Prey have evolved a suite of tricks to avoid falling victim to a predator. They may escape, hide, protect, become toxic/inedible or defend themselves. In principle, they could also scare the predator away, but this is risky when predators are big.
Recent work led by a Dutch research team and published in the July issue of Ecology Letters revealed that a plant-feeding thrips insect overcomes this differential size problem by killing the eggs of its enemy, a plant-inhabiting predatory mite. This infanticide poses a severe threat to these predators, which react by avoiding to lay their eggs and to forage for food at sites where their eggs are killed. Indeed, predation on thrips larvae near damaged predator eggs was almost 4 times lower than on other larvae. Hence, by killing eggs, vulnerable thrips larvae deter dangerous predators and thus reduce their own risk of being food for other insects. This mechanism makes one wonder who`s the predator and who`s the prey.
Lynne Miller | AlphaGalileo
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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