Secret Site Map
Saturday, August 02, 2014

Home News Mystery of Spiders’ Webs Unravelled

Mystery of Spiders’ Webs Unravelled

Spiders

According to researchers at Oxford University, spiders’ webs electrostatically reach out and ‘grab’ airborne particles, droplets and even insects.

| December 31, 2013

According to researchers at Oxford University, spiders’ webs electrostatically reach out and ‘grab’ airborne particles, droplets and even insects. Electrically conductive glue spread over the threads of the web enables the web to spring out at passing charged particles (including insects), regardless of whether they are positively or negatively charged. This helps to explain how webs are able to efficiently collect airborne particles and why they actively reach out to passing insects.

Not only is this discovery fascinating, but it could also have practical applications as an alternative to expensive industrial sensors used for environmental monitoring. ‘The elegant physics of these webs make them perfect active filters of airborne pollutants including aerosols and pesticides,’ said Professor Fritz Vollrath of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, who led the study.

‘Electrical attraction drags these particles to the webs, so you could harvest and test webs to monitor pollution levels – for example, to check for pesticides that might be harming bee populations.’

Together with Dr Donald Edmonds of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, Professor Vollrath goes on to show how conductive webs cause a local distortion of the Earth’s background electric field. As many insects such as bees use their antennas to sense electrical disturbances, the researchers hypothesised that the spider’s intended prey might be able to electrostatically ‘see’ the web and avoid flying into it.

Source: Oxford Student

Top news

Bed Bugs Turn Up in Senate Office Building

The pests were found on the sixth floor of the Dirksen building last week, causing officials to take emergency measures such as closing off a restroom for a couple of days with yellow police tape, the Daily Caller reports.

'NPMA Gives Award' Presented to Spencer Pest Services

The award was created to provide association members with a way to recognize their contributions to their communities.

Update: Bill to Amend FIFRA, CWA Passes House

The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 (H.R. 935), a bill that would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act regarding the use of pesticides near bodies of water, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

What Role Does Private Equity Play in M&As?

Michael O’Connell and Christopher Ball of Brocket Tamny, two veterans of the financial markets with extensive banking experience, will share their knowledge on this topic at the upcoming PCT Mergers and Acquisitions Virtual Event, scheduled for Aug. 27.

Podcast: Rob LaMoine on His 'Biggest Mistake'

LaMoine, president of RIA Solutions, Buford, Ga., talks about his biggest mistake, which was waiting too long to switch his company's service model to exterior only.