Biomimicry
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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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From Spiders, a Material to Rival Kevlar

From Spiders, a Material to Rival Kevlar | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A Japanese startup claims it has cracked the knotty problem of commercializing the production of spider thread, which, gram for gram, is stronger than nylon and even many metals. As one of nature's super-substances -- tougher than Kevlar yet significantly more elastic -- scientists have been trying to recreate it in significant quantities in labs but failed for over a decade. By using synthetic biology techniques and a new spinning technology, Spiber Inc. says it is now able to produce many hundreds of grams of synthetic spider silk protein where past efforts have produced less than a few grams over a day. One gram of the special protein produces about 9,000 meters (29,527 feet) of silk."

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Harnessing The Power Of Peacocks To Make Colorful Images

Harnessing The Power Of Peacocks To Make Colorful Images | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The gloriously colored, iridescent feathers of the male peacock aren't what they seem on the surface. They look that way largely because the feathers contain nanometer-scale protein structures that break up incoming light waves, recombine and reflect them as rich, vibrant colors. Scientists at the University of Michigan think they have a technology that emulates this process to display pictures without chemicals or electrical power. Eventually, the technology could replace the displays now used on smartphones, tablets, and computer screens, with strikingly high definition."

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Borrowing From Nature

"Architets have long taken inspiration from nature. In ancient Egypt columns were modelled on palm trees and lotus plants, and building designers have borrowed the shapes and proportions of natural forms ever since as they strived to achieve aesthetic perfection. Some architects now believe that such biomimicry has more to offer than simply making buildings look good. They are copying functional systems found in nature to provide cooling, generate energy and even to desalinate water. And they insist that doing these things using biomimetic designs is not just a gimmick, but makes financial sense."

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A New Spin on Biomimicry in Architecture and Design: 'Silk Pavilion' by MIT MediaLab's Mediated Matter Group

A New Spin on Biomimicry in Architecture and Design: 'Silk Pavilion' by MIT MediaLab's Mediated Matter Group | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by the silkworm's ability to generate a 3D cocoon out of a single multi-property silk thread (1km in length), the overall geometry of the [MIT MediaLab's silk] pavilion was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches providing various degrees of density. Overall density variation was informed by the silkworm itself deployed as a biological "printer" in the creation of a secondary structure. A swarm of 6,500 silkworms was positioned at the bottom rim of the scaffold spinning flat non-woven silk patches as they locally reinforced the gaps across CNC-deposited silk fibers."

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Energy and the Environment-A Coastal Perspective

Energy and the Environment-A Coastal Perspective | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The great artist Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain.” The developing field of biomimicry seeks to learn from “the world’s greatest teacher” by modeling technology after organism’s unique features.  This form of engineering is now being applied to the world of renewable energy sources as shown in two of the devices discussed below: BioSTREAM, a tidal energy device, and turbine blade tubercles, a wind harnessing device." 

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Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks

Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Forget chemicals or pills in the fight against nasty bacterial infections. Entrepreneur Mark Spiecker is betting that the secrte lies with sharks. Those fast and carnivorous fish just happen to have microscopic textures on their skin that make them highly resistant to barnacles, algae and, surprisingly, most human bacteria."

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Snake's Ultra-black Spots May Aid High-Tech Quest

Snake's Ultra-black Spots May Aid High-Tech Quest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have identified nanostructures in the ultra-black skin markings of an African viper which they said [...] could inspire the quest to create the ultimate light-absorbing material."

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Biomimicry: Ant Movements Inspire Tunnel-digging Robots

Biomimicry: Ant Movements Inspire Tunnel-digging Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Biomimicry is a great tool to solve problems. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we can often look at the solutions that nature has come up with over millions of years of trials & errors. For example, the study of how ants can so quickly move underground and dig relatively stable tunnels in all kinds of soil can teach scientists and engineers a lot, some of which might be quite useful to make robots that could do search & rescue missions or explore hard to access corners of the Earth (equipped with the proper sensors, they could be used for all kinds of environmental monitoring jobs)."

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The Artificial Insect Eye That Will Give Sight To Tiny Drones

The Artificial Insect Eye That Will Give Sight To Tiny Drones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Humans see the world through a pair of high resolution, single lens eyes that allow us to adjust focus and pinpoint fine details. But simpler creatures, like insects, instead rely on compound eyes that have lower resolution but offer a much wider distortion-free field-of-view that's actually better suited for lightning fast motion perception. And as researchers work towards designing autonomous drones that will behave like futuristic artificial bugs, it's only fitting that they also work to replicate how an insect sees.

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Termite Technology to Shape New ‘Breathing’ Buildings

Termite Technology to Shape New ‘Breathing’ Buildings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers are investigating how termite mounds can be used to shape future buildings which feature walls that breathe as part of a major new international study involving Nottingham Trent University (UK). The $1.35millon project will examine how the unique structure of the termite mound enables stale and fresh air to be exchanged while maintaining a comfortable level of temperature. Described as a lung by the researchers, the termite mound is the only habitat known in the animal kingdom to have been proven to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide without losing heat, which enables termites to live in harsh climates they could not otherwise inhabit. One of the ultimate aims of the project is to create buildings which feature walls that breathe in the same way and reduce the need for central heating or air conditioning."

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Bioinspired Fibers Change Color When Stretched

Bioinspired Fibers Change Color When Stretched | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A team of materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter, UK, have invented a new fiber that changes color when stretched. Inspired by nature, the researchers identified and replicated the unique structural elements that create the bright iridescent blue color of a tropical plant’s fruit."

