The first tendril-like soft robot able to climb

Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia created the first soft robot mimicking plant tendrils. It is able to curl and climb using the same physical principles determining water transport in plants. The research ...

Randomness a key in spread of disease, other 'evil'

An unfortunate church dinner more than 100 years ago did more than just spread typhoid fever to scores of Californians. It led theorists on a quest to understand why many diseases - including typhoid, measles, polio, malaria, ...

Rolling dice for cell size specification in plant leaf epidermis

One of the central questions in biology is how a cell specifies its size. Because size distribution often shows a characteristically skewed pattern in a tissue, there may be some stochastic option for determining cell size. ...

Understanding nature's patterns with plasmas

Patterns abound in nature, from zebra stripes and leopard spots to honeycombs and bands of clouds. Somehow, these patterns form and organize all by themselves. To better understand how, researchers have now created a new ...