Topic: research

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Hawk moths and The Art of Staying Stable

Like a hummingbird or a creature from a Hayao Miyazaki film, hawk moths or Sphingidae, are a family of large insects with the magical-looking mastery of hovering midair. They can also fly backward and keep incredibly ...

iCub, IIT’s teleoperated robot toddler

iCub is a toddler-sized open-source robot by the Dynamic Interaction Control Lab at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). See the iCub robot walk across the lab and interact with a toy in the September 2018 video...

Gazing into the eyes of SEER: The Simulative Emotional Expression Robot

This young looking face with light eyes, expressive eyebrows, and a Mona Lisa smile is named SEER, an acronym for Simulative Emotional Expression Robot. It was created by Japanese artist Takayuki Todo to explore the p...

Neil deGrasse Tyson tests ‘the world’s smartest dog’

Chaser the Border Collie can identify over 1022 toys. In 2011, astrophysicist and NOVA ScienceNOW host Neil deGrasse Tyson visited with Chaser and her owner, psychology professor Dr. John W. Pilley, to test her memory...

What do bluebirds eat?

Ask any birder what birds eat and you'll hear “seeds, fruits, and insects.” But during reproduction, arguably the most important weeks of a bird’s life, 96% of North American terrestrial birds eat insects and other ar...

How do crab spiders use their silk to fly?

Some spiders can catch onto breezes that send them flying across oceans and high up into the skies by ballooning—releasing "numerous strands of silk that they spin up to six feet long." And those threads of silk, ...

The Cephalopod Empire in Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Bret Grasse lovingly calls the Cephalopod Operations division at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts the “cephalopod empire.” The lab houses roughly 2,000 to 3,000 cephalopods—likely th...

Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific

Why do male whales make such complex songs? And what are they communicating? Dr. Ellen Garland has been analyzing sound arrangements made by the tens of thousands of whales living in separate communities across the So...

The SUSTAIN Lab’s Hurricane in a Box

Brian Haus watches as the still air stirs into over 150 mph winds. The flat turquoise water suddenly churns a series of endless crashing waves of white frothy foam. Thankfully, Haus does not have to actually weather t...

The Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise, a new species

The Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise may look like the Superb Bird-of-Paradise, the hopping black bird with iridescent blue 'eyes' and a 'mouth' in its outspread wings, but the Vogelkop has recently been named as a se...

The Very Hungry Maggot: How larva farming can help reduce food waste

How are maggots like waves in an ocean? How are they like puppies? In this fascinating Macroscope video from Science Friday, The Very Hungry Maggot, we meet David Hu, a mechanical engineering professor who's studying ...

Why Dogs Have Floppy Ears, an animated tale

Why do some breeds of dogs have floppy ears? Charles Darwin asked this question in his 1868 book The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. And it's not just the ears of dogs. The ears, snout lengths, fu...

Collecting some 350 fungi specimens in the Ecuadorian Andes

Of an estimated 3.2 million species of fungi, only some 120,000 are known to science. Most of the undescribed species reside in the tropics. In 2014, myself [Danny Newman] and a fellow mycologist, Roo Vandegrift, coll...

Carl Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae and Herbarium Cabinet

How did scientists and naturalists organize their artifact collections in the 1700s? How could these systems, long before we began to rely on computers to help us organize data, improve our understanding of the natura...

Becoming Visible: Shattering stereotypes & misconceptions in science

The University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History celebrated 100 years of inspiring people to care about life on Earth in 2017. To mark the closing of an era and the beginning of a new century, UF News pro...

How glow-in-the-dark jellyfish inspired a scientific revolution

In science, ideas are kind of like seeds. If you're lucky, a seed will grow and expand the boundaries of human knowledge. But it's hard to know which seeds will take root. Take any invention or modern innovation and i...

Why (and how) do whales sing?

Whale vocalizations are a bit of a mystery. We know that only the males of some baleen whales sing, but we're not sure what those compositions—specifically structured phrases and melodies that repeat and evolve within...

How the Animal Kingdom Sleeps & How Animals See the World – Animalism

Sleep is universal in the animal kingdom, but each species slumbers in a different — and often mysterious — way. Some animals snooze with half their brain, while others only sleep for two hours a day (without even suf...

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