Like coffee and chocolate? Thank the alkaloids.

Coffee, chocolate, morphine and cocaine all have one thing in common. Their active ingredients — the things that makes them work as they do — are all parts of a chemical family called the alkaloids.

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Spare a moment for the humble fly and his aerobatic feats

When you swat a fly, you’re swatting a biological machine that in many respects makes the electromechanical machines (read: robots) that we make look less than crude by comparison. Don’t take my word for it; watch “fly guy” Michael Dickinson tell the tale in his recent TEDxCalTech talk.

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