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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
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...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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Video: Meet FlipperBot, the Robotic Sea Turtle
23 April 2013 7:01 pm
One of the first activities of a sea turtle's life is crawling across a beach to get to the ocean. With predators, and distracting light pollution, this can be a tough journey for hatchlings to make. But the simple fact that these creatures walk on sand isn't trivial either; flippers are best used for swimming. To understand how hatchlings move on land, researchers created FlipperBot (FBot for short), the world's first mechanical creature to illuminate how flippers can be used to walk on soft terrain. Based on footage of hatchlings collected on the Georgia coast, FBot reveals how the creatures exert a force that will propel them forward, without simply causing their limbs to sink into the sand. The flexible "wrist" of a turtle helps reduce such slipping, and prevents the creature from winding up with a snootful of sand, the team reports online today in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. The researchers are putting the lessons learned from FBot to use on their next project: a robot that resembles the very distant human ancestor and fish-amphibian hybrid Ichthyostega, which could help paleontologists understand how primitive limbs allowed animals to crawl out of the water and onto land.
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