This was my third article, and one of my favourites. It was on how RNA was probably the start of life on Earth, and does a lot more than you may have learned in school.
OMG. Looks like a hoax, but according to science, it’s not.
Read the full article here.
So far we have Tardigrades and the Mantis Shrimp on my list of favourites – now we really should add the Nudibranch.
I guess I’m just a sucker for invertebrates.
Insect wings can shred bacteria to pieces! This video shows how a newly discovered nanostructure on the wings of cicadas can rip certain bacterial membranes to shreds. This structure, perfected by nature as a natural defense against dangerous microbes, could be harnessed by humans to create antimicrobial surfaces.
Sometimes nature is our best innovator.
(More at Nature News)
Today’s equation: Biology + Robotics = Awesome
Scientists Use Cells to Fold Origami
Picture a gingerbread house. Without the frosting that glues its walls and windows together, it would be nothing but a disorganized pile of cookies and candy. The “glue” makes it all possible.
So it is with our bodies. We are a carefully organized cellular panoply of dozens of cell types, from muscle to bone to nerve, but without connective tissue, we’d just be a pile of cellular mush. Much of our cellular glue is created by a type of cell called a “fibroblast”, which secretes a sticky web called the extracellular matrix that those muscle, bone, nerve and other cells use as a sort of structural scaffold. These fibroblasts, as anyone who’s ever seen them under a microscope knows, are known for their spiky, tentacle-like arms, allowing them to move and squeeze into our the nooks and crannies that make up … well, the inside of us.
The fibroblast cells in this video were placed on the hinges of microscopic origami patterns. When their sticky, prehensile arms pull on those hinges, they are able to fold them into 3D shapes, using the same structural goop and scaffolds that hold our bodies together!
Very cool. Let’s see them make a crane.
Ever wonder how ladybirds’ wing unfold?
Even more of an engineering feat than I imagined.