ResearchBlogging editor’s selections: Knuckle-walking, nanostars, and novel fuel cells

(Cross-posted at News.)

  • Bipedalism: From the ground up or trees down? Chimpanzees and gorillas both walk on their knuckles, but do so in subtle but significantly different ways.  Brian at Laelaps discusses recent research on this subject, and its implications: did primates evolve from the ground up or from the trees down?  (For another take on the same research, see Did knuckle-walking evolve twice?)
  • Of twinkling nanostars and the possible application of stroboscopes in biological imaging. For biological researchers, studying the behavior of a single cell amongst many is like trying to keep track of a single person in the audience of a crowded stadium.  Amiya Sarkar at Physiology physics woven fine tells us about researchers who have successfully tagged a single cell with gold nanoparticles in order to keep an eye on it!  Amiya suggests how a stroboscopic effect could be used to study to movement of individual pieces of a cell.
  • Rapidly screening bacteria for clean energy production. Bacteria act, in a sense, like little power sources which could in principle be harnessed for clean energy.   Not every bacteria will work, however, and techniques are needed to separate the “hard working” bacteria from the “lazy” bacteria.  Michael at Phased discusses successful screening of good bacteria and their implementation in a bacterial fuel cell.

Check back next Monday for more “miscellaneous” highlights!

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