Learning from Ants: Principles of Locomotion in Confined Spaces Could Help Future Robot Teams Work Underground
Future teams of subterranean search and rescue robots may owe their success to the lowly fire ant, a much despised insect whose painful bites and extensive networks of underground tunnels are all-too-familiar to people living in the southern United States.
Oxygen-Free: RNA Was Capable of Catalyzing Electron Transfer on Early Earth with Iron’s Help, Study Suggests
A new study shows how complex biochemical transformations may have been possible under conditions that existed when life began on the early Earth. The study shows that RNA is capable of catalyzing electron transfer under conditions similar to those of the early Earth.
Biology of the Brain: Georgia Tech Researchers Seek a Better Understanding of the Brain
Researchers at Georgia Tech are applying their expertise, tools and techniques to understand on a fundamental level how the brain works. Because the human brain is immensely complex, the researchers are pursuing many levels of inquiry – from molecules to cells to circuits to the mystery of the mind itself – and also studying brain disorders and development, along with daily feats of brain activity, such as vision, speech, movement and memory.
Brain Development: Study Shows How Pathway Competition Affects Early Differentiation of Higher Brain Structures
A new study shows how the strength and timing of competing molecular signals during brain development has generated natural and presumably adaptive differences in a brain region known as the telencephalon -- much earlier than scientists had previously believed.
Artificial Transparent Skin: Arrays of Piezoelectric “Taxels” Convert Mechanical Motion to Electronic Controlling Signals for Improved Tactile Imaging
Using bundles of vertical zinc oxide nanowires, researchers have fabricated arrays of piezotronic transistors capable of converting mechanical motion directly into electronic controlling signals. The arrays could help give robots a more adaptive sense of touch, provide better security in signatures and offer new ways for humans to interact with electronic devices.
FlipperBot: Sea Turtles and Flipper-Driven Robot Reveal Principles of Moving on Sand and Other Granular Media
Based on a study of both hatchling sea turtles and "FlipperBot" -- a robot with flippers -- Georgia Tech researchers have learned principles for how both robots and turtles move on granular surfaces such as sand.
February 21, 2013 — A new study provides details of the structure and tissue properties of the unique adhesion system used by remora fish to attach themselves to sharks and other marine animals. The information could lead to a new engineered reversible adhesive that could be used to create pain- and residue-free bandages, attach sensors to objects in aquatic or military reconnaissance environments, replace surgical clamps and help robots climb.
February 18, 2013 — When it comes to forming the droplets that make up clouds, a little oily and viscous organic material apparently doesn’t matter that much, according to a report published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And that’s good news for reducing the uncertainty of climate model predictions.
February 15, 2013 — When it comes to healing the terrible wounds of war, success may hinge on the first blood clot – the one that begins forming on the battlefield right after an injury. Researchers exploring the complex stream of cellular signals produced by the body in response to a traumatic injury believe the initial response – formation of a blood clot – may control subsequent healing.
February 14, 2013 — Research carried out by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of Manchester has revealed new insights into how cells stick to each other and to other bodily structures, an essential function in the formation of tissue structures and organs.
February 11, 2013 — Using underwater video cameras to record fish feeding on South Pacific coral reefs, scientists have found that herbivorous fish can be picky eaters – a trait that could spell trouble for endangered reef systems. In a study done at the Fiji Islands, the researchers learned that just four species of herbivorous fish were primarily responsible for removing common and potentially harmful seaweeds on reefs.
February 4, 2013 — Researchers have shown for the first time that certain volatile organic gases can promote cloud formation in a way never considered before by atmospheric scientists. The finding could improve the ability to model cloud formation, which is an important part of climate.
January 27, 2013 — In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers used genomic techniques to document the presence of significant numbers of living microorganisms – principally bacteria – in the middle and upper troposphere, that section of the atmosphere approximately four to six miles above the Earth’s surface.
January 16, 2013 — A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing an airborne testing capability for sensors, communications devices and other airborne payloads. This aerial test bed, called the GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS), is based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made by Griffon Aerospace and modified by GTRI.
January 10, 2013 — Researchers recently created a biophysical model of the response of a Gram-positive bacterium to the formation of a hole in its cell wall, then used experimental measurements to validate the theory, which predicted that a hole in the bacteria cell wall larger than 15 to 24 nanometers in diameter would cause the cell to lyse, or burst.
January 8, 2013 — Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are working to counter threats from spear phishing. The attacks use knowledge of computer users to gain their trust to break into corportate networks.