Biomimicry
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A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle

A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] the ‘polar bear pavilion’ is a prototype of a textile membrane structure, which offers new energy saving solutions for human habitations. The name says it all – despite the fact it is not intended for them, the inspiration for the outer layer of the building came from polar bears. “We came across the polar bear principle when we were studying older bionics books from the 1980s and decided to use it for our work on textile membrane structures. Rather than copying it directly, we studied the physical properties of polar bear skin and used other materials to imitate it,” said project leader Dr. Thomas Stegmaier of the Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering (ITV) in Denkendorf. "

 

Photo details: Polar Bear (Sow) , Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska. Copyright © 2007, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Newlight Technologies Produces AirCarbon Plastic From CO2

Newlight Technologies Produces AirCarbon Plastic From CO2 | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In recent years, the desire to emulate botanical processes for environmental benefit has inspired "design similes," such as cities that behave like forests, buildings that act as trees, or products that operate like plants. Although such comparisons serve to promote ideal goals, they are difficult to put into actual practice. Irvine, Calif.-based Newlight Technologies has found a way to achieve the latter objective, with a plastic that is made by mimicking the material production method of plants. AirCarbon is a type of polyester that is made from air rather than oil. Like plants, Newlight's "GHG-to-Plastic" process captures CO2 from the air, and isolates the carbon and oxygen elements. The company then polymerizes C and O and reassembles them into a long-chain thermopolymer. The resulting plastic is biodegradable, recyclable in multiple stages, and has programmable compostability."

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A Bio-inspired Method to Attach Graphene to Silicon Wafers for Electronic Devices

A Bio-inspired Method to Attach Graphene to Silicon Wafers for Electronic Devices | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Drawing inspiration from how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have developed the first effective process, called “face-to-face transfer,” to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates."

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Synthetic Gel Mimics Amphibians' Ability to re-grow

Synthetic Gel Mimics Amphibians' Ability to re-grow | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Engineers at two universities in Pittsburgh have copied the way amphibians regenerate their body parts in the model for the synthetic gel. [...]  The ability of amphibians to re-grow a limb or a tail was a "truly a remarkable thing", Ms Balazs said. She added: "You can mimic in a synthetic material something that happens in biology. It does not even happen in human beings, really."

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Fruit of Aluminum: Peel-Inspired Metal

Fruit of Aluminum: Peel-Inspired Metal | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A composite aluminum announced in a new study this week borrows its structure from the Asian pomelo. When you´re trying remove them to reach the tastiness within, the peels of citrus fruits are a waxy annoyance. This is especially true of the pomelo, a type of Asian grapefruit. But while this thick peel thwarts hungry humans, it lets the pomelo take a pummeling. A 4-pound fruit can fall 30 feet and land without splitting open because its peel has a composite structure that absorbs the impact. And now, that fruit has inspired a new kind of metal."

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Biomimicry and Patterns of Nature Can Offer Solutions to Complexity

Biomimicry and Patterns of Nature Can Offer Solutions to Complexity | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] people are also starting to look to nature not just for technical assistance, but for system-wide strategic solutions. Whether it is working out the best strategy to deal with economic recessions or contemplating the best way to lay out a new town, problem solvers are looking to nature for deeper insights. And little wonder. Over millions of years nature has managed thousands of interrelated components and living systems that collaborate to deliver a sustainable and self-generating system that benefit all its members. It is the way that nature organises itself to deal with this complexity that is the key for a new way of thinking about our problems according to Tim Winton, the founder of Pattern Dynamics. “Biomimicry takes the tactics of nature to make actual physical mechanisms, but Pattern Dynamics uses the patterns in nature to develop high level principles that can be used to build generative strategies,” he said."

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Robot Turtle helps Underwater Archaeologists Inspect Shipwrecks

Robot Turtle helps Underwater Archaeologists Inspect Shipwrecks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Robot Safari in London Science Museum will see the world premiere of the underwater robot U-CAT, a highly maneuverable robot turtle, designed to penetrate shipwrecks. U-CAT’s locomotion principle is similar to sea turtles. Independently driven four flippers make the robot highly maneuverable; it can swim forward and backward, up and down and turn on spot in all directions. Maneuverability is a desirable feature when inspecting confined spaces such as shipwrecks. The robot carries an onboard camera and the video footage can be later used to reconstruct the underwater site."

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StartupNectar-The Biommimicry Business Incubator

StartupNectar-The Biommimicry Business Incubator | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"StartupNectar enables early-stage, biomimicry-based ventures to access resources and gain traction in the marketplace. The incubation model is informed by nature’s strategies for creating conditions conducive to life".

