Latest Duncan Irschick Stories
The University of Massachusetts Amherst scientists behind a super-adhesive material inspired by gecko feet have described a new, more versatile version of their invention that can be used on real-world surfaces.
Scoffing at or cutting funds for basic research on unusual animal adaptations from Gila monster venom to snail sex, though politically appealing to some, is short-sighted and only makes it more likely that important economic and social benefits are lost.
For years, biologists have been amazed by the power of gecko feet, which let these 5-ounce lizards produce an adhesive force roughly equivalent to carrying nine pounds up a wall without slipping.
When it comes to something as simple as hammering a nail, some people are naturals and get the job done after a few clean, sharp strokes of the hammer, whereas for the rest of us a similar challenge is likely to end up with the nail bent in the middle, a sore thumb and a wounded pride.
- The act of sweetening by admixture of some saccharine substance.