Food Vibrations—Spiders Are Total Virtuosos With Their Webs
A single thread of spider silk flexes deforms under impact from a plastic bullet traveling around 400 meters per second, or 900 miles per hour.OxfordSilkGroup Few materials are as fascinating as spider silk. It’s stronger than steel, flexible rather than brittle, and light enough to float on the breeze. And vibrations in webs tell spiders, […]
Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. And Death.
If you’ve ridden in a car piloted by a young or inexperienced driver lately, chances are you’ve had an unwelcome epiphany. When driving your own car every day, navigating familiar streets, the vehicle is an extension of your body and your home, a wee castle on wheels that protects you, obeys you, and gets you […]
Be Careful With the Powerful Medicine That Is Poop
It has recently become clear that each one of us is more microbe than human—at least when it comes to the number of cells in our bodies. The bacteria that swarm through our guts, across our skin, and in every orifice you have outnumber our human cells by at least 10 to 1, though their […]
Handy Genetic Switch Helps You Grow Hands—or Paws, or Fins
When an enormous four-finned fish surfaced in a South African fisherman’s catch in 1938, scientists were fascinated by its resemblance to fossilized creatures that had died out millions of years ago. The fish, called a coelacanth, turned out to be the first descendant of those organisms ever spotted by humans. The two living species identified […]