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Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
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Meat-Eating Pitcher Plant Inspires Self-Cleaning 'Super Glass'

Meat-Eating Pitcher Plant Inspires Self-Cleaning 'Super Glass' | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

"There’s nothing like a little biomimicry to get the creative juices flowing. Researchers at Harvard University recently discovered that the carnivorous pitcher plant may have a lot to teach us about making glass. In fact, they claim that by taking a few tips from this meat-eating plant, we could create super glass that can’t become dirty–an invention that would have significant benefits to the solar panel industry."


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This New Super-Battery Was Inspired By A Pomegranate

This New Super-Battery Was Inspired By A Pomegranate | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Biomimicry provided the inventive spark for the latest, and most promising, revamp of the rechargeable battery.
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Biomimicry: A Tale of Biomimetic Concept Chairs

Biomimicry: A Tale of Biomimetic Concept Chairs | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
“Biomimicry is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.” — Biomimicry Institute The name may be intimidating, but the idea is simple. Biomimicry adheres to a fundamental principle: Mother Nature is the world’s most successful designer. We know, for example, that the natural design strategies of flora, fauna, and ecosystems have been tested for millions of years — much longer than humans have been designing the built
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Flectofin®

Inspired by the valvular pollination mechanism of the Strelitzia Reginae flower (commonly known as the Bird-Of-Paradise) the Flectofin® is a hingeless louver…
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Structures That Unfold Like Flowers

Structures That Unfold Like Flowers | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

"Inside a bud, a flower’s petals lie in wait, a tight bundle of compressed tissue. When the conditions are right, they burst forth, blooming in an impressive display of geometry and color. During this opening period, which may last as long as 7 days or be as brief as 5 minutes, the cells that make up the petals may expand to 20 to 50 times their initial length. This great and relatively sudden inflation accounts for most of the flower’s shape. Some cells within the petal grow more than others and this differential growth is responsible for the 3D form of the petals. [...] Multi-material 3D printing may give us a way to incorporate such movements into the architecture of products and buildings. The provocatively named discipline of 4D-printing explores fabricating shape changing materials by means of 3D-printing. The differential growth of flowers suggests a way of designing such shape changing products."


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Pressurised Structures – Cacti

Pressurised Structures – Cacti | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

"A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, within the order Caryophyllales and is a succulent system that contains pressurised water that gives the organism structural stability as well as being a fundamental life source.

Being a water-container, means that there is no need for other rigid structure such as bark to give structural performance against external loads. Water is an element already in compression and similar structural strategies have been derived from this natural phenomenon in man-made hydraulic structures." 


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Inspired by Nature | The Scientist Magazine®

Inspired by Nature | The Scientist Magazine® | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Researchers are borrowing designs from the natural world to advance biomedicine.
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Yale Environment 360: California Has Missed Equivalent Of Full Year of Rain in Ongoing Drought

Yale Environment 360: California Has Missed Equivalent Of Full Year of Rain in Ongoing Drought | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
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The Bug That's Eating the Woods

The Bug That's Eating the Woods | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
A warming climate allowed pine beetles to ravage the West. Now they're spreading east across Canada.
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How Aloe vera became a cure-all and cosmetic superstar - New Scientist

How Aloe vera became a cure-all and cosmetic superstar - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Its mucilaginous gel is big business and used daily by many, but until now we had no idea where Aloe vera came from or what makes it so special
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Plankton snacking on plastic caught on camera for the first time - New Scientist

Plankton snacking on plastic caught on camera for the first time - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Watch zooplankton waft tiny, fluorescent beads of plastic towards them, before swallowing the stuff – demonstrating the dangers of marine litter
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Brazil's resettlement of farmers has driven Amazon deforestation - New Scientist

Brazil's resettlement of farmers has driven Amazon deforestation - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
More than a million people have been given land in the Amazon area since the 1970s, causing 13.5 per cent of all deforestation there
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Controlling wettability: 'Sticky tape' for water droplets mimics rose petal

