Flaunting frilly tentacles and a curious ability to reflect light, these tiny aquatic anomalies are reminiscent of the flashy balls and shag carpets of the '70s. Biologist Lindsey Dougherty of UC Berkley investigates the aptly dubbed, "Disco Clam," revealing molecular foundation for how they get so groovy. Produced by Christian Baker Music by Audio Network Additional Stills and footage courtesy of Lindsey Dougherty
Photographer Roman Vishniac is perhaps best-known for documenting Jewish communities in Eastern Europe before World War II, but he also was a science buff. In the 1950s-1970s, with funding from the Educational Testing Service, the National Science Foundation and others, he made educational science films, featuring footage he shot through his microscope. Vishniac was a pioneer of cinemicroscopy (as he called it). The craft has changed with digital photography, says Dutch photographer Wim van Egmond, who has won numerous awards for his photomicrographs. van Egmond explains some of the techniques he uses to capture the micro-world in action
http://www.sciencefriday.com In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beattie and Denise Wong hope these initial experiments with nano bio-robots will provide a platform for future medical and micro-engineering endeavors. Produced by Luke Groskin Music by Audio Network Footage ands Stills Provided by Elizabeth Beattie Denise Wong Edward Steager Prelinger Archives Quentin Lindsey, Daniel Mellinger, and Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab
http://www.sciencefriday.com For over 70 years, no one had seen the oblong rocksnail. Declared extinct in 2000, the species was considered to be another native Alabaman mollusk gone and forgotten. But one day in the spring of 2011, biology grad student Nathan Whelan picked up a tiny rock and got a big surprise. Produced by Luke Groskin Music by Audio Network Additional Stills and Photos by Shutterstock, Thomas Tarpley, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center, Nathan Whelan, Boris Datnow, Alabama Power, Annals of Lyceum, Wild Side TV, Paul Johnson, Masood Lohar, Bermuda Conservation Services, Jefferson County Environmental Services
http://www.sciencefriday.com From the mandibles of a creepy crawly to your body comes a revolution in biomedical engineering. It's worm spit, from the silk worm moth caterpillar, although you may know it by its more common name, silk. Dr. David Kaplan explains how bioengineers at Tufts University are crafting this versatile protein into a myriad of medical materials.