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Germline cysts containing 16 interconnected cells (cystocytes) are produced at an early stage of Drosophila oogenesis by progenitor cells known as cystoblasts that undergo four synchronous rounds of incomplete division. During cyst formation, a region of specialized, spectrin-rich cytoplasm called the fusome traverses the intercellular connections (ring(More)
Germline stem cells play a pivotal role in gametogenesis; yet little is known about how they are formed, how they divide to self-renew, and how these processes are genetically controlled. Here we describe the self-renewing asymmetric division of germline stem cells in the Drosophila ovarian germline, as marked by the spectrosome, a cytoplasmic structure(More)
The hedgehog (hh) gene plays a role in regulating cell proliferation and specifying cell identity in diverse systems. We show that hh is expressed at the extreme apical end of Drosophila ovarioles in terminal filament cells and a newly identified group of associated somatic cells. Reducing or ectopically expressing hh affects somatic cells in region 2 of(More)
Rolling locomotion using an external force such as gravity has evolved many times. However, some caterpillars can curl into a wheel and generate their own rolling momentum as part of an escape repertoire. This change in body conformation occurs well within 100 ms and generates a linear velocity over 0.2 m s(-1), making it one of the fastest self-propelled(More)
Sensorimotor control in vertebrates relies on internal models. When extending an arm to reach for an object, the brain uses predictive models of both limb dynamics and target properties. Whether invertebrates use such models remains unclear. Here we examine to what extent prey interception by dragonflies (Plathemis lydia), a behaviour analogous to targeted(More)
Soft animals move by controlling body deformation instead of actuated joints and they are able to exploit changes in conformation for different forms of locomotion. The goal of this study is to identify the key constraints in a soft-bodied animal and attempt to produce locomotion in a robotic platform with the same constraints. We first designed a soft(More)
The measurement of forces generated during locomotion is essential for the development of accurate mechanical models of animal movements. However, animals that lack a stiff skeleton tend to dissipate locomotor forces in large tissue deformation and most have complex or poorly defined substrate contacts. Under these conditions, measuring propulsive and(More)
Various flight navigation strategies for birds have been identified at the large spatial scales of migratory and homing behaviours. However, relatively little is known about close-range obstacle negotiation through cluttered environments. To examine obstacle flight guidance, we tracked pigeons (Columba livia) flying through an artificial forest of vertical(More)
Avian flight far exceeds our best aircraft control systems. We have conducted a series of experiments at the Concord Field Station demonstrating the extraordinary maneuverability of the common pigeon, showing it darting through tight spaces and recovering from large disturbances with ease. Our goal is to understand how to make small fixed-wing aircraft(More)
Caterpillars can increase their body mass 10,000-fold in 2 weeks. It is therefore remarkable that most caterpillars appear to maintain the same locomotion kinematics throughout their entire larval stage. This study examined how the body properties of a caterpillar might change to accommodate such dramatic changes in body load. Using Manduca sexta as a model(More)