Flytrap machine

Inspired by the Venus flytrap, scientists have invented a material that might improve human lives.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM December 5, 2007

The Venus flytrap is a plant, but it acts like a cross between an animal and a machine. When an unsuspecting fly lands on a flytrap's leaf, the plant snaps shut, imprisoning the insect.

Inspired by the plant's quick reflexes, researchers have designed a material that acts in a similar way. The material might someday have a number of uses, including delivering medications to just the right spot in the body.

There are no muscles in a flytrap's leaf. Instead, the plant's cells snap mechanical...

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