Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Flies - Intelligently Designed Fliers - Inspire Engineers to Build Tiny Mechanical Devices

A sign outside Wentworth, Victoria, sees fruit flies as pests.

Joel Kontinen

During a recent trip to Australia, I often saw signs warning of fruit flies that carry diseases. However, flies are much more than that.

They are very clever fliers.

According to New Scientist, research conducted by Graham Taylor at the University of Oxford and colleagues “used X-rays produced by a particle accelerator at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland to peer at the muscles of a live blowfly, in order to study how it beats its wings.”

An accompanying video “focuses on the fly's thorax, highlights the muscles that help it fly.”

Researchers hope that by studying how the fly flies they could be able to build “tiny mechanical devices”.

Biomimicry can be defined as copying God’s design seen in nature. Blind Darwinian mechanisms could hardly come up with intelligent solutions worth investigating and copying.


Aron, Jacob. 2014. Surreal X-ray movie reveals how a fly beats its wings. New Scientist (25 March).