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Singapore to Invest Huge Resources in Kidney-like Filter Research

Singapore to Invest Huge Resources in Kidney-like Filter Research | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A research institute at Singapore' s Nanyang Technological University is expected to invest 132 million Singapore dollars (107 million U.S. dollars) in researches in clean water technologies in the coming three years, including the biomimetic filter research that aims to copy the kidney in water treatment."

 

Photo details: Sideview of Aquaporin 1 Channel, PDB ID, 1J4N generated by PyMOL. GNU free document license. 2009, Vossman.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aquaporin-Sideview.png

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Fruit Flies Could Sniff Out Bombs, Drugs

Fruit Flies Could Sniff Out Bombs, Drugs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A fruit fly's sense of smell could potentially be used to sniff out bombs and drugs, according to a new study. Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) can detect smells such as those from wine, which the insects are naturally attracted to because it smells like their favorite food, fermenting fruit. Now, new research shows that their keen "noses" could with just as much accuracy identify odors from illicit drugs and explosive substances as well."

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Snakes and Snake-like Robots Show How Sidewinders Conquer Sandy Slopes

Snakes and Snake-like Robots Show How Sidewinders Conquer Sandy Slopes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The amazing ability of sidewinder snakes to quickly climb sandy slopes was once something biologists only vaguely understood and roboticists only dreamed of replicating. By studying the snakes in a unique bed of inclined sand and using a snake-like robot to test ideas spawned by observing the real animals, both biologists and roboticists have now gained long-sought insights."

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Blades of Grass Inspire Advance in Organic Solar Cells

Blades of Grass Inspire Advance in Organic Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team has taken a major step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost power-conversion efficiency of light to electricity for use in electronic devices.
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Octopus-Inspired Robot Enhanced With Webbing

Octopus-Inspired Robot Enhanced With Webbing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Studying the movements of creatures in the natural world is very useful to robotics as the latest version of a robotic octopus from Greece shows. But real octopodes could also learn from their robotic cousin, which uses its octopus-inspired anatomy to propel itself in new ways.
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Squid-skin Displays Bring Us Closer to Biotech Camouflage

Squid-skin Displays Bring Us Closer to Biotech Camouflage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Cephalopods are curious creatures, able to flex their bodies into nifty shapes and camouflage themselves from sight. Unsurprisingly, they have also been inspiring biomimicry-led designs for years because of this. This month a paper to be published in Nature Communications deals with their flexi-strechy skills and describes how man can now engineer an elastic film that lights up when stimulated using electricity. Meanwhile, a team of US material scientists has opted to create a new method of colour display using a technique they say will get us that much closer to the holy grail of cephalopod biomimicry studies: camouflaging "squid skin" that morphs into background shades automatically, (otherwise known as a metamaterial)."

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Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes

Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] The wing tips of steppe eagles are an ideal shape to maximize lift with a minimal wingspan. The curvature at the end of the wing reduces drag. Engineers designing the A380 copied that design, resulting in fuel savings of up to 3%, depending on if it is a long or short distance flight."

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Do Tilapia and Mangroves Hold Secrets to Desalination?

Do Tilapia and Mangroves Hold Secrets to Desalination? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Fresh drinking water isn't a supply problem, but I do believe there is an important supply solution. This solution, desalination of seawater, in the future could be improved by techniques observed in nature. Here, I write about some notable examples in both the technological and natural world. [...] From versatile fish to salt-sequestering plants, the natural world abounds with ways to turn sea water into freshwater."

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Sea Creatures Inspire Bottle Design

Sea Creatures Inspire Bottle Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by diatoms and radiolarians, a new bottle used biomimicry as a basis for its new design. [...] Carlos Rego, a designer with Logoplaste Innovation Lab in Portugal, has found functional patterns in nature that have added beauty to his designs for something as utilitarian as a bottle. Those same patterns added strength while decreasing weight — and therefore material — from those bottles. And recently, the organisms that inspired the company’s latest design may also benefit from it. This story is about learning from nature how to minimize materials while still providing needed strength, how to cooperate, and how to design to make products that are not just less harmful to life, but are also restorative."

