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
Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter
An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News