We might have planes, trains, and automobiles, but nature has a monopoly on creatures that can move around as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now everyone from car designers to city planners are looking to the natural world for inspiration in better ways of getting us from point A to point B.
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Imagine a bill covered with microscopic holes that caused it to glow slightly in the light. It’s tech borrowed from a butterfly, and it may soon be foiling counterfeiters around the world.
Cephalopods have the amazing ability to match their backgrounds almost perfectly, and in seconds. Scientists are just now tapping into that power to give man-made objects the same property, creating a new generation of stealth.
By observing the inner workings of an octopus’s leg or an elephant’s trunk, scientists have created muscles from carbon nanotubes that could one day power machines.
Awesome science thing of the day: Scientists are working on a way to unlock the secrets of nature’s best camouflage artists, such as octopuses and squid. These creatures actually change patterns on their skin to fit in instantaneously with their undersea environment. New research can help create sheets of high-tech materials that could be used to camouflage submarines and tanks, creating a new generation of stealth. See how in this video. And check out more science, engineering, and design inspired by nature right here.
Janine Benyus helped bring the word “biomimicry” into 21st century vocabularies. What is biomimicry? Let Benyus explain in this video.
(Source: Fast Company)
Thinkers at IDEO are working with scientists to find a way to have E. coli bacteria form objects—like a coffee cup—when exposed to light. It’s nature’s version of 3-D printing.