Happy Labor Day, everyone! Whether you're relaxing or laboring away like we are, take a break and check out some of the latest in science news from around the Web:
- Grief may not be unique to humans; New Scientist reports that dolphins seem to have a complex reaction to the death of another dolphin, displaying behaviors suggestive of mourning in certain situations. Other research has shown that gorillas, chimps and elephants also may show some understanding of death.
- Here's a headline you don't see every day: "Cyborg Beetles’ Neural Implants Could Suck Power From Bugs’ Wing Beats," reports Discover Magazine. Let's take that apart: Researchers are looking to take living beetles and implant neural devices in them to control their flight. By harvesting power from their beating wings through small generators, you wouldn't even need batteries. This technology is still a work in progress, however.
- Speaking of powering things, a Nature Nanotechnology study shows the creation of the smallest electric motor ever devised, the BBC reports. The motor is made from a single molecule with a diameter of 1 billionth of a meter, smaller than the width of a human hair. An electric current can drive a single one of these tiny motors, the researchers demonstrate. This could be useful for targeted drug delivery and other areas of medicine and nanotechnology.
- If you feel nauseated riding in the back seat of an automobile, inside a rocky boat or strapped to a roller coaster car, there may be good news coming: NASA and the U.S. Navy are looking for better ways to treat motion sickness, Scientific American reports. About 30% of people are immune to motion sickness, but no one knows why others are more susceptible to feeling on the verge of vomiting in certain situations. One of the best ways of overcoming it is adaptation - that is, getting used to the motion that's giving you problems, experts say.