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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Worm Goo's Sticky Secret
19 November 2010 1:47 pm
Spider-Man has nothing on the velvet worm. The french-fry-sized carnivore shoots slime from specialized glands in its head that immobilizes cockroaches and crickets within seconds. Now researchers have figured out the secret of the ooze. Unlike spider silk, the worm's goo starts out as a mess of disordered proteins. But once it contacts the target, the proteins organize themselves into a solid, sticky gel, immobilizing victims. That’s an entirely new way of capturing prey, the scientists report this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. And perhaps fodder for an upcoming superhero movie.
See more ScienceShots.