The wood-borer wasp’s big idea has to do with laying an egg. Females have no stingers. In their place is a twin shafted saw used to drill into dying pines to slip their young into the tree’s softer insides.
The wasp’s boring device works with little pressure. The two blades operate in concert, one probes forward while the other’s teeth hold the bit in place. Then they switch jobs and the shaft that probed takes hold while the other cuts. With each cycle the probe sinks a little deeper.
People watched the female wasp at work and had an idea. Brain surgery would be helped by the gentlest possible cut.
A tiny prototype device now being tested can work on its own, taking the least invasive route to deposit cancer treatments, or skirt around parts of the brain where a clumsier incision could do lasting damage.
WHERE YOU MIGHT SEE THIS:
An operating room: The first uses might be on bones and muscles, where a perfect incision matters, but isn’t brain surgery.