Adafruit will not be shipping orders Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 22, 2018. Expedited orders placed after 11am ET Wednesday November 21 will go out Friday November 23.
0

How Gecko Feet Got Sticky #Biohacking

G humeralis in Trinidad 374x565

Interesting article, via UCR today

How do key innovations in the animal kingdom arise? To explore this question, gecko expert Timothy Higham, an associate professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, led a team of evolutionary biologists to study Gonatodes, a genus of dwarf geckos. In the process, the researchers found a gecko, Gonatodes humeralis, that they posit offers a “snapshot” into the evolution of adhesion in geckos.

“The gecko adhesive apparatus, one of the most spectacular innovations displayed by vertebrates, has been intensively studied for the last 16 years and is of considerable interest to nanotechnologists and biomimeticists,” Higham said. “But almost nothing is known about the origin of this adhesive capability. G. humeralis, found in South America, shows how the adhesive capabilities of geckos may have come about. Our integrative analysis of this gecko shows that unexpectedly it has microscopic hairs, called setae, underneath its toes, which allow it to do something dramatically different than all other geckos in the Gonatodes genus: cling to smooth surfaces such as leaves. It does this without all of the complex structure of the toes that typify the geckos that we are more familiar with. In the lab, this gecko can climb smooth vertical surfaces using its incipient adhesive system.”

Higham explained that the setae interact with surfaces through attractive van der Waals forces. The relatively simple expression of setae on the digits of G. humeralis thus provide an enormous advantage in sectors of the habitat typified by smooth, low-friction, inclined surfaces, such as leaves and slippery stems, allowing G. humeralis to avoid predators by occupying habitat that other members of the genus cannot. While it can securely attach to vertical bamboo shoots, for example, other species in the Gonatodes genus generally scale rough tree trunks, rocks, fallen palm trees and move on the ground – areas where their predators abound.

“The relatively simple adhesive system of the G. humeralis is indicative that slight modifications in form can dramatically influence functional outcomes and the ecological niches that can be exploited,” Higham said. “This ostensibly padless gecko offers us a snapshot – a crucial intermediate stage – of the evolution of the adhesion apparatus. It’s telling us, ‘Look, this is how pad-bearing geckos started to acquire adhesion.’”
Further, the findings indicate that the origin of adhesion in geckos was gradual and led to major shifts in ecology and function. They suggest, too, that subtle morphological changes are able to trigger rapid evolution.

Read more


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 8,700+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Spotlight on Makeblock, one of the latest companies to find success in the STEAM market

Wearables — Emphasize the light

Electronics — Avoid serial confusion!

Biohacking — BDNF a Biohackers Best Friend

Python for Microcontrollers — Python powers costumes, and community @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF #Python

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.