Controlling wettability: 'Sticky tape' for water droplets mimics rose petal | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | 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.
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Artificial leaf jumps developmental hurdle

Artificial leaf jumps developmental hurdle | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Scientists report advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is an important goal. Hydrogen is an important fuel in itself and serves as an indispensible reagent for the production of light hydrocarbon fuels from heavy petroleum feed stocks. Society requires a renewable source of fuel that is widely distributed, abundant, inexpensive and environmentally clean. Socie
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Logical Circuits Created With Slime Molds

Logical Circuits Created With Slime Molds | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
What is your current computer made of? Aluminum? Silicon? Plastic? Perhaps the slime mold Physarum polycephalum? If that last one isn’t true for you now, there’s a chance it will be in the future.
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From thin air: Making fuel like a tree

From thin air: Making fuel like a tree | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Here's how two U.S. firms pursued the holy grail of bioinspired design: artificial photosynthesis.
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New life for the artificial leaf?

New life for the artificial leaf? | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Research in laboratories around the world is moving the promise of artificial photosynthesis closer to reality
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Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find

Plants Exhibit a Wide Range of Mechanical Properties, Engineers Find | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

"From an engineer’s perspective, plants such as palm trees, bamboo, maples and even potatoes are examples of precise engineering on a microscopic scale. Like wooden beams reinforcing a house, cell walls make up the structural supports of all plants. Depending on how the cell walls are arranged, and what they are made of, a plant can be as flimsy as a reed, or as sturdy as an oak. An MIT researcher has compiled data on the microstructures of a number of different plants, from apples and potatoes to willow and spruce trees, and has found that plants exhibit an enormous range of mechanical properties, depending on the arrangement of a cell wall’s four main building blocks: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin. Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, says understanding plants’ microscopic organization may help engineers design new, bio-inspired materials."


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Elke B. Bachler's curator insight, April 4, 6:14 AM

There is still so very much useful to discover in nature!

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Biomimicry Inspires Eco-friendly Performance Apparel

Biomimicry Inspires Eco-friendly Performance Apparel | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Designers of performance apparel are looking to nature for inspiration when developing their ranges - a process, known as "biomimicry. [...] Advocates of biomimicry point ot the fact that animals, insects, plants and other living organisms have survived and adapted in dynamic environments by evolving over billion of years, and many natural adaptations have proved to be more effective than manmade solutions.""


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Astonishing Water-sensitive Building Material Acts Just Like Pine Cones

Astonishing Water-sensitive Building Material Acts Just Like Pine Cones | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

"Royal College of Art design student Chao Chen has developed a revolutionary new building material that responds to the presence of water. After observing the hydro-sensitive behavior of pine cones, which open and close depending upon their exposure to water, Chen has developed a wood laminate material that similarly bends and flexes in response to atmospheric humidity, soil moisture or rain. Applications for the technology include shelters that seal up when it rains and building cladding that opens to let in more light on a dull, drizzly day but closes to block out heat when the weather is hot and dry."


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Sundew discovery on Facebook makes plant science news

Sundew discovery on Facebook makes plant science news | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
A new species of sundew has been discovered on Facebook. The find is a carnivorous sundew, Drosera magnifica. The new discovery comes from a single mountaintop in southeastern Brazil—the largest New World sundew.
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May contain rubbish – food labelling rules are failing us - New Scientist

May contain rubbish – food labelling rules are failing us - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Guidelines for food labelling are made with good intentions, but they end up leaving consumers baffled by ambiguous marketing rather than giving them the facts
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Myth of pristine Amazon rainforest busted as old cities reappear - New Scientist

Myth of pristine Amazon rainforest busted as old cities reappear - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Amazonian wilderness buzzed with human activity until 500 years ago, when Europeans turned up with weapons and diseases, says radical rethink of rainforest history
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Bitter foods are healthy: How to cook them like a pro - New Scientist

Bitter foods are healthy: How to cook them like a pro - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Learn how to cook with bitter foods and you can reap their health benefits and enjoy the delicious taste too, says chef and author Jennifer McLagan
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