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Volume 597 Issue 7877, 23 September 2021

Shooting the breeze

The 3D shapes of many plant seeds are optimized to aid dispersion by wind — often allowing the seeds to travel hundreds of kilometres. Taking inspiration from these aerial hitchhikers, John Rogers and his colleagues in this issue present a series of 3D macro-, meso- and microscale fliers that can similarly use wind for dispersal. The researchers were able to maintain flight times even when the fliers were weighed down with active electronic payloads. They note that one example application for the fliers could be as battery-free, wireless devices for atmospheric measurements.

Cover image: K. Krause/Nature (Images: Y. Zhang and J. Rogers; David Lentink/SPL)

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