Monday, August 18, 2014


Camouflage sheet inspired by octopus

"Based on the camouflage abilities of octopuses and cuttlefish, engineers in the US have built a flexible material that changes colour to match its surroundings". News article @ BBC News


Interspecies RNA Shuffle

"Researchers report the first example of large-scale RNA-based communication between species—a parasitic plant and two of its hosts." News story @ The Scientist Magazine®; Full paper @ Science: "Genomic-scale exchange of mRNA between a parasitic plant and its hosts".

Friday, August 15, 2014


Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as artificial cells

"Karzbrun et al. created a highly miniaturized cell-free system on a silicon chip. A series of tiny linked compartments were fabricated on the chip, in which DNA-driven reactions occurred, with materials flowing into and diffusing between the compartments. The system recreated oscillating protein expression patterns and protein gradients, and provides a stepping stone to creating “artificial cells” on a chip." Full paper @ Science


Largest Swarm of Robots Ever

"These are some of the first steps toward creating huge herds of tiny robots that form larger structures—including bigger robots. Building swarming robots can also help scientists understand collective behavior seen in nature, from bird flocks and fish schools to networks of cells and neurons." Full news report @ WIRED

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


How the zebra got its stripes, with Alan Turing

"How the zebra got its stripes, with Alan Turing
Where do a zebra’s stripes, a leopard’s spots and our fingers come from? The key was found years ago – by the man who cracked the Enigma code, writes Kat Arney." @ Mosaic

Monday, August 11, 2014


Nature by Numbers

Nature by Numbers - a short film on the elegance of mathematics - Aeon

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Turing-Type Mechanism can explain the formation of fingers

"a group of researchers from the Multicellular Systems Biology lab at the CRG, led by ICREA Research Professor James Sharpe, has provided the long sought-for data which confirms that the fingers and toes are patterned by a Turing mechanism." Full news article @ CRG researchers confirm that a mathematical theory first proposed by Alan Turing in 1952 can explain the formation of fingers. Full paper @ Science.

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