Small things, big thinking

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 09:01 in Physics & Chemistry

Finely tuned for touch and smell, the fly foot has sensors that can detect both chemical and mechanical changes in the environment.  The outcome of more than three billion years of evolution, these sensors are far smaller and more sophisticated than man-made chemical sensors which are generally capable of detecting only single types of substances, let alone vibrations and pressure as well. Yet the larvae of the fly manufactures its wonderfully versatile foot originating from just a few cells in its body and using as its raw material something as commonplace as a small piece of fruit found in virtually all compost heaps the world over.

Read the whole article on Physorg

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