How termite mounds get their shape

Shedding light on the principles of termite mound size and shape with a model coupling insect behavior and environmental remodeling

Shaking the swarm

Researchers explore how bees collaborate to stabilize swarm clusters

A photosynthetic engine for artificial cells

Researchers engineered a cell-like structure that harnesses photosynthesis to perform designer reactions

Mimicking birdsongs

Researchers develop simple device to recreate complex birdsong

Cracking the Mystery of the Egg Shape

Not all eggs are shaped like a chicken’s—now we know why!

A stem’s ‘sense of self’ contributes to shape

Mathematical framework explains diverse plant stem forms

Replicating folding of a fetal human brain

The distinctive troughs and crests of the human brain are actually not present in most animal brains; highly folded brains are seen only in a handful of species, including some primates, dolphins, elephants and pigs. In humans, folding begins in fetal brains around the 20th week of gestation and is completed only when the child […]

Designing a pop-up future

​Simple origami fold may hold the key to designing pop-up furniture, medical devices and scientific tools

A cutting edge issue resolved

Planning to have roast turkey at Christmas? You’ll be glad to hear that physicists have revealed exactly how to carve it – using jelly and a fishing line.

Biological Springs and Ratchets

Biological movements are brought about in various ways, and not all of these involve the action of motor proteins. Apart from motor proteins, biological movements can be brought about by components that act like springs and ratchets. Biological springs store potential energy in various protein filament conformations, while biological ratchets act by biasing random Brownian motion and […]