Caterpillars treated to stunt the growth of their future hind wings developed into butterflies with abnormally large front wings. At least that's what two Duke University (Durham, NC) biologists have discovered. And they also found that dung beetles treated to stunt the growth of their horns sprouted larger eyes. The discoveries represent more than biological curiosities, Professor of Zoology Fred Nijhoust and postdoctoral fellow Douglas Emlen report. It constitutes, they say, the first clear demonstration that living organisms arise not only through the direct read-out of some genetic recipe, but also through more subtle and mysterious processes of competition between growing body parts for resources. Such tradeoffs, the researchers feel, may make inherited changes in some traits or structures appear genetic, when they are not. In their experiments, the scientists performed tiny incisions in caterpillars to remove one or both of the small, fleshy discs that would develop into the hind wings once the caterpillars underwent metamorphosis. Instead, the emerging butterflies had abnormally enlarged front wings. In the case of the beetles, the adult males with reduced horn size had correspondingly enlarged compound eyes. "These experiments demonstrate that the control of how big an organ or tissue grows doesn't lie entirely within that organ or tissue," Nijhout explains. The scientists plan further experiments with the hope of discovering that insects will provide lessons about development in higher animals. E-mail Dennis@dukenews.duke.edu.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.