Macadamia Nuts

Why Are Nuts Hard to Crack?

Why are nuts hard to crack? This question is answered in reports in Science (AAAS) News, 10 August 2021, Royal Society Open Science 11 August 2021, doi: 10.1098/rsos.210399 and Advanced Materials 20 October 2020, 10.1002/adma.202004519. Over the last few years Notburga Gierlinger, a biophysicist at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and colleagues […]

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Sea Sponge Fluid Dynamics Revealed by Supercomputer

Sea sponge fluid dynamics revealed by supercomputer, as reported in Nature News and Views 21 July 2021, and Nature 21 July 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03658-1. Researchers in Italy have used one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world to study the way sea water flows through and around the sea sponge Euplectella which grows on […]

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Pterosaur at Jurassic Ark

A Pterosaur Neck is Like a Bicycle

A pterosaur neck is like a bicycle reports Cell Press via SciTech Daily and ScienceDaily 14 April 2021, and iScience 14 April 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102338. Azhdarchid pterosaurs were the largest flying animals that ever lived, with a wingspan of up to 10 metres (33ft) and “ridiculously long necks” that could be longer than a giraffe […]

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Hitchhiking Microbes Protect Plants and People

Hitchhiking microbes protect plants and people, according to articles in Science (AAAS) News 22 March 2021, and The ISME Journal, 15 March 2021. Doi 10.1038/s41396-021-00952-8.  Soil dwelling bacteria known Streptomyces are known to colonise plant roots and protect plants from damage by other microbes by producing antibiotics.  Many of these antibiotics are also used in […]

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Dragonfly Flying

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it!

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it! Dragonfly backflips described in articles in ScienceDaily 9 February 2021, Imperial College London news 10 February 2021, and PNAS 10 February 2021 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2676.  Dragonflies are noted for superb aerial manoeuvres, including flying backwards, but even the most agile flyer can be knocked off balance or […]

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Butterfly

Efficient Butterfly Flight

Efficient butterfly flight reported in BBC News 20 January 2021, ScienceDaily 21 January 2021 and Journal of The Royal Society Interface 20 January 2021 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2020.0854. Two researchers at the Swedish Lund University have studied the fluttery flight of butterflies, which has traditionally been considered ungainly and inefficient.  Per Henningsson and Christoffer Johansson commented in […]

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Bird Wing

How Bird Feathers Stick Together

How bird feathers stick together, and undo, discovered by scientists and described in Telegraph (UK) 16 January 2020 and Science 17 January2020, doi: 10.1126/science.aaz3358. As birds fly their wings morph into different shapes, with their wing feathers spreading out evenly to maintain a continuous solid surface.  Scientists noticed that the wing feathers of pigeons slide […]

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Bacterium with Flagella

Re-Run Evolution Proves Flagellum Evolved

Re-run evolution proves flagellum evolved, claim scientists in an article in ABC Science 7 November 2019.  Matt Baker, a biophysicist at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and Nick Matzke a phylogeneticist at University of Auckland, New Zealand, have written an article entitled “Evolution or intelligent design? The story of the bacterial flagellar motor”. […]

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Soft Corals

Coral Movements Disperse Oxygen

Coral movements disperse oxygen, according to a report in Inside JEB 9 August 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 9 August 2019 doi:10.1242/jeb.192518. Scientists in Israel have studied soft corals named Heteroxenia, which grow in the red sea. These corals have crown of feathery tentacles, arranged like a flower, that constantly fold and unfold in […]

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Bare Feet

Bare Feet Stay Sensitive

Bare feet stay sensitive, according to reports in Nature News and Views and Scientific American 26 June 2019 and Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1345-6, published online 26 June 2019. People who habitually walk with bare feet, build up hard calluses on their soles that protect feet from skin damage and make walking on hard surfaces less painful. […]

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