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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Spiders' Silk Slippers Help Them Stick
16 May 2011 4:54 pm
By all laws of physics, spiders as big and heavy as tarantulas shouldn't be able to climb walls or hang upside down—they should fall on their heads. But tarantulas do climb, albeit with difficulty, and researchers decided to find out how. So they collected the molted skins of several species of tarantulas, including the lead author's own dearly departed pet, Fluffy (pictured above). The bottoms of their fuzzy feet, it turns out, are covered with microscopic hairs, some of which serve as "spigots" for a sticky silk, which they only turn on when they start to fall. Since most spiders produce silk from spinnerets on their abdomens, the finding might help explain how spiders evolved so many uses for their silk, the researchers report in the June issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology. It also explains why tarantulas leave little silky footprints wherever they walk.
See more ScienceShots.