Advertisement

Insect

Biology

Sex, maggots, castration and politicians lead to this year's Golden Goose Award

This is a story about flesh-eating maggots, politicians, castration and the sex life of the screwworm – although not necessarily in that order. It also involves one particular Golden Goose, but in this case, it's not a bird kept by a giant in the clouds, but rather an award that honors federally funded scientific research that might seem "silly, odd, or obscure when first conducted, but has resulted in significant benefits to society." And in this case, those benefits extend to battling the bugs that spread the Zika virus.Read More

Drones

Bees' supreme obstacle avoidance to make for smarter drones

For more than a century, aeronautical visionaries have turned to the natural world for inspiration and those working with modern-day miniature aircraft that fit in the palm of your hand are no different. By learning how bees safely zip through thick rainforests in spite of their poor vision, scientists say they can endow flying robots with similar capabilities, promising exciting new levels of autonomy for small drones.Read More

Insect communications device is kinda buggy

Fireflies are certainly fascinating to watch as they signal to one another with their bioluminescent abdomens, but have you ever wanted to join in the conversation? Well, you apparently should soon be able to do so, with a little help from the Firefly Communicator.Read More

ZappLight bulb turns ordinary lamps into bug-killers

Thanks to the Zika virus, mosquitoes are back in the news and as feared as ever. While getting a dedicated bug-zapping light could help keep the little beasts at bay, not everyone wants to bother buying such a device. Well, that's why the ZappLight was created. It's an LED light bulb that goes into a regular socket, and it reportedly kills mozzies.Read More

Robotics

Search-and-rescue robot could give locusts a better name

Despite the fact that locusts are held in fairly low regard by us humans, there's a chance that you may one day be rescued by one … or at least, by a robotic locust. Working with colleagues at Israel's Ort Braude College, researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a tiny locust-inspired robot that can reportedly jump over twice as high as other similarly-sized devices. They say that it could ultimately find use in search-and-rescue operations at disaster sites.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

High-tech comb uses plasma to kill lice

As some parents will already know, head lice infestations can be very difficult to treat. Typically a toxic shampoo or lotion has to first be applied to the sufferer's scalp, after which the lice are removed by pulling a specialized comb through their hair. Louse eggs aren't harmed by such shampoos, however, so the treatment needs to be repeated once they've hatched. This means more nasty chemicals, and more discomfort for the child (or adult). That's why researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films have developed an alternative, in the form of a comb that zaps the pests with cold plasma.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning