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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Video: Flying Spy Camera Is Both a Bird and a Plane
1 July 2011 8:00 pm
How did scientists build a better spy plane? A little bird told them. Engineers have developed a micro air vehicle (MAV) that mimics the flight abilities of the swift, a passerine bird renowned for its aerial acrobatics. Camera-mounted MAVs are frequently used in reconnaissance and rescue missions to scope out a dangerous situation before humans go in. Most of these micro-planes use a fixed-wing design because gliding is more energy efficient and allows for better picture quality. Flapping wings would allow for greater maneuverability, but at the cost of a shakier image. Researchers presenting at the Society of Experimental Biology annual conference in Glasgow based their new MAV on the swift's aerodynamics, combining both flapping and gliding abilities into a single vehicle. Though their prototype is still being tested, the researchers say their initial trials have been promising.
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