The Most Amazing Science Images Of 2010


Echolocation Fail

Both captured wild bats and juvenile bats that had never previously encountered large bodies of water were placed in a room with smooth and textured wood, metal and plastic plates. Bats of all species repeatedly attempted to drink from the smooth plates, but never from the textured plates.

This is because the smooth plates replicate the mirror-like echo reflection exhibited by bodies of water. Such surfaces reflect most of the bats’ echolocation energy away from it, but some energy hits the surface perpendicularly, sending an echo back directly beneath the bat. Water is the only such surface that behaves this way found in nature, so when the bats encountered similar properties in this artificial environment, they assumed the smooth plates were water.

E. Coli Sculpture

This 41-inch-long sculpture of the Escherichia coli bacterium is part of British artist Luke Jerram’s “Glass Microbiology” series of portraits. Other organisms he has vitrified include HIV, SARS and swine flu. In this depiction of the rod-shaped E. coli, two flagella trail from one end while hairlike pili surround a capsule full of tangled nucleoids.




Completing Delhi’s New Subway Line

A worker stands inside one of the Metro tunnels under construction in New Delhi, India, in preparation for the Commonwealth Games that took place in October. To overcome the challenges of a tight three-and-a-half-year schedule and construction underneath a densely populated city, engineers used 14 tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) to dig the underground thoroughfare.




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