Hard Tax dollars at work....

Discussion in 'Public General Chat' started by The Cox, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. The Cox
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    Yeah, this gives me so much faith... lol

    Why it's so hard to swat a fly

    Fri Aug 29, 12:50 PM ET

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - The brains of flies are wired to avoid the swatter, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. ADVERTISEMENT



    At the mere hint of a threat, the insects adjust their preflight stance to flee in the opposite direction, ensuring a clean getaway, they said in a finding that helps explain why flies so easily evade swipes from their human foes.

    "These movements are made very rapidly, within about 200 milliseconds, but within that time the animal determines where the threat is coming from and activates an appropriate set of movements to position its legs and wings," Michael Dickinson of the California Institute of Technology said in a statement.

    "This illustrates how rapidly the fly's brain can process sensory information into an appropriate motor response," said Dickinson, whose research appears in the journal Current Biology.

    Dickinson's team studied this process in fruit flies using high-speed digital imaging equipment and a fancy fly swatter.

    In response to a threat from the front, the fly moves its middle legs forward, leans back and raises its back legs for a backward takeoff. If the threat is from the side, the fly leans the other way before takeoff.

    The findings offer new insight into the fly nervous system, and lends a few clues on how to outsmart a fly.

    "It is best not to swat at the fly's starting position," Dickinson said. Instead, aim for the escape route.

    Dickinson, a bioengineer, has devoted his life's work to the study of insect flight. He has built a tiny robotic fly called Robofly and a 3-D visual flight simulator called Fly-O-Vision.

    (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen, editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)
     
  2. SamHamwich
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    Are those tax dollars, or institution funds?(Probably have government grants so all the same... lol
     
  3. Rubius
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    Nice. Now I can kill flies more efficiently.
     
  4. EF2
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    The rolled up newspaper will always be better than the swatter.
     
  5. The Communist
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    I have found their secret now! They goin down!
     
  6. Zarash
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    If they move in the opposite direction that the swatter is coming from then how can you aim for their escape root because if you aim to the left then they are going to the right. I guess if you are swatting from the left and you aim to the right that would work but if your swatting from above them you'll still loss then?
     
  7. Secksy
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    There is probably something else behind this sort of research. They just found something useful and told the public, I bet.
     
  8. XShrike
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    We study other creatures likes this to better understand how they work. Research like this tends to be used to find less harmful ways to control the creatures. Sometimes it can be used to understand how humans function.
     
  9. Slares
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    I find that firing rubber bands at them works quite well if you use medium thickness ones ^.^
     
  10. Zarash
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    That is one of my favourite thing to do.
     
  11. Slares
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    Used to always have a rubber band around my wrist they have soo many uses
     

  12. Since their escape root is in the opposite direction that the swatter comes from you have to lead the fly while maintaining comming from the start direction.

    Pretty much, swat diagonally at the spot behind the fly and hes toast.
     
  13. Fikusan
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    Problem solved
     
  14. Xamiazi
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    my favorite is catching them when i actually do and shaking them up in my fist for like 30 seconds and then throwing them in the air, i wont say what happenes but try it sometime :p
     
  15. BuzzBuzzYolk
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    I should try that, and it's completely feasable if you launch the rubber band from a ruler. If I can hit one of my friends in the eye with a rubber band from 30 feet away, I could probably hit a fly.
     

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