Size Matters for Geckos and Flies

Size matters for geckos’ and flies’ glue pads, as described in New Scientist, 6 September 2003, p22. Geckos, flies and some spiders are able to walk upside down by using tiny flat pads on their feet called spatulae. The spatulae form temporary atomic bonds with what ever surface they are walking on. Biologists were puzzled […]

Read More

Silurian Sea Spider

Silurian sea spider preserved by volcanic eruption, according to a report in BBC News Online and ScienceNOW 21 October 2004. Sea spiders are delicate creatures with long thin legs that are rarely fossilised. Oxford University Palaeontologist Derek Siveter and colleagues have found the oldest most complete fossil sea spider preserved in volcanic rock in Hertfordshire, […]

Read More

Shrimps’ Amazing Eyes

Shrimps’ amazing eyes revealed, as described in articles in EurekAlert, UQ News Online and ScienceNOW, 20 March 2008. A group of researchers led by Justin Marshall of the University of Queensland and the Queensland Brain Institute have been studying the eyes of mantis shrimps – large reef dwelling crustaceans, also known as stomatopods. They found […]

Read More

Shrimp Eyes Make Better DVD Players

Shrimp eyes make better DVD players according to an article in ABC News in Science, 26 October 2009. Researchers studying the eyes of an Australian crustacean have found that its eyes process light in a more complex way than any man-made DVD or CD player. The shrimps’ eyes are able to convert linear polarised light […]

Read More

Shedding Light on Super Reflective Proteins

Shedding light on super reflective proteins, described in an article in news@nature 8 December 2006. Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have found a group of proteins in octopus skin that reflect all wavelengths of light from any angle. The researchers found the proteins in cells called leucophores that form the bottom […]

Read More

Sexy Daddy-Long-Legs

Sexy daddy-long-legs the same way for 400 million years, according a report in New Scientist, 20 September 2003, p19. A team of palaeontologists led by Jason Dunlop of Humboldt University found fossilised harvestmen (a type of spider commonly known as daddy-long-legs) in silica formations at Rhymie, near Aberdeen in Scotland that are believed to be […]

Read More

Sea Urchin Surprise

Sea urchin surprise reported in news@nature, and Biology News Net 9 November 2006 and Science, vol. 314, p398, 10 Nov 2006. Scientists have decoded the genome of the California purple sea urchin and have identified 23,300 genes made from 814 million DNA code letters. The scientists were surprised to find 7,077 of the sea urchin […]

Read More

Sea Sponge Inspired Solar Cells

Sea sponge inspired solar cells described in New Scientist, 24 March 2007, p32. Some sea sponges are covered with fine spikes of silica, which they make by converting silicic acid from sea water, using an enzyme named silicatein to catalyse the reaction. Spikey structures like these could help make photovoltaic cells (solar panels) more efficient, […]

Read More

Sea Spiders Aren’t Spiders

Sea spiders aren’t spiders, according to an article in ScienceNOW 19 October 2005 and Nature, vol 437, p 20 October 2005. Sea spiders live on the sea floor where they eat seaweed and small invertebrates. They are believed to have evolved 490 million years ago and have been classified as spiders because they have eight […]

Read More

River Blindness End in Sight

River blindness end in sight, according to an article in ScienceNOW 21 July 2009. The number of people suffering a parasitic infection that causes blindness has dramatically decreased over the last 20 years due to effective treatments that kill the parasitic worms. People become infected with the worms when they are bitten by black flies. […]

Read More