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Artificial Jellyfish 'Medusoid' Swims in a Heartbeat: Creation is an Amalgam of Silicone Polymer and Heart Muscle Cells

Artificial Jellyfish 'Medusoid' Swims in a Heartbeat: Creation is an Amalgam of Silicone Polymer and Heart Muscle Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Using recent advances in marine biomechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering, a team of researchers at Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have turned inanimate silicone and living cardiac muscle cells into a freely swimming "jellyfish.

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Biomimicry
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Special Research Journal Issue on Biomimetic Drone Control

Special Research Journal Issue on Biomimetic Drone Control | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Journal of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics has a special issue on bioinspired drone control. Chock full of fascinating stuff, most of it free to read."

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Using Nature as a Model for Low-friction Bearings

Using Nature as a Model for Low-friction Bearings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The mechanical properties of natural joints are considered unrivalled. Cartilage is coated with a special polymer layer allowing joints to move virtually friction-free, even under high pressure. Using simulations on Jülich's supercomputers, scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Twente have developed a new process that technologically imitates biological lubrication and even improves it using two different types of polymers."

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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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What Biomimicry Architects Can Learn From Scorpions

What Biomimicry Architects Can Learn From Scorpions | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ben-Gurion University of the Negev scientists have poured molten aluminum into a scorpion burrow and discovered that scorpion burrows have a platform on which to warm up before the evening hunt."

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Moth Eyes Inspire More Efficient Photoelectrochemical Cells

Moth Eyes Inspire More Efficient Photoelectrochemical Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"As nocturnal creatures, moths need to maximize how well they can see in the dark whilst remaining less visible to avoid predators. This ability to collect as much of the available light as possible and at the same time reflect as little as possible, has inspired Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) to design a new type of photoelectrochemical cell using relatively low cost materials."

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The Human Brain’s Remarkably Low Power Consumption, and How Computers Might Mimic its Efficiency

The Human Brain’s Remarkably Low Power Consumption, and How Computers Might Mimic its Efficiency | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A new paper discusses the efficiency of neuronal computing and the ways in which we might better model the brain's function in future hardware. In some significant ways, we're clearly on the right track already.
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Inspired by Nature, Researchers Create Tougher Metal Materials

Inspired by Nature, Researchers Create Tougher Metal Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Drawing inspiration from the structure of bones and bamboo, researchers have found that by gradually changing the internal structure of metals they can make stronger, tougher materials that can be customized for a wide variety of applications – from body armor to automobile parts."

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The Stickiness of Frog Tongues

The Stickiness of Frog Tongues | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The frog looks nearly asleep, when suddenly its tongue darts out, snaring an unsuspecting insect. What makes its tongue so sticky? Find out...
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The Great Salmon Run Algorithm

The Great Salmon Run Algorithm | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Mechanical engineers at the Babol University of Technology in Mazandaran, Iran, have turned to nature to devise an algorithm based on the survival trials faced by salmon swimming upstream to the spawning grounds to help them fish out the optimal solution to a given problem.
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Why Spider Fangs Are Nature's Perfect Needles

Why Spider Fangs Are Nature's Perfect Needles | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A spider's fangs are natural injection needles, making them perfectly suited for piercing the skeletons of prey and delivering a kiss of venom, a new study finds. "For biomedical applications, for example, the spider fang may lead to the design of new infusion techniques, new blood-bypassing instruments and many other life-saving technologies," said Benny Bar-On, a biomaterials scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany and co-author of the study published today (May 27) in the journal Nature Communications.
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Using Nature as a Model for Low-friction Bearings

Using Nature as a Model for Low-friction Bearings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The mechanical properties of natural joints are considered unrivalled. Cartilage is coated with a special polymer layer allowing joints to move virtually friction-free, even under high pressure. Scientists have developed a new process that technologically imitates biological lubrication and even improves it using two different types of polymers.

Via Janine Benyus
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Nanotube Forests Drink Water From Arid Air

Nanotube Forests Drink Water From Arid Air | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers in the lab of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan found a way to mimic the Stenocara beetle, which survives in the desert by stretching its wings to capture and drink water molecules from the early morning fog. They modified carbon nanotube forests grown through a process created at Rice, giving the nanotubes a superhydrophobic (water-repelling) bottom and a hydrophilic (water loving) top. The forest attracts water molecules from the air and, because the sides are naturally hydrophobic, traps them inside."

 

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Fireflies Inspire Brighter LEDs

Fireflies Inspire Brighter LEDs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
By mimicking the design of a firefly's light-emitting organ, researchers built an LED that shines 55 percent brighter.
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Mimicking the Super Hearing of a Cricket-Hunting Fly

Mimicking the Super Hearing of a Cricket-Hunting Fly | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ormia ochracea is a little, yellow fly of the American south whose breeding strategy has an outsize ick factor. It deposits its larvae on the bodies of male crickets. The larvae then eat their way into their unwilling hosts, and devour them from the inside. What is most remarkable, though, is that the female fly locates the crickets by sound, homing in on the he-cricket’s stridulations (the chirping that results from the wings rubbing together) with uncanny accuracy. The cricket’s chirp is a smear of sound across the scale from the 5 kilohertz carrier frequency to around 20 kHz. And, as anybody who has tried to evict a passionate cricket from a tent or cabin knows, the sound is maddeningly hard to pinpoint.

