Fly

New fly may bug crime scene investigators

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 4, 2013   View Article

When detectives find a corpse lying in a ditch or anywhere else, determining how long it has been there is one of the first tasks. A good estimate comes from the age of the flies found swarming the dead body, but this technique may be complicated in the Midwest by a fly found newly buzzing there, according to a forensic entomologist.

“The composition of what (flies are) around is changing as the climate changes,” Christine Picard, a biologist with the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis, explained to NBC News.

Fruit Flies Highlight Aerodynamics of Insect Flight

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 23, 2003   View Article

To swat a fly can be a lesson in futility. The insect darts from each swipe with uncanny precision, altering its course to zip off in nearly the opposite direction.

Precisely how a fly achieves its aerial acrobatics is more than a curiosity of annoyance for Michael Dickinson, a bioengineer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Dickinson has built an entire research lab, not to mention professional career, seeking an answer to just how a fly’s brain controls its muscles in precision flight.

Tiny Flying Robots Modeled on Insects

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 13, 2003   View Article

Black flies, wasps, and bumblebees may be the bane of backyard barbeques, but their keen ability to navigate from potato chip to hamburger to bare arm is the inspiration for a host of robots that may soon be hailed as international heroes.

Scientists from around the world are reverse-engineering the mechanics of insects as they design midget robots to scout battlefields, search for victims trapped in rubble, and record images as they hover over distant planets.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach