Ever wondered why you aren’t able to swat a fly? The fly’s secret in avoiding death in this way lies in its decision to jump rather than to fly out of the way. “This kind of low-power decision-making could be of interest to those building autonomously navigating robots", according to Gwyneth Card of the California Institute of Technology, who will be presenting her work on triggered escape response at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in Barcelona, on Wednesday 13th July [session A7.15].
To investigate responses in Drosophila melanogaster, she performed experiments dropping black discs from different angles, on a collision course with the flies. Capturing the responses on video, she showed that flies escaped by means of jumping in a forward fashion and directly away from the object, in addition to using their wings. Her results suggest that signals in the brain transferred via the ‘giant fibre pathway’, initiate a “take-off” sequence, involving stretching of the legs and depression of the wings that can move the fly in a specific direction.
Previous studies did not detect directional jumping1, but observations were made in conjunction with non-directional stimuli such as switching lights on and off. Card’s results imply that there could be a simple neural solution that "answers" questions within what is essentially a reflex arc.
Diana van Gent | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
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...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences