Biomimicry
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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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One Butterfly Inspires Multiple Technologies

One Butterfly Inspires Multiple Technologies | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Morpho is a jewel among butterflies, with its gracefully contoured, iridescent blue wings flashing in the breeze. Familiar from the cover of Illustra's film Metamorphosis, this species exhibits additional intelligent designs the film didn't have time to discuss. Their brilliant color comes not from pigments but from precisely aligned structures in the wing scales that play tricks with light, producing what physicists call "structural color." Certain colors are canceled out, and others reinforced, by the arrangement of "photonic crystals" that resemble tiny trees made of biomolecule chitin. Engineers have already mimicked the iridescence by creating photonic crystals of their own. But there's more. The structures on Morpho butterfly wings also absorb heat, repel water, and control the flow of vapors. The Morpho is a treasure house of design ideas for biomimetics projects, as research news from the University of Exeter reveals. From fabrics to cosmetics to sensors, all kinds of innovations are being inspired by this one genus of butterfly."

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Springtails Inspire Great Leap in Super Materials

Springtails Inspire Great Leap in Super Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Norwegian researchers are using insights from the animal kingdom in their quest to design new self-cleansing and water-repellant surface materials.
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Shape-changing Lens Blends Human and Insect Vision

Shape-changing Lens Blends Human and Insect Vision | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"One example of biomimicry that keeps popping up on the pages of Gizmag is the use of insect eyes as a model for innovative new optical devices. It seems that the potential for development in this area is far from exhausted with the announcement of another bug-inspired lens breakthrough from Ohio State University. This experimental lens developed by associate professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology, Yi Zhao, combines the wide angle properties of insect vision with the depth-of-field capabilities of a human eye."

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Controlling Wettability: 'Sticky tape' for Water Droplets Mimics Rose Petal

Controlling Wettability: 'Sticky tape' for Water Droplets Mimics Rose Petal | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

A new nanostructured material may lead to surfaces that stay dry forever, never need cleaning and are able to repel bacteria and even prevent mold and fungi growth. "The newly discovered material uses raspberry particles -- so-called because of their appearance -- which can trap tiny water droplets and prevent them from rolling off surfaces, even when that surface is turned upside down," said Dr Andrew Telford from the University's School of Chemistry and lead author of the research recently published in the journal, Chemistry of Materials. The raspberry particles mimic the surface structure of some rose petals.

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Programmable Gue Made of DNA Directs Tiny Gel Bricks to Self-assemble

Programmable Gue Made of DNA Directs Tiny Gel Bricks to Self-assemble | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of bricks smaller than a grain of salt. The self-assembly method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: regrowing human tissue by injecting tiny components into the body that then self-assemble into larger, intricately structured, biocompatible scaffolds at an injury site. The key to self-assembly was developing the world’s first “programmable glue.” The glue is made of DNA, and it directs specific bricks of a water-filled gel to stick only to each other."

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Why Organizations Should Embrace Randomness Like Ant Colonies

Why Organizations Should Embrace Randomness Like Ant Colonies | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Consider the common ant. Each one is by genetic design capable of only a few simple behaviors and binary choices, making it a pretty dumb, rigid, inflexible being. Yet the collective behavior of an ant colony is adaptive, flexible and even creative; it’s a highly structured social organization. Now consider your average human. Most of us are individually adaptive, flexible and very creative. Yet the large organizations in which we work are often inflexible and incapable of adaptation and true innovation. Why are ant colonies so much better than the sum of their parts, while governments and companies are so often much worse?"

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A Tumbleweed-Inspired Minesweeper: Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

A Tumbleweed-Inspired Minesweeper: Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Designer Massoud Hassani hails from Qasaba, Kabul, amid a landscape ravaged and weaponized by landmines that still lurk in off-limits regions. Although the "Mine Kafon" dates back to 2011, when he presented it as his graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven, the lo-fi de-miner was recently the subject of a short film by Focus Forward Films. Like Theo Janssen's Strandbeests, the Mine Kafon moves with the wind; however, it's more like a tumbleweed or a clump of dandelion seeds than zephyr-powered locomotion."

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Genome of Elastomeric Materials Creates Novel Materials

Genome of Elastomeric Materials Creates Novel Materials | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A wide range of biologically inspired materials may now be possible by combining protein studies, materials science and RNA sequencing, according to an international team of researchers.
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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can a Thorny Devil Teach Us About Water Harvesting? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"One of Australia’s more bizarre creatures is the thorny devil or dragon, also known as the moloch. The devil is named for the ancient god Moloch, a hideous demon smeared with the blood of child sacrifice, but in reality, she is five inches long and lives entirely on ants. The thorny devil is, of course, covered in fearsome thorns, presumably to warn off would-be predators, but the spiky scales also serve another ingenious function. They form an incredibly efficient water harvesting system. What can the thorny devil teach us about water management in our own increasingly parched world?"

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How the Blue Whale can teach us about fans, filters and biomimicry

How the Blue Whale can teach us about fans, filters and biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Whales are some of the most extreme creatures on Earth  The 115 foot, 150 foot ton Blue Whale, for instance, is the largest animal that ever lived. These magnificent creatures are social mammals, descended from an ancient land dweller that also gave rise to the hippopotamus family. Like hippos and humans, they are warm-blooded and air-breathing, and stay with their young, nursing them for an extended period of time. And like us, they maintain complex social networks. As you might imagine, the whale faces some special challenges doing all this in the ocean. As usual, where challenge is extreme, the solutions are efficient. So how can the Blue Whale inspire us today?

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5 Smart Building Skins That Breathe, Farm Energy, and Gobble Up Toxins

5 Smart Building Skins That Breathe, Farm Energy, and Gobble Up Toxins | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Technically speaking, the smart facade-or building envelope that adapts to environmental conditions-dates back to the first window. But the contemporary idea of the smart facade has only been around for a few short decades, helped along by recent advances in chemical and material science. And over the past three years, we've seen the category boom. Below, check out some of the most interesting building facades to come across the screen in recent years: From a thermal metal screen that curls up when it's hot, to a titanium dioxide-covered wall that scrubs the air of pollutants."

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What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks

What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ever notice how ant colonies so successfully explore and exploit resources in the world … to find food at 4th of July picnics, for example? You may find it annoying. But as an ecologist who studies ants and collective behavior, I think it’s intriguing — especially the fact that it’s all done without any central control. What’s especially remarkable: the close parallels between ant colonies’ networks and human-engineered ones. One example is “Anternet”, where we, a group of researchers at Stanford, found that the algorithm desert ants use to regulate foraging is like the Traffic Control Protocol (TCP) used to regulate data traffic on the internet. Both ant and human networks use positive feedback: either from acknowledgements that trigger the transmission of the next data packet, or from food-laden returning foragers that trigger the exit of another outgoing forager."

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Butterfly Inspires New Nanotechnology

Butterfly Inspires New Nanotechnology | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
By mimicking microscopic structures in the wings of a butterfly, an international research team has developed a device smaller than the width of a human hair that could make optical communication faster and more secure.
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How to Build a Brainlike Computer

How to Build a Brainlike Computer | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"What if you could build a computer that works just like the human brain?Scientists have started to imagine the possibilities: We could invent new forms of industrial machinery, create fully autonomous thinking cars, devise new kinds of home appliances. A new project in Europe hopes to create a computer brain just that powerful in the next ten years -- and it’s incredibly well-funded."

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Water Bear Inspires Refrigeration-free Storage

Water Bear Inspires Refrigeration-free Storage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Biological samples are fragile: if they’re not kept at cold temperatures, they quickly degrade. And refrigeration in labs and on trucks, planes, and ships is costly and requires a huge amount of energy. he company Biomatrica has developed a solution that allows these fragile materials to be stored at room temperature. The technology mimics the microscopic water bear’s survival strategy. The water bear, an arthropod also known as a tardigrade, lumbers across moist surfaces of mosses and lichens. But when those dry up, the water bear goes into a suspended state that could last anywhere from a few months to a century. Other organisms, such as brine shrimp and the resurrection fern, employ similar strategies to survive extreme conditions."

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Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design

Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Footage of bumblebees flying in a wind tunnel reveals how the insects manage in adverse weather, a discovery that could aid the design of flying robots.
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The Evolution of the Bioinspired Robot

The Evolution of the Bioinspired Robot | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
To build a better robot, engineers are turning to an experienced problem solver—nature.
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Butterfly Inspires Nanodevice

Butterfly Inspires Nanodevice | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Butterfly wings have inspired the design of a tiny crystal that could make telecommunications faster.
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Biomimicry Desalination

Biomimicry Desalination | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"True to its global hydrohub reputation, Singapore is hoping to reduce current energy requirements for membrane desalination from 3.5kWh down to a miraculous 0.8kWh/m3. PUB's chief technology officer Harry Seah addresses what role electrochemical desalting, variable salinity technology and biomimetic membranes could play in the country's water supply."

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Qatar Sprouts a Towering Cactus Skyscraper

Qatar Sprouts a Towering Cactus Skyscraper | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture (MMAA) in Qatar is getting a brand new office building that takes the form of a towering cactus. Designed by Bangkok-based Aesthetics Architects, the modern office and adjoining botanical dome take cues from cacti and the way that they successfully survive in hot, dry environments."

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Dinner Plate Squid used to Develop Color-changing Camouflage

Dinner Plate Squid used to Develop Color-changing Camouflage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Pencil squid have long proven useful to humans, mostly in the form of fried calamari on dinner plates, but a novel use for the creature has been discovered by researchers at University of California, Irvine, who have developed a camouflage coating from a protein in the everyday squid."

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Could Lemur Hibernation Answer Space Travel Questions?

Could Lemur Hibernation Answer Space Travel Questions? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A lemur that hibernates is strange and cute enough. But studying its lethargic state may provide a clue to sending humans on long-distance space travel or healing the ravages of heart attacks, stroke and head trauma, according to researchers at Duke University."

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines?

The Biomimicry Manual: What can the Sunfish Teach Us About Submarines? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The giant sunfish is a highly adapted jellyfish hunter and deep-water diver. What can we learn from his strange technique?
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How to Get Fresh Water Out of Thin Air

How to Get Fresh Water Out of Thin Air | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In some of this planet’s driest regions, where rainfall is rare or even nonexistent, a few specialized plants and insects have devised ingenious strategies to provide themselves with the water necessary for life: They pull it right out of the air, from fog that drifts in from warm oceans nearby. Now researchers at MIT, working in collaboration with colleagues in Chile, are seeking to mimic that trick on a much larger scale, potentially supplying significant quantities of clean, potable water in places where there are few alternatives."

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From High-Rise to Low Impact: A Building That Mimics a Forest

From High-Rise to Low Impact: A Building That Mimics a Forest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"It’s nearly 100 feet tall, fed by the sun and rain that fall on it, and is composed largely of wood. But it’s not a tree. It’s the world’s greenest office building.

The Bullitt Center, finished in the summer of 2013 and located on the edge of Seattle’s downtown, is designed to mimic the Douglas fir forests that once stood on the site."

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