Many animals are able to rapidly extend their tongues to catch prey. In fact, the chameleon extends its tongue at an acceleration rate of 500 metres per second square – generating 5 times the G force experienced by an F-16 fighter during its most demanding maneouvre! New research presented at the Society for Experimental Biology conference in Swansea today has shed light on exactly how these remarkable feats are achieved.
Dr Johan van Leeuwen of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, sugges
A scientist who studies the phsyics of sperm “as a hobby” is challenging the current understanding of how sperm swim towards an egg. At the Society for Experimental Biology conference today Dr Christopher Lowe will present the results of his modelling of a sperm`s tail, suggesting we may need to re-think our assumptions of how sperm move through fluid.
Experimental studies of sperm have generated a fairly well established database of parameters on sperm movement. The frequency and wavelength
Broccoli is one of western Europe`s most popular and widely consumed vegetables. However, its shelf life is restricted to about 5 days at room temperature, making distribution and storage of the product difficult. Recent research presented today at the Society for Experimental Biology conference in Swansea could help us understand the genetics of this situation and may even lead to `supervarieties` of broccoli.
The popularity of broccoli is on the increase and it is used increasingly in valu
Positioning systems will become an essential tool for the carrying out of many different tasks in the future. Whether the problem consists of a tree falling on a power line or a car standing in the road with a motor failure, aid services will find a route straight to the right location by using this system.
It has previously been difficult for a person in need of aid to convey exact information about his location in an unfamiliar area. In future, the person can find his exact location with t
Every night 2.1 million newspapers are delivered to mailboxes in Finland. In order to make the delivery even more effortless, wireless data transfer will be harnessed to aid newspaper carriers.
In the three-year TLX technology programme recently completed by Tekes, the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) has investigated methods of wireless control and monitoring of the newspaper delivery chain.
“In addition to various portable devices like mobile phones and PDA computers, i
Asymmetric bodies fuel arguments over ecological risk.
Birds with one foot bigger than the other are showing signs of stress, say Belgian ecologists. The study backs the controversial idea that measuring body asymmetries could signal that a species is at risk.
Researchers at the University of Antwerp measured the feet of taita thrushes from three remaining pockets of their native forest in Kenya. Those from the most disturbed area showed eight times more difference between t
The effectiveness of many potentially powerful treatments including drug therapy, gene therapy and cancer chemotherapy is often reduced because it can be difficult to target the treatment exactly where it will be most effective. One of the problems is that it is frequently difficult for drugs, as well as DNA and other biological molecules, to pass through the membranes of the targeted cells. Electroporation (EP), which involves the application of electrical pulses directly to the tissue to be treated
Using the equations of quantum mechanics, which normally govern the bizarre physics that occurs at tiny atomic scales, has enabled geophysicists to answer a much larger-scale question – what the Earth`s core is made from. At the Condensed Matter physics conference on Tuesday 9 April, part of the Institute of Physics Congress in Brighton, Prof Mike Gillan and Dr Dario Alfe from University College London will describe how their research has revealed not only the likely composition of the Earth`s core,
New research on steroid hormone action in the human colon and kidney could pave the way for novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of hypertension and diarrhoea.
Prof Brian Harvey at University College Cork has been studying how the hormones oestrogen and aldosterone produce rapid changes in the transport of salt and water through human intestines and kidneys. Human beings have two main organs that regulate the body’s salt and water balance (effectively blood pressure) – the kidney and
Scientists have discovered that plant leaves activate defence mechanisms against plant eating insects within twenty seconds of an insect walking across them. Dr Alan Bown will be presenting the results of his footsteps research at the Society for Experimental Biology conference on Tuesday 9 April.
Dr Bown and colleagues studied the effects of insects traipsing across leaves, observing the chemical responses in the leaves over time. Ten seconds after larvae had crawled across the leaves, supe
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids and their international colleagues found signatures of an unconventional Hall response in the quantum limit of the bulk metal…
Professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created a serpentine path for electrons. A research team led by professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created…
Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance to the antibiotics that are most…
A ‘game changing’ study deciphering the genetic material of the desert locust by researchers at the University of Leicester, could help combat the crop-ravaging behaviour of the notorious insect pest…
Wheat researchers at the John Innes Centre are pioneering a new technique that promises to improve gene discovery for the globally important crop. Crop breeding involves assembling desired combinations of…
Prototype tech shrinks AI to deliver brain-like functionality in one powerful device. Researchers have developed artificial intelligence technology that brings together imaging, processing, machine learning and memory in one electronic…
Deep learning, also called machine learning, reproduces data to model problem scenarios and offer solutions. However, some problems in physics are unknown or cannot be represented in detail mathematically on…
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