"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."
“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
"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."
"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."
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
"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."
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.""
"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."
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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