insects.
Perth botanist Dr Juliet Wege made her findings whilst researching at the Department of Conservation and Land Management in a study funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study. Juliet has formally named eight new species and is in the process of naming and describing many more. Her work won her a place in Fresh Science 2004, a national initiative to bring the work of early career researchers to public attention. The scientist who best meets the criteria will win a study tour to the UK courtesy of British Council Australia.
Trigger plants (scientifically known as Stylidium) are a diverse group of native herbs that get their name from the ingenious way they use insects to exchange pollen. ‘When an insect visits a flower, a catapult-like trigger flips rapidly through the air and strikes the insect on its body,” explains Juliet. This trigger action is not designed to eat the insect, or to brush it away. It either dusts the insect with pollen, or picks up pollen that the insect is already carrying. “It’s a delightfully cunning way to transfer pollen between flowers, and the insects don’t seem to mind a bit,” Juliet says. “They visit flower after flower only to be whacked time and time again.”
Niall Byrne | alfa
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences