Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clemson researcher takes part in breakthrough research on in

24.01.2003


Recent research shows that insects and humans have something surprising in common: Some six-legged species take in oxygen using a similar means to the way we fill our lungs.



Scientists from the Field Museum and Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago and from Clemson University used a powerful x-ray imaging device to get the first comprehensive view of live insects breathing. Their observations and research results are reported in the Jan. 24 issue of Science, an internationally respected research publication.

"The discovery of this fundamental aspect of respiratory biology for insects could revolutionize the field of insect physiology," said lead author Mark Westneat, associate curator of zoology at the Field Museum.


Researchers discovered that many insects, including crickets, wood beetles and carpenter ants, are able to breathe using a mechanism similar to the one we use to ventilate our own lungs. This is remarkable because insects do not have lungs, but rather a system of internal tubes called tracheae, which they use to breathe through slow, passive means.

The study showed that some insects also breathe by compressing and expanding tracheae in their head and thorax, using them like lungs. The breathing cycles can be as fast as one per second, producing air exchange rates of nearly 50 percent, similar to moderately exercising humans.

"This rapid, active breathing mechanism might help to explain the tremendous success of insects, since the ability to rapidly deliver oxygen to body tissues may have played a role in the evolution of aspects of insect function, ranging from flight to the performance of sense organs, said Richard W. Blob (pronounced "Bl-oh-b"), assistant professor in Clemson University’s biological sciences department.

"As we come to understand the basic physiology of animal respiration and circulation through research such as this project, we have the potential to make further discoveries that can ultimately improve our ability to treat disease in humans."

Until now, it has not been possible to see movement inside living insects. Researchers solved the problem by using a synchrotron, a circular particle accelerator that can generate x-rays. The one at Argonne National Laboratory ranks among the most powerful in the world.

"This is the first time anyone has applied this technology to create x-ray videos of living animals," says co-author Wah-Keat Lee, a physicist at the Argonne lab. "This work opens up the possibility of developing a powerful new technique for studying how living animals function."

Peter Kent | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.clemson.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht No gene is an island
25.07.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>