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See how bat biology could lead to better aircraft

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Our Batplane dreams inch closer to reality

Researchers at Johns Hopkins believe their new study on the biology of bats points in the direction of improved air travel. According to a paper published in the journal Cell Reports, scientists from Johns Hopkins, along with Columbia University and University of Maryland, have found that a big brown bat's sense of touch allows it to make moment-to-moment changes in flight direction. The bat's wings aren't just for propulsion; they are reacting to airflow at a cellular level.

The researchers hope this study will lead to a better understanding of the role sensory cells play in the animal's flight, and eventually inform how humans design aircraft. Of course, Batman had this figured out decades ago.