Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals

A "quantum material" that mimics a shark's ability to detect the minute electric fields of small prey has been shown to perform well in ocean-like conditions, with potential applications from defense to marine biology. The material maintains its functional stability and does not corrode after being immersed in saltwater, a prerequisite for ocean sensing. Surprisingly, it also functions well in the cold, ambient temperatures typical of seawater. Such a technology might be used to study ocean organisms and ecosystems and to monitor the movement of ships for military and commercial maritime applications. The new sensor was inspired by an organ near a shark's mouth called the ampullae of Lorenzini, which is capable of detecting small electric fields from prey animals. The organ contains a jelly that conducts ions from seawater to a specialized membrane located at the bottom of the ampulla. Sensing cells in the membrane allow the shark to detect bioelectric fields emitted by prey fish.

Visit Website | Image credit: Christophe Testi/Shutterstock.com