When researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital
in Boston went looking for the future of jamming a sharp thing inside of you, they looked to a creature that has built it's reputation -- and ensured its survival -- by delivering sharp pokes for millions of years: the porcupine. By analyzing the unique geometry of porcupine spines
, they're unraveling the secrets of why it's so easy to get one of the sharp spines to puncture flesh, and so hard to remove it. They're hoping those lessons could result in more effective needles that could enter the body with less force and seal the wounds they leave on their way out, reducing the possibility of infections.