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Originally posted by Wildbob77
So, does that mean that mosquitoes understand how much they piss me off and why I try to kill them?
Originally posted by nixie_nox
There needs to be a rule on ATS that you can't insert huge pictures of creepy crawlies without due warning.
Originally posted by berenike
I posted this article there. It's about a cloth made entirely of female orb spiders' thread. What I found amusing was that they had to put all the spiders (a million of them) into tiny harnesses to stop them from killing each other:
Ever wonder how an insect with such a tiny brain can thwart your attempts to catch it nearly every time? Apparently scientists do, too.
To find out how the common blowfly manages to process visual images more than four times faster than humans, researchers have built the bug a flight simulator. After immobilizing each insect with a fly-sized harness and attaching electrodes to its brain, biologists from the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology placed blowflies in front of a semicircular LED screen displaying various moving patterns.
As the fly responded to virtual objects flying around it, the scientists used a fluorescent microscope to watch how its brain processed the images. Compared to people, who can distinguish a maximum of 25 discrete images per second, blowflies are visual virtuosos: They can sense up to 100 separate images per second and respond fast enough to change their flight direction.
The German scientists hope what they discover about insect vision will help build better flying robots. And they’re not the only ones studying flies in a flight simulator — a group led by Michael Dickinson at the California Institute of Technology has used a similar setup, called Fly-O-Vision, to learn about muscle coordination and visual processing in fruit flies.
“Engineers would like to be able to build simple things that behave in complex ways, like a power grid or a robot, and one of the best ways to figure out how to get complex behavior from simple things is by studying biological organisms,” wrote Dickinson in a press release last year. “It’s Model Biological Systems 101: Study an animal that’s easy to study, and then extrapolate.”
This strange alien-like creature is not a character from a science-fiction blockbuster but actually from far closer to home. The eerily beautiful image is of a water flea with a radiant green 'crown of thorns' to protect it from predators.
It took top prize in the 2009 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, the world's foremost forum for showcasing microscope photos and movies.
The image reveals not only the exoskeleton, but also interior detail down to the nuclei within its cells, seen as tiny, glowing blue dots.
"The water flea's defensive 'crown of thorns' is induced in offspring only when the parents sense chemical cues released by their main predators, the tadpole shrimp" :