Feeds

Jellyfish: nature's quickest on the draw

Even faster than Rolf Harris

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.