The next time you shriek at the sight of a spider, be aware that the arachnid can hear you loud and clear from as far away as 10-feet! The surprising discovery by Cornell University researchers adds to the already impressive list of arachnid attributes that includes superior vision and ability to weave intricate webs.
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On August 27, NASA’s Juno mission completed the first orbital flyby of Jupiter. Traveling at a speed of 130,000 mph, the spacecraft passed about 2,600 miles above the gas giant’s swirling clouds. Though the space probe will be conducting 35 additional flybys before the mission ends on February 2018, this was its closest approach and hence, the most important for data collection. Juno did not disappoint.
Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and important ecosystems on Earth. Not only do they provide food and habitats for the fish and seafood we eat, but they also shelter many other organisms that are crucial for ocean food chains. Experts estimate they contribute about $30 billion USD to the global economy annually, through tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection. Unfortunately, warming ocean waters, acidification, and over-fishing are killing the beautiful reefs at unprecedented levels
Robots have come a long way since ancient Greek mathematician, Archytas, released a steam-powered wooden dove dubbed “The Pigeon” in 350 B.C. However, the terminator-type rigidity of the machines has hindered them from being useful at tasks like search and rescue operations. While researchers have recently created softer and more flexible robots, they still contain hard electric power and control systems — such as batteries and circuit boards.
Listen up Potterheads! Muggle student scientists from the U.K.’s University of Leicester have been researching some critical matters: do the spells and potions that Harry Potter and his fellow wizards use really need magic to work or do they have a scientific basis? The research papers, “Gillyweed – Drowning with Gills?” and “Revealing the Magic of Skele-Gro,” published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics in May, investigated the magical plant and potion that helped the wizard in the popular book series.
Legendary artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, who conducted the first systematic study of friction, has always been credited as the pioneer in Tribology. But while his famous machinery design sketches reflected the inventor’s knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of friction, precisely when and how Leonardo developed these ideas, has remained a mystery.
The first clue that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season would be an active one came in January, when Alex, a Category 1 hurricane, arrived six months before the season’s official June 1st start date. Since then, there have been 13 named storms and three hurricanes. However, none have been as devastating as Hurricane Matthew, which has left a trail of destruction all the way from Haiti to North Carolina.
On Wednesday, October 5, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard L. Feringa won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for creating machines that are a thousand times thinner than a hair strand! What is even more impressive is that the nanomotors are not made of pistons or gears — just a handful of molecules!