Feeds

Jellyfish: nature's quickest on the draw

Even faster than Rolf Harris

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Nematocysts - the tiny capsules delivered by a jellyfish stingThe sting of a jellyfish has been shown to be one of the fastest processes in the whole of biology. Using a super-fast camera technique German researchers have found it can fire off in just 700 nanoseconds.

The team, writing in Current Biology, calculates that the acceleration is equivalent to 5,410,000 times gravity. Its impact generates a pressure of seven Gigapascals, which is in the same range as a gunshot.

The stings arrive in the form of tiny capsules called nematocysts (pictured), which contain toxic compounds delivered through a spike. They are fired off for both defence and capturing prey by members of the Cnidaria phylum which includes jellyfish, anenomes and corals.

The elastic walls of nematocysts are key to the snap release. They are made of a stretchy collagen-based polymer and inflated to 15 Megapascals pressure by an ion-packed protein matrix.

The team says the spring from the potential energy stored in the wall is responsible for the incredible speed.

The new research rates the top speed of nematocyst release one hundred times faster than previously measured. In order to capture the process, the camera was run at a blistering 1,430,000 frames per second. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.