Biologists have discovered that a common corn fungus is by far natures most powerful known cannoneer, blasting its spores out with a force of 870,000 times the force of gravity. Farmers need not worry about being nailed by a fungal supergun, however. The infinitesimal spore travels only two-tenths of an inch (5 millimeters) before plummeting.
Nevertheless, said the biologists, the fungus Gibberella zeae outguns the previous record holder, the fungus Pilobolus, by almost a hundred-fold. It also outperforms a rifle, which launches its bullet with less than one-tenth that acceleration.
The researchers -- Frances Trail and Iffa Gaffoor of Michigan State University, and Steven Vogel of Duke University -- published their findings in the June 2005 issue of Fungal Genetics and Biology. The study was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
Dennis Meredith | EurekAlert!
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MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
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