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3D-Printed Fish Scales May Improve Military Armor

3D-Printed Fish Scales May Improve Military Armor | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Human body armor has come a long way since the steel-plated suits of the Middle Ages, but protective animal structures — such as some shells and scales — still beat the most sophisticated man-made gear in terms of mobility and rigidity. Researchers at MIT are now using3D printing to bring humans up to speed with their animal kin by studying some of the sturdiest forms of animal armor, particularly fish scales, to design gear that matches the flexibility, comfort and durability found in the natural world."

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Natural Allies for the Next Sandy

Natural Allies for the Next Sandy | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Nature’s own walls, like reefs and marshes, have appeal and provide many other benefits, but questions remain on how much protection they would provide, especially in a major storm.
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Stingrays' Weird Swimming May Inspire New Submarine Designs

Stingrays' Weird Swimming May Inspire New Submarine Designs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Sometimes the answers to some of the most challenging problems with technology can be found in nature. Researchers hoping to design more agile and fuel-efficient submarines are taking cues from the unique and elegant way stingrays swim. Scientists at Harvard University and the University at Buffalo are studying how stingrays move, including the seemingly effortless way the fish's round and flattened bodies ripple through water. The new research could inspire the development of next-generation unmanned submarines for ocean exploration, clean-up efforts or rescue missions."

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Creepy Cat Eyes Inspire Road Markers

Creepy Cat Eyes Inspire Road Markers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Nature’s inventiveness often inspires human innovation as in the well-known case of hook-and-loop fasteners: Swiss engineer George de Mestrel turned a hiking annoyance (burrs) into a handy tool (Velcro). But did you know that safety road markers were inspired by a cat’s eyes reflecting headlights. [...] “Eyeshine” may be most familiar as a feline phenomenon, but it occurs in a tremendous variety of animals, from moths to whales. It’s caused by the tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer behind the photosensitive part of the eye which bounces photons back, giving them a second chance to be seen. This ability is a major advantage at night and in the deep sea and has evolved many times in many different forms."

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Science of Bioinspiration Is Spreading, But Lacks Commercial Teeth

Science of Bioinspiration Is Spreading, But Lacks Commercial Teeth | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Can innovators learn anything about sustainability from the minimalist lifestyle of a two-toed sloth? [...]  the San Diego Zoo Global Centre for Bioinspiration, which hosted the two-day event, is focused on taking a much more rigorous and “hard science” approach to bioinspiration—a largely collaborative field that typically requires a mix of disciplines to move from scientific discovery to a new commercial product. [...] As an industry, however, bioinspiration suffers from a lack of public awareness, uncertainty about how the field is defined, and how “serious” it really is, according to scientists who specialize in bioinspiration. For many innovation leaders and investors, bioinspiration conjures an amorphous field with mushy scientific discipline."

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'Octopus Tentacles' Make Future Operations More Flexible

'Octopus Tentacles' Make Future Operations More Flexible | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The rigidity of current surgical instruments means it is sometimes only possible to remove part of a brain tumour. Limitations such as these led Professor Paul Breedveld to develop a fundamentally new class of flexible surgical instruments, inspired by the anatomy of octopus tentacles.  [...] The tentacles of an octopus are made up of an ingenious composition of muscles which work together in various layers, rings, bundles and packages. Breedveld's early instruments were based on a single ring of steel cables surrounded by coiled springs, whereas the new instruments are based on a so-called dendritic mechanism, with branched extensions. They consist of a flexible stem which ends in a number of manoeuvrable arms. Each arm is made up of a densely structured package of flexible steering elements. The instruments also possess shape memory, therefore they 'know' where we have been."

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Insect-Eye Camera Offers Wide-Angle Vision for Tiny Drones

Insect-Eye Camera Offers Wide-Angle Vision for Tiny Drones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Entomologists study insects known for their hard exoskeletons, jointed appendages, segmented bodies, bilateral symmetry and antennae. But perhaps the most impressive part of an insect is its lateral compound eyes. Scientists wishing to study insects have over 1 million species to select from!

Insect eyes are so impressive scientist and researcher John Rogers of the Science Research Group at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois, is designing miniature drones cameras based on their unique design. The big challenge for engineers is to build a drone camera with a 180° range of vision and clear vision throughout that line of sight. Insects have this ability when born."

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Sieg Holle's curator insight, January 3, 2014 9:30 AM

tech breakthrough?

 

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Biomimetics: Smart Geometry at Work

Biomimetics: Smart Geometry at Work | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] Compared to many engineering materials, the substances/materials of biology do not have any especially outstanding characteristic. They are successful not so much because of what they are but because of the way in which they are put together. The bulk of mechanical loads in biology are carried by polymer fibres such as cellulose (plants), collagen (animals), chitin (insects, crustaceans) and silks (spiders's webs). The fibres are bonded together by various substances (polysaccharrides, polyphenols, etc.), sometimes in combination with minerals such as calcium carbonate (mollusk shells) and hydroxyapatite (bone). Their geometrical organization and the degree of interaction between them provide the means of tailoring properties for specific requirements, meeting the necessary functional performance."

