Tagresearcher

Robots Infiltrate, Influence Cockroach Groups

To explore how groups of cockroaches make collective decisions, scientists have created a robotic cockroach that the real insects accept as one of their own.

The robot doesn’t look anything like a cockroach to human eyes.

“It looks like an electronic matchbox,” said Jose Halloy, a researcher at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. But that doesn’t matter, he says, “because in fact it has to look like a cockroach from a cockroach perspective.”

Basically, it has to smell like a cockroach. The scientists coat the boxy robots with a chemical, a cockroach smell, so the real roaches won’t run away.

Full Story: NPR.

See also: Ancient Scorpion Was Bigger Than Car.

(Both via Irreality News Wire).

Infant rat heads grafted onto adults’ thighs

This is an old story. How did I not hear about this before?

Infant rats are being decapitated and their heads grafted onto the thighs of adults by researchers in Japan.

If kept cool while the blood flow is stopped, a transplanted brain can develop as normal for at least three weeks, and the mouth of the head will move, as if it is trying to drink milk, the team reports.

The grafted heads could be “excellent models” for investigating brain function in human babies after periods of no blood flow, known as ischemia, they claim.

“Our main purpose is to investigate how the transplanted brain can develop and maintain function after prolonged total brain ischemia,” researcher Nobufumi Kawai, at the Jichi Medical School in Tochigi, told New Scientist. “And we tried to investigate the effect of lowering the temperature of the brain during the grafting.”

Full Story: New Scientist.

(Thanks James).

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