Biomimicry
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Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze?

Why Don't Penguin Feathers Freeze? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Despite living in frigid temperatures and getting wet, penguins’ feathers remain free of ice. How is that possible? [...] The answer is in the microstructure of penguins' feathers. The feathers are comprised of “a network of barbs, wrinkled barbules and tiny interlocking hooks. In addition to being hydrophobic, this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive. [...] Based on their discoveries about the feathers’ microstructure, the scientists recreated the design in a nanofiber membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material, which they say could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation."

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New Nano Materials Inspired by Bird Feathers Play with Light to Create Color

New Nano Materials Inspired by Bird Feathers Play with Light to Create Color | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by the way iridescent bird feathers play with light, scientists have created thin films of material in a wide range of pure colors — from red to green — with hues determined by physical structure rather than pigments.

Structural color arises from the interaction of light with materials that have patterns on a minute scale, which bend and reflect light to amplify some wavelengths and dampen others. Melanosomes, tiny packets of melanin found in the feathers, skin and fur of many animals, can produce structural color when packed into solid layers, as they are in the feathers of some birds. 

“We synthesized and assembled nanoparticles of a synthetic version of melanin to mimic the natural structures found in bird feathers,” said Nathan Gianneschi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. “We want to understand how nature uses materials like this, then to develop function that goes beyond what is possible in nature."

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Hummingbirds are the 'Jewels of the Jungle' Yet Their Iridescent Plumes are Pigment Free

Hummingbirds are the 'Jewels of the Jungle' Yet Their Iridescent Plumes are Pigment Free | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Beating its tiny wings up to 80 times a second a hummingbird will dart from flower to flower, its iridescent plumage dazzling in the tropical sun. But these busy birds are con artists. Their feathers are pigment-free, the colours the product of microscopic structures that refract sunlight like a prism, spraying out its reds, blues and greens."

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Brightly Colored Bird Feathers Inspire New Kind of Laser

Brightly Colored Bird Feathers Inspire New Kind of Laser | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

A new kind of laser captures light just like some colorful bird feathers. The device mimics the nanoscale structure of colorful feathers to make high-intensity laser light with almost any color.

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Wind Turbines With Owl Wings Could Silently Make Extra Energy

Wind Turbines With Owl Wings Could Silently Make Extra Energy | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Moving silently through the air is not just for the birds. Wind farms inspired by the stealthy flight of owls could generate more energy without annoying those who live nearby, say researchers."

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Altin Pevqeli's curator insight, September 14, 2015 10:26 PM

If they did make turbines inspired by the flight of owls which is silent, it would be a tremendous job. It would solve one of the biggest problems of turbine which is noise. If there isn't much noise people wouldn't mind them, making it so people could build more in areas.

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Feathers in Flight Inspire Advanced Anti-Turbulence Systems

Feathers in Flight Inspire Advanced Anti-Turbulence Systems | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by nature's own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights. Researchers from the Unmanned Systems Research Team at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have lodged a provisional patent on the system, which mimics the way feathers help birds detect disturbances in the air."

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Zachary12's curator insight, November 3, 2014 4:17 PM

This is a an great idea and concept for flight similar to that comic joke that with Irish man who was the first man to fly by putting geese feather on him self. These scientist found that feather might dissipate  turbulence on a plane since we have found that birds don't experience any type of turbulence. Look at Peregrine Falcon which can reach 200 mph when diving at a prey

Brad's comment, November 30, 2014 9:55 AM
I could see this technology being more available to small aircraft like it says, but the ability to ensure no turbulence or even a claim to even reduce turbulence in large plains is unsure. Small planes are the ones who get bounced around the most, larger aircraft are still so large I am not sure if it would be cost effective. It seems like this technology is very early. When a new technology claims it is copyiung nature it must be better, or does it? I don't see how tons of metal and steel could ever really rect like a birds wing.
Zachary12's comment, November 30, 2014 10:03 PM
I think you right brad in fact that lager planes would not experience to much affect but the small planes might, and for copying nature I would have to say that they should look at this idea for feathers for small amount of effort for overcoming turbulence. But another maybe even better way would be a integrating more natures concepts to the wings like carbon fiber wings that might give to increase pressures or changes in jets streams. I use carbon fiber as an example is be cause it has a high tensile strength giving less likely hood to snap but this could give the once ridged wings more flexibility in flight to compensate.
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Secret of Owls' Silent Flight Revealed by Scientists

Secret of Owls' Silent Flight Revealed by Scientists | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The secrets of owls' near silent wings has been revealed by scientists who could now use the technology to develop quieter aircraft. A new study has shown how the bird of prey's naturally evolved plumage gives the hunting advantage of 'acoustic stealth', allowing it to sneak up on targets. Research found that many owl species have developed feathers which can effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings as they cut through the air."

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