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
ADP-ribosylation on the right track
26.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns
Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Information Technology