2020 Media Watch Archives

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Inside Science

Scientists discover the secret of this beetle's super armor

Inside Science -
The diabolical ironclad beetle can survive getting run over by a car. Now, scientists have unlocked the secrets of its armor's strength -- research that may one day help improve aircraft, cars and drones. … "We see a lot of potential applications -- not just in aerospace, but also in the automotive industry, and in drones," said study senior author David Kisailus, a materials scientist at the University of California, Irvine. Read More
Live Science

You can't squish this 'iron' beetle. Now, scientists know why.

Live Science -
Diabolical ironclad beetles are almost unbreakable — you can smack them, stomp on them or run them over with a car, and they'll scamper away uncrushed. Now, [UCI] scientists know why these beetles' outer wing cases, known as elytra, are so tough — they're made up of a series of smoothly interlocking puzzle parts; the geometry and internal structure of this "jigsaw" design increase the strength of the beetle's armor. Read More
The Guardian

Scientists reveal how diabolical ironclad beetle can bear huge weights

The Guardian -
“We were impressed. Especially given that this beetle does not contain any mineral – just organic components,” said Prof David Kisailus, co-author of the study from the University of California, Irvine.Writing in the journal Nature, Kisailus and colleagues report how they examined the structure of the beetle’s exoskeleton to understand what makes it so tough. Read More
Boing Boing

How the diabolical ironclad beetle survives getting run over by a car

Boing Boing -
What makes the diabolical ironclad beetle (the insect's actual common name) so indestructible? To find out, researchers at the  University of California, Irvine and their colleagues repeatedly drove over them with their cars. Yes, the creepy crawlers survived the tire test and countless other more exacting compression tests in the laboratory. After years of research, materials scientist David Kisailus and grad student Jesus Rivera determined that it’s the combination of the material and structure of the beetle's exoskeleton which is different than other beetles. Read More

How this uncrushable beetle can survive being run over by a car

Gizmodo -
The scientists who made this discovery—a team from Purdue University and the University of California, Irvine—say the unique strategy employed by the diabolical ironclad beetle could inspire the creation of innovative materials, namely components capable of dissipating energy to prevent catastrophic breakage. David Kisailus, a professor of materials science and engineering at Purdue, led the new research. Read More

This super-beetle can survive being run over by a car -- and help with engineering problems

Scientists developing new materials are studying an unlikely source of strength: a beetle that can withstand being run over by a car. Researchers from Purdue University and the University of California, Irvine, studied the aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle -- Phloeodes diabolicus -- to understand the secret behind its strength. Read More

Can’t crush this: Beetle armor gives clues to tougher planes

AP -
The beetle study is part of an $8 million project funded by the U.S. Air Force to explore how the biology of creatures such as mantis shrimp and bighorn sheep could help develop impact-resistant materials. “We’re trying to go beyond what nature has done,” said study co-author David Kisailus, a materials scientist and engineer at the University of California, Irvine. Read More

How the ‘diabolical’ beetle survives being run over by a car

Wired -
For University of California, Irvine, materials scientist David Kisailus, the diabolical ironclad beetle isn’t just a curiosity—it’s inspiration. … Namely, natural selection has invented an ingenious structure that keeps the insect from flattening, a structure that Kisailus has begun to mine for inspiration to engineer new super-strong materials. “We're pretty stoked, because we think we can go to aircraft, automotive, sporting goods industries with this kind of design,” says Kisailus. Read More

Even a car can’t kill this beetle. Here’s why

Science -
When entomologists first told Jesus Rivera that a nondescript black beetle could survive being run over by a car, he was skeptical. Then he tried it, and the insect walked away unscathed (as you can see for yourself in the video below). Now, this newly minted Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine, has discovered the secret to this bug’s success. Read More
BBC Science Focus

Source of near-indestructible beetle’s toughness discovered

BBC Science Focus -
“The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it’s not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank,” said David Kisailus, professor of materials science & engineering at UCI and principal investigator on the study. “That’s its adaptation: It can’t fly away, so it just stays put and lets its specially designed armour take the abuse until the predator gives up.” Read More


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