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From Nature News, “Insect Wings Shred Bacteria to Pieces”

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Nature News reports on a recent paper in Biophysics Journal, describing stunningly designed “antibacterial ‘nanopillars’ on cicada wings” that “pull bacterial membranes apart.” Reports Nature News,

The veined wing of the clanger cicada kills bacteria solely through its physical structure — one of the first natural surfaces found to do so. An international team of biophysicists has now come up with a detailed model of how this defence works on the nanoscale. The results are published in the latest issue of the Biophysical Journal1.

The clanger cicada (Psaltoda claripennis) is a locust-like insect whose wings are covered by a vast hexagonal array of ‘nanopillars’ — blunted spikes on a similar size scale to bacteria (see video, bottom). When a bacterium settles on the wing surface, its cellular membrane sticks to the surface of the nanopillars and stretches into the crevices between them, where it experiences the most strain. If the membrane is soft enough, it ruptures.

Read the rest here.

4 Replies to “From Nature News, “Insect Wings Shred Bacteria to Pieces”

  1. 1
    uoflcard says:

    Awesome. I wonder if we can use this technology on bathroom surfaces, etc.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    That’s just plain cool!

    a few related notes:

    Shark Skin As Antibiotic
    Excerpt: New technologies developed after studying shark skin will soon be appearing at a hospital near you. Scientists at Sharklet Technologies, a Florida-based biotech company, have been studying shark skin for the interesting fact that bacteria just doesn’t seen to stick to it. Under the microscope, it appears that shark skin is composed of diamond-shaped bumps that give it this unique property. Hospital tests using plastic tubing (as used in intravenous lines and catheters) printed with this shark skin pattern showed that microorganisms which can cause potentially serious harm, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus Aureus, were unable to establish colonies large enough to infect humans.
    http://dailydose.righthealth.c.....ntibiotic/

    G.E. Brings Life to Good Things – February 16, 2012
    Excerpt: Thanks to the micro-design on a beautiful insect’s wings, someday we may see many useful applications. A surgeon might be able to visualize precise locations of inflammation. A soldier might wear higher-resolution night-vision goggles. A firefighter might carry a hand-held thermal sensor to avoid danger. A security inspector might have a new way to detect explosives. Your doctor might study a wound’s heat signature for better diagnosis without incisions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....56451.html

    “[T]he characteristic network of veins found in the wings of grasshoppers helps to capture cracks, similar [in design] to watertight compartments in a ship.”
    (Transparent, Thin and Tough: Why Don’t Insect Wings Break? ScienceDaily, Aug. 21, 2012)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....181255.htm

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Kari Jobe – Revelation Song – Passion 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dZMBrGGmeE

    Nature by Numbers – inspirational video by Cristobal Vila
    http://vimeo.com/9953368

    Nature: 3.8 Billion Years of R&D – October 2, 2012
    Excerpt: Sunflowers as solar energy models: A clever short video on Live Science finds nature, once again, providing the optimum solution to a problem. The problem is arranging mirrors in a giant solar collection facility so as to minimize shadows. The solution: mimic the sunflower. The spiral arrangement of florets in the center of a sunflower, following the Fibonacci series, turns out to pack the most light collection in the smallest space while minimizing shadows on other mirrors. The video did not mention another property that solar farms would have difficulty imitating: sunflowers exist on stalks that can turn and follow the sun.
    http://crev.info/2012/10/natur.....ars-of-rd/

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
    — George Washington Carver, pioneer 20th century plant chemist

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Extinct giant camel found far from the desert in Arctic discovery – March 5, 2013
    Excerpt: A Canadian research team,, has discovered the first evidence of an extinct giant camel in the High Arctic. The three-and-a-half million year old fossil was identified using collagen fingerprinting from bone fragments unearthed on Ellsmere Island. It’s the furthest North a camel has ever been found.,,,
    The collagen information, combined with the anatomical data, demonstrated that the bone fragments belonged to a giant camel as the bone is roughly 30% larger than the same bone in a living camel species.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-03-e.....overy.html

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