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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: How an Aphid Is Like a Cat
4 February 2013 12:10 pm
Cats always land on their feet, the old saying goes, but felines have nothing on the pea aphid. A new study shows that the tiny crop pest, Acyrthosiphon pisum, is a champion at landing right-side up after a fall, speedily rotating into a feet-down position after falling for 0.2 seconds or less. Researchers shot high-speed video of the insects as they plummeted off a plant to escape predatory ladybirds and as they were dropped from tweezers. In today's issue of Current Biology, the team reports that falling aphids all shifted their antennae slightly forward and up and moved their hind legs slightly backward and up. Modeling showed that the air resistance against the creatures' splayed appendages flipped them belly-down for a safe landing, allowing the aphids to scuttle away.
See more ScienceShots.