Biomimicry
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Fruit Flies Could Sniff Out Bombs, Drugs

Fruit Flies Could Sniff Out Bombs, Drugs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A fruit fly's sense of smell could potentially be used to sniff out bombs and drugs, according to a new study. Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) can detect smells such as those from wine, which the insects are naturally attracted to because it smells like their favorite food, fermenting fruit. Now, new research shows that their keen "noses" could with just as much accuracy identify odors from illicit drugs and explosive substances as well."

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Antennae Help Flies "Cruise" In Gusty Winds

Antennae Help Flies "Cruise" In Gusty Winds | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Caltech researchers uncover a mechanism for how fruit flies regulate their flight speed, using both vision and wind-sensing information from their antennae.
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Bug's Eye Inspires Hemispherical Digital Camera That Delivers Unmatched Field of View

Bug's Eye Inspires Hemispherical Digital Camera That Delivers Unmatched Field of View | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by the complex fly eye, an interdisciplinary team led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University has developed a hemispherical digital camera with nearly 200 tiny lenses, delivering exceptionally wide-angle field of view and sharp images."

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Mimicking the Super Hearing of a Cricket-Hunting Fly

Mimicking the Super Hearing of a Cricket-Hunting Fly | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ormia ochracea is a little, yellow fly of the American south whose breeding strategy has an outsize ick factor. It deposits its larvae on the bodies of male crickets. The larvae then eat their way into their unwilling hosts, and devour them from the inside. What is most remarkable, though, is that the female fly locates the crickets by sound, homing in on the he-cricket’s stridulations (the chirping that results from the wings rubbing together) with uncanny accuracy. The cricket’s chirp is a smear of sound across the scale from the 5 kilohertz carrier frequency to around 20 kHz. And, as anybody who has tried to evict a passionate cricket from a tent or cabin knows, the sound is maddeningly hard to pinpoint.

With an auditory apparatus—let’s call them ears—only 1.5 millimeter across, ochracea pulls off a major feat of acoustic location; a number of engineering groups are working on devices to duplicate the fly’s sensitivity. Now, a team at the University of Texas at Austin has built a prototype replica of O. ochracea’s ear. Michael L. Kuntzman and Neal A. Hall, researchers in the school’s electrical and computer engineering department, describe the device and its performance in Applied Physics Letters."

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Super Fly Hearing Powers Captured in Miniature Microphone

Super Fly Hearing Powers Captured in Miniature Microphone | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A new microphone based on a fly's ear could spur the next big improvement in the acoustical performance of hearing aids, as well as inspire better instruments wherever optimizing directional noise capture to improve signal to noise ratio matters."

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