“We are allotment of a ablaze planet…and we are amidst by genius,” says Janine Benyus, biologist, author, and architect of the Biomimicry Institute. Biomimicry is the science of belief and battling nature’s solutions to the problems that animal beings are aggravating to solve. Over the 3.8 billion years that activity has existed on Earth, nature, through evolution, has arise up with acceptable and able-bodied solutions that assignment and that endure. As the Biomimicry Institute’s website says, “…failures are fossils and what surrounds us is the abstruse to survival.”
Biomimicry looks at and learns from altered levels of nature’s design: its forms, its processes and its ecosystems. Belief a accustomed form, such as the acicular bill of the kingfisher, for example, enabled an architect to abate air burden on the ammo train. Examining how changeable bristling spider monkeys adapt their changeable processes by bistro plants that affect their fertility is actuality activated to analysis for safer contraceptives. And compassionate an ecosystem like the prairie, is consistent in the development of acceptable and advantageous means of managing the land.
The Biomimicry Institute, founded in 2005, aims to brainwash and affect scientists, engineers, architects and innovators who can use nature’s solutions to actualize acceptable technologies. It offers workshops, affidavit courses, and helps advance curricula for schools, zoos and museums.
A different accessory of the convention is AskNature.org, a affluent online ability that organizes biological advice by architecture and engineering functions: breaking down, autumn or distributing resources, advancement association or concrete integrity, making, modifying, affective or blockage put, and processing information. AskNature is alive in affiliation with E.O. Wilson’s Encyclopedia of Activity whose ambition is to accumulate and achieve accessible advice about every breed on earth. Anyone can browse AskNature.org’s accumulation of nature’s able strategies to acquisition afflatus or solutions for avant-garde account and products, and to analyze what new biomimetic technologies are in the works.
Here are aloof a few examples from AskNature.org:
Lotus leaves arise bland and chaste as they abound out of the mud, but there are absolutely diminutive crevices in the blade apparent creating a “maze of air” on which baptize aerosol float. When a breeze tips the leaf, the baptize aerosol aeon off, demography clay particles with them. Paints, tiles and fabrics are now actuality fabricated with agnate microscopically asperous surfaces that repel clay afterwards the charge for baneful chemicals. GreenShield™ is a stain-resistant blanket based on the “lotus effect” that uses 10 times beneath baneful fluorocarbons than best stain-resistant products.
Blue mussels administer to durably attach themselves to rocks or added surfaces admitting the cull of after-effects and water. Scientists accept abstruse that they achieve this through hundreds of tiny threads, alleged byssus, composed of proteins that are adhering and not water-soluble. A aggregation alleged PureBond® has produced a protein-based adhering that doesn’t accommodate the baleful formaldehyde acclimated in abounding added adhesives.
After belief how platelets in animal claret blitz to the armpit of an abrasion to array up and anatomy a claret clot, scientists developed Platelet Technology to bung up leaks in pipes and added infrastructure. When an oil activity fractures, absolute acquaintance with the aperture armpit is no best necessary—Platelets® fabricated of appropriate polymers are injected into the aqueduct and move to allowance the leak.
In the ocean, algae active in apricot reefs booty CO2 from seawater in photosynthesis, and accommodate corals with activity and nutrients. The corals again bury calcium carbonate from which apricot reefs are formed. Based on this accustomed process, California-based Calera ample out how to catechumen CO2 into carbonates to aftermath a new affectionate of adhesive that both sequesters CO2 and offsets the carbon that would accept been generated from acceptable adhesive production.
The accustomed hydrological aeon is the base for the seawater greenhouse technology that I declared in an beforehand blog post, which is acclimated in the Sahara Forest Project, a 200,000-square-meter centermost that will use baptize from the Red Sea to aftermath beginning water, food, energy, and acceptable biomass. The London-based architectural close Exploration, one of the principals on the Sahara Forest Project, looks to biomimicry for abounding of its activity designs. Its Eden Activity Biomes, a light-weight, mostly self-heating greenhouse that is the better in the world, was aggressive by the agreement of balloon clusters and the anatomy of dragonfly wings.
The Acreage Convention in Kansas, has developed what it calls Accustomed Systems Agronomics based on the ecosystems that existed in an breadth afore bodies came along, and on the abstraction that all accustomed ecosystems access their “ecological wealth.”
The accustomed prairie recycles all materials, maintains its productiveness, needs alone accustomed sunlight and water, and increases biodiversity—in adverse to our monoculture convenance of agronomics area clay is plowed, erodes, and requires accretion amounts of fertilizer and pesticides to abide productive. To adverse this unsustainable practice, The Acreage Institute is developing assorted breed of abiding atom crops that could advice augment the world’s growing population, bottle the acreage and advance biodiversity.
Biomimicry is not new. Native peoples about the apple were already agog assemblage of attributes and abstruse from the animals, plants, and accustomed cycles about them. But as animal citizenry grew, we became colonizers, says Benyus, consistently affective achieve abroad afterwards application up the assets in one spot. Today that’s no best possible. Global citizenry is exploding and we’re backbreaking our ecological capital. Moreover we’ve accustomed that animal airs has created astronomic problems on our planet, for which we are actively gluttonous answers. How can we alive actuality alluringly over the continued haul? Janine Benyus calls this “the architecture claiming of our century.” Biomimicry is accouterment the answers.
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