Thursday, March 17, 2011


Living Inspired

"Where does the inspiration for something new originate? For scientists and engineers, sometimes it appears in the cross-fertilization of known concepts from diverse fields or the rare flash of a new idea, but more often it comes from leveraging what is already known by building on things that work well. Increasingly, researchers are turning to nature for inspiration, by looking to organisms that do things we are unable to do on our own or do them better than we can—often functioning with an economical use of limited resources and energy. Animals that fly, explore deep under water, can see without light, or even stick to glass walls are all being studied with the hope of developing new materials, structures, or devices that may enhance our everyday lives.

Under the provocative and intriguing title of Bulletproof Feathers, Robert Allen (an engineer at the University of Southampton) brings together highlights from recent research in the broad areas of bioinspiration and biomimicry to explain, in simple terms, how physical scientists and engineers are increasingly using the study of the natural world as a starting point. " Full review @ Science

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