With an auditory apparatus—let’s call them ears—only 1.5 millimeter across, ochracea pulls off a major feat of acoustic location; a number of engineering groups are working on devices to duplicate the fly’s sensitivity. Now, a team at the University of Texas at Austin has built a prototype replica of O. ochracea’s ear. Michael L. Kuntzman and Neal A. Hall, researchers in the school’s electrical and computer engineering department, describe the device and its performance in Applied Physics Letters."

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Quenching the World's Water and Energy Crises, One Tiny Droplet at a Time

Quenching the World's Water and Energy Crises, One Tiny Droplet at a Time | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In the Namib Desert of Africa, the fog-filled morning wind carries the drinking water for a beetle called the Stenocara. iny droplets collect on the beetle's bumpy back. The areas between the bumps are covered in a waxy substance that makes them water-repellant, or hydrophobic (water-fearing). Water accumulates on the water-loving, or hydrophilic, bumps, forming droplets that eventually grow too big to stay put, then roll down the waxy surface. [...]  More than a decade ago, news of this creature's efficient water collection system inspired engineers to try and reproduce these surfaces in the lab. Small-scale advances in fluid physics, materials engineering and nanoscience since that time have brought them close to succeeding."




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Nature’s Strongest Super-Glue Comes Unstuck

Nature’s Strongest Super-Glue Comes Unstuck | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"An international team of scientists led by Newcastle University, UK, and funded by the US Office of Naval Research, have shown for the first time that barnacle larvae release an oily droplet to clear the water from surfaces before sticking down using a phosphoprotein adhesive."

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Using Fungi to Grow Packaging Material

Using Fungi to Grow Packaging Material | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Biology is influencing design and Biomimicry in packaging is a science that studies nature's models and then uses these designs and processes to solve human problems.
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Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas

Characterization of the Topography and Wettability of English Weed Leaves and Biomimetic Replicas | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

In a recent paper published in Journal of Bionic Engineering, researchers from BERG-IBB studied the topography and wettability of the underside of English weed (Oxalis pes-caprae) leaves using epoxy replicas created via a two-step casting process. Leaves were found to be close to super hydrophobic due to the presence of a characteristic pattern of irregular 100 µm – 200 µm × 60 µm convex papillae. The water repellency properties of such microstructured surfaces may have important applications, including self-cleaning, anti-microbial and anti-fouling.

 

Photo details: SEM image of an epoxy replica of the leaf of English weed. P.M. Pereira, 2013.

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Carbon-fiber Epoxy Honeycombs Mimic the Material Performance of Balsa Wood

Carbon-fiber Epoxy Honeycombs Mimic the Material Performance of Balsa Wood | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Materials scientists at Harvard University have created lightweight cellular composites via 3D printing. These fiber-reinforced epoxy composites mimic the structure and performance of balsa wood. Because the fiber fillers align along the printing direction, their local orientation can be exquisitely controlled. These 3D composites may be useful for wind turbine, automotive and aerospace applications, where high stiffness- and strength-to-weight ratios are needed."

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Taking a Pounding: How Woodpeckers Avoid Concussions

Taking a Pounding: How Woodpeckers Avoid Concussions | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Woodpecker adaptations can inspire designs that prevent impact and vibration damage.
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University of Stuttgart Unveils Woven Pavilion Based on Beetle Shells

University of Stuttgart Unveils Woven Pavilion Based on Beetle Shells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A robotically woven carbon-fibre pavilion based on the lightweight shell encasing a beetle's wings and abdomen is revealed by the University of Stuttgart.
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How the Disco Clam Got its Flash

How the Disco Clam Got its Flash | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"As molluscs go, Ctenoides ales is quite literally one of the flashiest. A native of the Indo-Pacific region, the creature is known as the disco clam because the soft tissues of its ‘lips’ flash like a mirror ball above a dance floor. A study published today finds that the disco clam achieves this using nanoparticles of silica to reflect light.".

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Taking Inspiration From Nature’s Brightest Colours

Taking Inspiration From Nature’s Brightest Colours | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Brightly-coloured, iridescent films, made from the same wood pulp that is used to make paper, could potentially substitute traditional toxic pigments in the textile and security industries. The films use the same principle as can be seen in some of the most vivid colours in nature, resulting in colours which do not fade, even after a century. Some of the brightest and most colourful materials in nature – such as peacock feathers, butterfly wings and opals – get their colour not from pigments, but from their internal structure alone.
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A Nature-Inspired Scooter Reinvents The Cargo Bike So That It's Easier To Pedal

A Nature-Inspired Scooter Reinvents The Cargo Bike So That It's Easier To Pedal | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Mocan looks like a scooter, but has plenty of room to carry big items. [...]  Designed as part of the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge, which asks students to look for inspiration in nature, the Mocan imitates the squiggle movement of centipedes and snakes. Instead of pedaling, you move a handle back and forth to move quickly down the street."

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Flectofin®, a Hingeless Louver Inspired by the Bird of Paradise Flower

"Inspired by the valvular pollination mechanism of the Strelitzia Reginae flower (commonly known as the Bird-Of-Paradise) the Flectofin® is a hingeless louver system  that is capable of shifting its fin 90 degrees by inducing bending stresses in the spine caused by displacement of a support or change of temperature in the lamina."

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