This is Mike Keller, the editor of Txchnologist. I’m interrupting our regular science and technology stories to let you know that we’ll have a bit of a change to our programming next week. We’ll be coming to you from Copenhagen’s Carlsberg district, where we’ll be roaming the halls of the 2014 Euroscience Open Forum. The event happens every two years and is Europe’s largest general science meeting.
This year’s conference includes hundreds of speakers on eight cross-cutting themes: The Healthy Society; A Revolution of the Mind; Global Resource Management; Learning in the 21st Century; Green Economy; Material and Virtual World; Urbanization, Design, and Livability; and Science, Democracy and Citizenship.
We’ll be digging in to the most promising and interesting science and technology the continent has to offer, and we’d like to take you along for the ride. Check out the full program and let us know if there’s any talk you really wish you could attend. We’ll do our best to get to it and report back on the discussion and debate. Consider us your telepresence. Drop a line through Fanmail or leave a comment below.
We rediscovered 3-D interactive content-sharing platform Sketchfab last week, and we haven’t been able to stop exploring ever since. The site, begun in Paris in 2012, lets makers share their work with the world.
Sketchfab says it now comprises a community that includes artists, designers, architects, engineers, brands, museums and schools. Check out some of our favorites below, and head to the site to find more.
The first comes from aerial photographer Philippe Graindorge, who writes: “The beautiful “chateau” of the small village of Hautefort in Dordogne, France. Its flowerbeds are wonderful, when in full blossom, which wasn’t the case here :(“
The next step toward robots with superhuman strength might come thanks to the tiny ants marching around at your feet. Engineers think the insects’ necks—made of soft, flexible tissue that can support huge weight—could hold important clues to advanced design.
Researchers at The Ohio State University wanted to know how this single joint is built to withstand the full load capacity, so they started looking at its mechanics, structural design and material composition.
“Ants… can lift and carry heavy loads relative to their body mass. Loads are lifted with the mouthparts, transferred through the neck joint to the thorax, and distributed over six legs and tarsi (feet) that anchor to the supporting surface,” the authors write in a paper published recently in the Journal of Biomechanics. “While previous research has explored attachment mechanisms of the tarsi, little is known about the relation between the mechanical function and the structural design and material properties of the ant.”
Find out more and see pictures below.