The Nature Video editors have been busy this year, posting some beautiful movies at YouTube. Here’s a brief description of a few of them.
Eight billion years of dwarf galaxy evolution, accompanied by Strauss. This beautiful animation shows how exploding stars are a key force in shaping dwarf galaxies. Fabio Governato and colleagues present computer simulations that appear to have solved a longstanding problem in cosmology — namely, how the standard cold dark matter model of galaxy formation can give rise to the dwarf galaxies we see around us. From: Bulgeless dwarf galaxies and dark matter cores from supernova-driven outflows by F. Governato et al. Nature 463, 203-206 (2010).
Bacteria Make Mexican Waves. By synchronizing our clocks, we can coordinate our activities with people around the world. Now, scientists have engineered bacteria to synchronize their molecular timekeepers, creating the stunning fluorescent waves you see in this video. Hear more about synthetic biology on the Nature Podcast . From: Synchronized quorum of genetic clocks, by Tal Danino, Octavio Mondragón-Palomino, Lev Tsimring & Jeff Hasty Nature 463, 326-330 (2010).
The most vulnerable brains. Nature reporter Erika Check Hayden visits a San Francisco hospital where doctors are using new treatments to help infants at risk of brain injury. Read the full report at Nature 463, 154-156 (2010).
Robot roach extracts order from chaos. Scientists have created a robot that can move around just like an insect, powered by a simple circuit capable of generating many complex behaviours. The circuit employs chaos theory the idea that systems are very sensitive to small changes, which can quickly become magnified. The robot, called AMOS, can use its simple circuit to respond to light and sound, pull its foot out of a hole, or run away from obstacles thrown in its path. From: Self-organized adaptation of a simple neural circuit enables complex robot behaviour by Silke Steingrube, Marc Timme, Florentin Wörgötter & Poramate Manoonpong (Nature Physics Advance Online Publication, 17 January 2010). See also a related Nature News story.