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Speedo's New Nemesis Fins are Making Waves

Speedo's New Nemesis Fins are Making Waves | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Speedo’s cutting edge new Nemesis Fins are making waves in the swimming world. The most comfortable fitness and swim training fin on the market, Speedo’s new Nemesis Fin was designed using biomimicry and inspired by the pectoral fin of the Humpback Whale. The scalloped outer edge of the fins, like that of the Humpback Whale, creates greater surface area for water to pass over versus a smooth, straight edge. This technology creates enhanced propulsion, allowing the swimmer to push more water during kicking drills and training sets."

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Healing Plastics And Reconnecting Circuitry. Biomimicry At It's Finest

Healing Plastics And Reconnecting Circuitry. Biomimicry At It's Finest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A fascinating new programme highlights how new materials are being manufactured that can actually heal themselves. From ByteSizeScience – “Our latest episode explores materials that mimic the human skin’s ability to heal scratches and cuts. For a first-hand look at self-healing plastics, we visited the lab of Nancy Sottos, Ph.D., professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Inspired by human skin, the plastics repair themselves by “bleeding” healing agents when they are cut or scratched. This research offers the promise of cell phones, laptops, cars, and other products with self-repairing, longer-lasting surfaces.”"

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Camouflage Sheet Inspired by Octopus

Camouflage Sheet Inspired by Octopus | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Based on the camouflage abilities of octopuses and cuttlefish, engineers in the US have built a flexible material that changes colour to match its surroundings. The new design features a grid of 1mm cells, containing a temperature-driven dye that switches colour on demand."

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Bio-inspiration Transforming Cosmetics: Consumer Awareness Rising

Bio-inspiration Transforming Cosmetics: Consumer Awareness Rising | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Industry and consumer awareness of biomimetics is on the rise as demand for naturals continues to climb, with the combination of science and nature increasingly appealing for skin care products. 
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This Bio-Inspired Bike Jacket Flashes When Drivers Get Too Close

This Bio-Inspired Bike Jacket Flashes When Drivers Get Too Close | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A designer has an idea of how to make drivers take more caution around cyclists: Help them see bikers as people, not obstacles. [...] The jacket uses sensors to tell if a car or bus is approaching, and then starts flashing LED lights. As cars get closer or drive faster, the lights flash more quickly. The design is inspired by animals that use visual signals to keep predators away."

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TREEPODS: Carbon-Scrubbing Artificial Trees for Boston City Streets

TREEPODS: Carbon-Scrubbing Artificial Trees for Boston City Streets | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Trees naturally filter and clean our air, but in today’s heavily polluted world, it’s just too huge of a task to expect Mother Nature to take care of herself. Taking this into account, designers Mario Caceres and Cristian Canonico have designed a set of beautiful air-filtering trees for the SHIFTboston urban intervention contest. Called TREEPODS, the designs harnesses biomimicry to efficiently emulate the carbon filtration qualities of trees."

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Giant Clams' Shiny Shells May Inspire Solar Power Tech

Giant Clams' Shiny Shells May Inspire Solar Power Tech | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Brilliant shades of blue and aqua coat the iridescent lips of giant clams, but these shiny cells aren't just for show, new research finds. The iridescent sheen directs beams of sunlight into the interior of the clam, providing light for algae housed inside. [...] The giant clams' colorful and sparkly sheen may one day inspire new forms of clean technology, the researchers said. For instance, traditional solar cells work well in direct sunlight, but not when they get too hot. With the clam's design, a reflective sheen could help solar cells stay cool even when they're exposed to intense sunlight,.."


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Solar Energy: A Sunflower Solution to Electricity Shortage

Solar Energy: A Sunflower Solution to Electricity Shortage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A new piece of solar technology from IBM not only provides electricity – it can desalinate water for sanitation and drinking. [...] IBM and Airlight Energy’s 30ft concrete ‘sunflower’ was inspired by the branched blood supply of the human body."

