Functioning mechanical gears seen in nature for the first time
A plant-hopping insect found in gardens across Europe - has hind-leg joints with curved cog-like strips of opposing teeth that intermesh, rotating like mechanical gears to synchronise the animals legs when it launches into a jump.
The finding demonstrates that gear mechanisms previously thought to be solely man-made have an evolutionary precedent. Scientists say this is the "first observation of mechanical gearing in a biological structure".
This image shows cog wheels connecting the hind legs of the plant hopper, Issus.
Through a combination of anatomical analysis and high-speed video capture of normal Issus movements, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been able to reveal these functioning natural gears for the first time. The findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Science.
The gears in the Issus hind-leg bear remarkable engineering resemblance to those found on every bicycle and inside every car gear-box.
Each gear tooth has a rounded corner at the point it connects to the gear strip; a feature identical to man-made gears such as bike gears essentially a shock-absorbing mechanism to stop teeth from shearing off.
The gear teeth on the opposing hind-legs lock together like those in a car gear-box, ensuring almost complete synchronicity in leg movement - the legs always move within 30 microseconds of each other, with one microsecond equal to a millionth of a second.
This is critical for the powerful jumps that are this insects primary mode of transport, as even miniscule discrepancies in synchronisation between the velocities of its legs at the point of propulsion would result in "yaw rotation" - causing the Issus to spin hopelessly out of control.
Read the full article at: phys.org
Latest News from our Front Page
Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher
Swedenâs Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan âonly 1%â Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes.
Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didnât ...
Hollywood agents: Difficult for white actors to find work now that shows required âto go ethnicâ
According to an article by Nellie Andreeva published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood, the television landscape has shifted so much this season that white actors are finding it increasingly difficult to find roles.
In addition to new hit shows with mostly minority casts â Black-ish, Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away with Murder â shows that were originally ...
Congratulations Pussy Porters!
Mural paid for by the government, decorates a Swedish school.
On International Womenâs day Julia Caesar published this chronicle in Swedish on Snaphanen which Iâve translated but prior to reading it Iâd like to provide you with some background information on certain terms which are incomprehensible to non-Swedes.
First and foremost âpussy porterâ and âpenis porterâ are terms that third-wave feminists in ...
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately â prosecutor
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldnât let the captain inside the cabin, with the âintension to destroyâ the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference.
Follow RTâs live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash
The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz.
The captain was between 30 ...
Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary
The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced.
âHenâ will be added to âhanâ (he) and âhonâ (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academyâs SAOL.
The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender â either because ...
|More News » |