Senior Executive at Discover in the mobile space specializing in emerging technologies.
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Mother Nature invented the gear

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Nature Gears

Scientists have discovered that an insect has evolved something like a gearbox to coordinate its leg movements while jumping. That's right, nature invented mechanical gears before man got around to it.

The gears in the Issus hind-leg bear remarkable engineering resemblance to those found on every bicycle and inside every car gear-box.

Each gear tooth has a rounded corner at the point it connects to the gear strip; a feature identical to man-made gears such as bike gears -- essentially a shock-absorbing mechanism to stop teeth from shearing off.

The gear teeth on the opposing hind-legs lock together like those in a car gear-box, ensuring almost complete synchronicity in leg movement -- the legs always move within 30 'microseconds' of each other, with one microsecond equal to a millionth of a second.

This is critical for the powerful jumps that are this insect's primary mode of transport, as even minuscule discrepancies in synchronisation between the velocities of its legs at the point of propulsion would result in "yaw rotation" -- causing the Issus to spin hopelessly out of control.

"This precise synchronisation would be impossible to achieve through a nervous system, as neural impulses would take far too long for the extraordinarily tight coordination required," said lead author Professor Malcolm Burrows, from Cambridge's Department of Zoology.

Tags: biology   evolution   science
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aravindbr
3133 days ago
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Chicago, IL
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3134 days ago
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4 public comments
Cafeine
3133 days ago
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oO
Paris / France
skittone
3133 days ago
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Cool.
eggman199
3134 days ago
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What insect?
Lilyheart
3134 days ago
Issus
glenn
3134 days ago
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Awesome
Waterloo, Canada

HCE Infographic: What is Host Card Emulation and Why it Matters

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HCE02Ever since Google announced support for Host Card Emulation (HCE) earlier this year on the Android OS, banks, merchants and other mobile payment aficionados have been all over it, trying to grasp its significance.  Countless blogs and papers have been written about it, but, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This […]
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aravindbr
3513 days ago
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Chicago, IL
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