October  9, 2018

Genes responsible for difference in flower color of snapdragons identified

Antirrhinum majus (c) by David Field Snapdragons are charming tall plants, and flower in a range of bright colors. In Spain, where snapdragons grow wild, these flower colors show a remarkable pattern: When driving up a road from Barcelona...

October  9, 2018

Cleaning, but safely! Cocoons protect sensitive ant brood during toxic disinfection

Ants clean their nest box with formic acid. Special paper that turns pink on contact with acids was used to see when and how much formic acid the ants spray. © Christopher Pull Ants are neat: when...

October  1, 2018

With a little help from my friends

Just a few Shigella bacteria are enough to make anyone catch gastroenteritis, while to get sick from Cholera, thousands to millions of Vibrio cholerae bacteria have to be swallowed. Why does the dose needed to cause disease differ so much between...

September 21, 2018

Austria in the fast line of science

Nature Index yesterday published the results of a study aimed at identifying those institutions and countries that are in the fast lane scientifically. The positive result: Austria is among the six countries in the world with the highest absolute and...

September 11, 2018

Can you evolve while being robust?

It is often thought that DNA, together with the genes encoded in it, is the essence of life. But equally important is coordinating when genes are turned on and off. In fact, it is this process, called regulation of gene expression,...

August 20, 2018

Metamolds: Molding a mold

Fabrication of an object using metamolds. The metamolds (red pieces far left and right) are used to fabricate the silicone molds (greenish and white shapes in the middle). The silicone can then be used repeatedly to form replicas (front). Image credit:...

August 17, 2018

Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

Light hits the 3D-printed nanostructures from below. After it is transmitted through, the viewer sees only green light—the remaining colors are redirected. Image credit: Thomas Auzinger Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but...

August 16, 2018

Interactive software tool makes complex mold design simple

Objects created using the new design tool using resin casting or injection molding. Image credit: Ran Zhang Most of the plastic objects we see are created using injection molding, but designing such molds is a difficult task, usually requiring...

August 14, 2018

New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

The new software instantly shows stream lines as well as pressure on the surface (color-coded) of interactively deformable shapes. Image credit: Nobuyuki Umetani When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a...

August 13, 2018

New water simulation captures small details even in large scenes

A frame from a real-time animation. The simulation covers a huge area with hundreds of floating objects, but can still include tiny details visible only at close range. Image: Stefan Jeschke When designers select a method for simulating water...