HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
A sticky situation for ants and bees: UMass biologist looks at how these insects adhere to various surfaces

AMHERST, Mass. University of Massachusetts biologist Elizabeth Brainerd is part of a team that recently completed a study on how certain types of ants and bees are able to walk on vertical surfaces or even upside-down. The study, conducted in conjunction with Walter Federle and Bert Hldobler of the University of Wrzburg, Germany, and the late Thomas A. McMahon, of Harvard University, was published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings have implications not just in the field of biology, but also in the development of miniature robots used in medical procedures.

The study, which included taking videotapes of insects scurrying along glass plates, focused specifically on honeybees and Asian weaver ants. The adhesive organs in these insects are quite different from those of animals such as geckos and most other insects, Brainerd notes. "Geckos have sticky pads on their feet, which peel off at the end of each step. Its a relatively static system," she said. "The adhesive organs in ants and bees are much more dynamic."

The feet of ants and bees are surprisingly complex structures, says Brainerd. Each foot, viewed through a microscope, has a pair of claws that resemble a bulls horns, with a sticky footpad called an arolium positioned between the claws. When the insects run along a surface, she explains, the claws try to grasp the surface. If the claws are unable to catch onto the surface, they retract and the footpad comes into action. The footpad quickly unfolds and inflates with blood, protruding between the claws and enabling the adhesive pad to stick to the surface. The footpad then deflates and folds back. The entire process takes just tens to hundredths of a second, and is repeated with each step, rapid-fire, as the insects skitter along. In addition, the footpad secretes a fluid that allows the insects to adhere to smooth surfaces, the same way a wet piece of paper can stick to a window, says Brain
'"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Luciano
luciano@journ.umass.edu
413-545-2989
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
27-Sep-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fish, FRAMES and sticky chemicals net technology award for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
2. A switch that makes a blood clot sticky found within the platelet membrane
3. Geneticists trace sticky rices origins
4. UMass scientist identifies gene that governs obesity, physical activity, sex behaviors in mice
5. UMass team to study bioremediation of acid, heavy metals from collapsed mind
6. Microorganisms are cleaning up Boston Harbor, UMass study finds
7. UMass researcher helping the EPA to determine health effects of spent rocket fuel
8. UMass anthropologist investigates dental development and body size in primates
9. UMass microbiology team probes bacteriums surprising survival tactics
10. UMass study uses microbes to turn mud into electricity
11. UMass researchers find environment on Earth that mimics Mars geochemically and supports ancient life form

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/16/2019)... ... June 14, 2019 , ... ... customer, will deliver a joint presentation with Versiti’s CIO at the Healthcare ... the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. , Versiti Vice President and Chief Information Officer, ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 10, 2019 , ... Improved Pharma LLC announces ... 2019 issue of AAPS PharmSciTech. The article was published online on April 29th, 2019. ... Pharma, along with Xiaoming Sean Chen of Purdue University. , The article is the ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... appointment of Susan Murphy as the new President of Molecular Devices, replacing Greg ... Devices’ parent company, Danaher Corporation. , Since joining Molecular Devices in a scientific ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... ... on Data Integrity on July 08-09, 2019 in Boston, MA. This peer recommended ... medical device organizations. , The training will kick off with a compendial treatment ...
(Date:5/15/2019)... , ... May 15, 2019 , ... Milton Hershey School® ... recognition for his work within the biomedical industry, where he is changing lives by ... devices. , “William Harding epitomizes the vision of our founders – Milton and ...
(Date:5/7/2019)... ... May 06, 2019 , ... "The new ... number of repositories being asked to store cellular products being used in ... contributors who are world leaders, who have shared their expertise in building and ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... May 02, 2019 , ... Stay on top of ... device and food industries. Access to all webinars is free, so be sure to ... your field! , Visit http://www.xtalks.com to see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: