Engineers find that ivy uses nanoparticles to climb walls
By Gregory MonePosted 04.11.2008 at 12:12 pm 2 Comments
It's about time someone recognized ivy's ability to stick to walls, especially with geckos getting all the headlines lately. You had to figure that at some point a few scientists were going to sit down and start figuring out how to transfer ivy's sticky technique to man-made materials. Now researchers from the University of Tennessee and Agilent Labs have determined that ivy actually secretes tiny nanoparticles to bind to surfaces.
The amazing lizard uses its hairy toes to defy gravity and its dynamic tail to always land on its feet if it falls. See how scientists are using the gecko's tricks to design better robots, spacesuits and—just maybe—Spiderman gloves
By Dan SmithPosted 04.04.2008 at 6:10 pm 5 Comments
Most people's knowledge of geckos doesn't extend much beyond the Cockney-tongued lizard hawking car insurance on TV. I wont go into the implausibility of these ads, the least of which being that a gecko wouldnt have a chance to survive Britains cold climate long enough to pick up an accent. They do, however, thrive abundantly in warm, tropical climates, and in total compose nearly 15% of all reptile species on Earth. If you're fortunate enough to live in gecko country, you've probably seen them climbing and crawling over just about every surface imaginable, including the ceiling.
Its super tail keeps the gecko on walls and breaks falls
By Gregory MonePosted 03.18.2008 at 11:58 am 0 Comments
The gecko has been the star of numerous scientific papers over the last few years, most of which focus on its incredibly sticky toes, which can hold tight to and then release from vertical surfaces in a few thousandths of a second. But now scientists at the University of California, Berkeleya hotbed of gecko-related research are reporting that the magic isnt all in the toes. The geckos long tail is also critical. It helps keep the lizard stuck to the wall, but it also allows the gecko to land on its feet if it falls.