The Plastic Brain

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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)

Nanoshred, FTW

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World’s Rarest and Least Known Animals

1) Sea Pig  2) Mudskipper Fish 3) Barrel Eye Fish  4) Coconut Crab  5) Fennec Fox   6) Pangolin  7) Lampreye Eel  8) Vampire Squid  9) Tarsier  10) Star Nosed Mole

This gallery contains 10 photos

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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.

(via PsiVid)