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Networks In Nature As Models For Business Networks

Networks In Nature As Models For Business Networks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Are business partnerships like relationships that occur in nature? Can organizations work together to defend their common interests when attacked by a competitor or an uncontrollable market force, like many plants do when threatened?
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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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Stopping Floods With Nature’s Help

Stopping Floods With Nature’s Help | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] MacCowan, a PhD candidate at Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, began applying biomimicry – looking to and emulating nature for solutions – to a flood-prone project near Leeds, England. By combining strategies of plants and animals from different parts of the globe as a system, this “eco-industrial park” will benefit from the genius of the Elephant Foot plant, European Water Vole and Giraffe to capture, store and distribute excess volumes of stormwater."

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Mitidaption's curator insight, November 18, 5:33 AM

Green infrastructure is less environmental/economic costly vs grey infrastructure

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Butterflies Inspire Anti-Counterfeit Technology

Butterflies Inspire Anti-Counterfeit Technology | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"A Canadian company is fighting counterfeiters by employing one of the most sophisticated structures in nature: a butterfly wing. To be precise, Nanotech Security Corp. in Vancouver is using the natural structure of the wings of a Morpho butterfly, a South American insect famous for its bright, iridescent blue or green wings, to create a visual image that would be practically impossible to counterfeit. The technology was developed at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University, and licensed to the company."
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Defeat Hackers with Biomimicry

Defeat Hackers with Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"From denial of service attacks to server crashes to day-long disruptions of Google Drive, almost all organizations are familiar with threats to their information security. Given that digital information is more central than ever, it's worrisome that the history of data security is littered with failure. Organizations seeking to be better prepared for and more resilient in response to information threats may want to draw on a far larger and older source of lessons on information security — the 3.5 billion year history of life. Tapping into biology's security database — which was developed by millions of species in response to extremely complex natural security problems — gives us first a wakeup call, then some practical guidance on how to keep our information secure."

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Super Fly Hearing Powers Captured in Miniature Microphone

Super Fly Hearing Powers Captured in Miniature Microphone | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A new microphone based on a fly's ear could spur the next big improvement in the acoustical performance of hearing aids, as well as inspire better instruments wherever optimizing directional noise capture to improve signal to noise ratio matters."

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Rare Tree Provides Key to Greener Chemistry

Rare Tree Provides Key to Greener Chemistry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A rare tree found in Malaysia and Borneo holds the secret to greener chemical production, according to researchers from the Research School of Chemistry. The research team, led by Professor Michael Sherburn and Dr Andrew Lawrence from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology at ANU, have created a new, environmentally friendly method to replicate molecules found in the Medang tree. These molecules, known as kingianins, have shown promise as a lead in anti-cancer drug development, but research has been hampered due to the vanishingly small quantities that can be extracted from the Medang tree."

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Stanford's Flying Fish Glider Bests Ordinary Jumping Robots

Stanford's Flying Fish Glider Bests Ordinary Jumping Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at Stanford University have developed a small aircraft that resembles a flying fish which can jump and glide over a greater distance than an equivalent jumping robot. Using a carbon fiber spring to take off, the jumpglider has a pivoting wing that stays out of the way during ascent, but which locks into place to glide farther on the way down."

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Harvard Creates Beautiful, Self-Assembled Nanoflowers to Better Understand Nature

Harvard Creates Beautiful, Self-Assembled Nanoflowers to Better Understand Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The beautiful flowers that you see above, and dotted throughout the rest of this story, are around 25 micrometers tall and 10 micrometers wide. Even more impressively, these flowers self-assembled from three fairly normal chemical compounds. Rather than just an exercise in aesthetics, though, scientists hope these nanoflowers can improve our scientific understanding of how immensely complex structures in nature, such as human embryos, self-assemble."

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Robot Octopus Shows Off New Sculls

"Octopi are pro swimmers, thanks (at least in part) to that octet of arms they've got going on. They've adopted a particular swimming gait called sculling, which works great for them, but until they start publishing scientific papers, we're missing out on all of their gait testing data. Roboticists have had to start from scratch, and along the way, they've experimented with some swimming gaits that we've never seen a real octopus try and pull off."

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Moth Eyes Inspire More Efficient Thin-Film Solar Cells

Moth Eyes Inspire More Efficient Thin-Film Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Moth eyes have evolved to cut out light reflection so that it can see well at night. Scientists have created a nanofilm that mimicks the moth's eye to enhance solar cell efficiency.
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Eco-cement, The Cheapest Carbon Sequestration on The Planet

Eco-cement, The Cheapest Carbon Sequestration on The Planet | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Cement (and the concretes made with it) are about to become carbon negative – absorbing more carbon that they produce. It will happen by mimicking nature – in this case, the process through which marine organisms build shells".

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Hydrogen Energy the Chloroplast Way: Solar-to-fuel with the Artificial Leaf

Hydrogen Energy the Chloroplast Way: Solar-to-fuel with the Artificial Leaf | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The first fully integrated nanosystem for artificial photosynthesis is developed for producing hydrogen with cheap components and biomimicry.
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Statement on Transforming Finance Based on Ethics and Life's Principles

Statement on Transforming Finance Based on Ethics and Life's Principles | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"We the signers hold this biological truth to be self-evident that the human species is interdependent with all other life forms on Planet Earth. Therefore, human societies, cultures, values and belief systems that are informed by and modeled on the following Life’s Principles, which are strategies universal to all organisms, should provide the basis for all production and exchange of goods, community structures and services."

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