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Shrimp's Eyes Inspire New Cancer-detecting Camera

Shrimp's Eyes Inspire New Cancer-detecting Camera | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Shrimps' eyes have been revealed as the latest weapon against cancer, with their unique vision set to be adapted to diagnostic cameras. University of Queensland research has found the shrimps' compound eyes were able to detect polarised light, which could be mimicked to detect cancer cells."

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MIT Demonstrates Slithering Rubber Robot

MIT Demonstrates Slithering Rubber Robot | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] The snake is proving to be a very versatile model when it comes to robotic biomimicry. Applications ranging from inspecting nuclear power plants toassembling aircraft and even exploring Mars have been identified for snake-like robots, but unlike these and many other robot designs, MIT's silicone rubber robot doesn’t have fixed-joints and the lack of mobility and flexibility they bring. Instead, this soft-shelled automaton is constructed with a group of hollow, individually inflatable channels ranged down either side of it that, when filled with air, change shape and bend that part of the arm in the required direction. Inflating or deflating these air pockets at various places on the arm means that it can be deformed into almost any curve or arc; a feat impossible with solid, fixed-joint machines."

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Biomimicry: A Tale of Biomimetic Concept Chairs

Biomimicry: A Tale of Biomimetic Concept Chairs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Designers Joris Laarman, Mathias Bengtsson, Lilian Van Daal, and Nicolette de Waart put biomimicry to the test when they used a biomimetic approach to create concept chairs. Their innovative creations explore how human design can mimic nature to increase efficiency, elegance, and sustainability. Inspired by the form and function of nature, the design of each of these chairs explores at least one of the core methodologies — form, process, and system — of biomimetic design."

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Amazon Rainforest Workshops's curator insight, September 18, 6:23 PM

Great Biomimicry example.  Let this inspire your next STEM learning opportunity! 

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Mimosa Biomimicry Inspires New Adaptive Structures

Mimosa Biomimicry Inspires New Adaptive Structures | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at University of Michigan (U-M) and Penn State University are studying how plants like the Mimosa can change shape, and they’re working to replicate the mechanisms with artificial cells. Currently, their artificial cells are palm-size and larger, but they’re trying to minify them by using microstructures and nanofibers to construct them. They’re also exploring how to replicate the mechanisms by which plants heal themselves."

 

Photo details: Mimosa Putrajaya, Gryffindor, GFDL 2006,  Wikimedia Commons.

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Biomimetics: a Paler Shade of White

Biomimetics: a Paler Shade of White | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The little Cyphochilus beetle from Thailand is strikingly white – whiter by far than is common in nature. Researchers from the UK and Italy have now discovered how the very structure of its shell allows the beetle to be both ultra-white and ultra-light."

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The Car Designer Who Turned a Sailfish Into a Supercar

The Car Designer Who Turned a Sailfish Into a Supercar | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The sailfish can swim faster than a cheetah can run – and the secrets behind its speed inspired McLaren’s Frank Stephenson to create a new car.
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Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry

Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Sharks have tough skin that is worthy of biomimicry by nanotechnology designers and engineers. New coatings, textiles and other technologies that mimic the special biological properties of shark skin have been developed in recent years and many more such innovations are emerging across multiple industries."

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NBD Nano Aims its Bug-Inspired Tech at Big Industrial Markets

NBD Nano Aims its Bug-Inspired Tech at Big Industrial Markets | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Technology inspired by the exoskeleton of a hardy desert bug is being aimed at big industrial problems, and investors are betting several million dollars that it could make a difference."

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Conceptual Chair Inspired By 3D Printed Plant Cells

Conceptual Chair Inspired By 3D Printed Plant Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"For her graduation project at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, industrial designer Lilian van Daal developed a concept 3D-printed soft chair called Biomimicry... [...] Van Daal looked for ways to create a soft chair from one type of material and retain the basic features required for the item to function as a chair. The chair needed to be firm and rigid in some areas and soft in other areas, and Van Daal experimented with various geometric structures to come up with a structure suitable for her design concept. The designer used nature as inspiration and studied the structure of plant cells – whose structural design allows them to perform different functions."

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