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Bioengineers Make Strides Toward Artificial Cartilage

Bioengineers Make Strides Toward Artificial Cartilage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A Duke research team has developed a better recipe for synthetic replacement cartilage in joints, calling for a newly designed durable hydrogel to be poured over a three-dimensional fabric scaffold. Combining two innovative technologies they each helped develop, lead authors Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery and biomedical engineering, and Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, found a way to create artificial replacement tissue that mimics both the strength and suppleness of native cartilage."

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Smartwatch Uses Bio-ispired Mirasol Display Technology

Smartwatch Uses Bio-ispired Mirasol Display Technology | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Mirasol display technology (developed by Qualcomm) is based on biomimetics - that is, technology that imitates nature. The natural phenomenon that makes a butterfly’s wings or a peacock’s feathers shimmer and give off their rich, striking colors is the same exact quality that drives how Mirasol displays generate color. How do butterflies and peacocks do it? Through microscopic structures on their wings and feathers they are each able to create truly vivid colors simply by causing light to interfere with itself. This "interference" is the reason the term "interferometric" comes into play."

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Antibacterial Power of Black Silicon

Antibacterial Power of Black Silicon | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Earlier this year, we reported about a finding which revealed that physical structure of Psaltoda claripenniscicada wings can shred certain types of rod-shaped bacteria. After analyzing the surface, researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology used biomimicry to create a surface with similar properties. This nanosurface could lead to development of a new generation of nanostructured antibacterial materials. 

“Based on this discovery, we investigated other insects that may possess similar surface architectures that might kill more bacteria, in particular the deadly strains of the Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph bacterium”, said Elena Ivanova, microbiology professor at the Swinburne University of Technology. Their search led them to the wings of the Diplacodes bipunctata (Wandering Percher dragonfly), whose spike-like nanostructure destroys both rod-shaped and spherical bacteria."


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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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Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever'

Waterproof Surface is 'Driest Ever' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"US engineers have created the "most waterproof material ever" - inspired by nasturtium leaves and butterfly wings. The new "super-hydrophobic" surface could keep clothes dry and stop aircraft engines icing over, they say."

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4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams

4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"There’s an entire industry built around how to be a better leader and build strong, dynamic teams. But for the last few years, my colleague and dear friend Jane Fulton Suri and I have been looking to the earth and seas and sky for inspiration. A Partner, Chief Creative Officer, and a founding member of IDEO’s human-centered design practice, Jane believes that the natural world has much to teach us about cultivating the optimal conditions for creative teams. Together, with help from design biologist Tim McGee, we’ve come up with a few bio-inspired tips."

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Coastal Resilience Through Biomimicry

Coastal Resilience Through Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The resort town of Blackpool on the UK’s northeast coast is a classic example of what can go wrong when you work against natural coastline dynamics. It was built on a sand dune, which, as the town expanded, the Victorians replaced with a monumental 10-meter/30-foot-high seawall. This severed the town from its main asset, its beach, and as competition grew from continental European destinations, Blackpool fell into economic decline. To make matters worse, by the early 2000s the seawall was failing to hold back increasingly stormy winter seas, which began to flood the town. The solution has been to learn from the dunes. The high wall has been replaced with a gently sloping set of steps stretching the length of the town, mimicking the incline of sand dunes to dissipate wave energy.."

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LA Design Challenge Invokes Biology for 2025 Concepts

LA Design Challenge Invokes Biology for 2025 Concepts | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The 2013 LA Design Challenge has a theme of Biomimicry and Mobility for future vehicle designs for the year 2025.
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Move Over Genetic-Engineering; Biomimicry Seems The Better Bet For Solving Global Hunger

Move Over Genetic-Engineering; Biomimicry Seems The Better Bet For Solving Global Hunger | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The latest wave of biomimicry research has focused on the question of symbiosis, essentially nature’s cooperative exchanges. One place these exchanges show up is in extreme environments—like high up in the mountains or in the middle of a barren desert. In 2002,University of Washington researcher Russell Rodriguez was studying a grass that grows in geothermal hotsprings and discovered a fungi, an endophyte in the technical parlance, without which the grass could grow at such high temperatures. Rodriguez decided to see if this fungi could be used to produce a drought tolerant plants. He isolated the fungal spores and sprayed them onto wheat seeds. The results were impressive. The wheat needed 50 percent less water, and could grow at much higher temperatures."

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