Bio-mimicry and the magic of Nature

20 January 2014 by Rida Daher

3.8 Billion years ago, the history of life on Earth started with the appearance of the first prokaryotic cells; and it wasn’t until 200 000 years ago that the first Homo sapiens came into being. This accounts humanity’s history for only 0.004% of Earth’s evolution (BBC, 2012). Thus, in these terms; Nature should be considered the most evolved complex perfect ecosystem in existence! As for Humans, debatably considered part of this system; we now overpopulate this planet, drain its resources and degrade its environment, but at which cost? And how can we rend our earth more sustainable and preserve the beauty that once came to be?

The answer lies in mimicking nature’s own design. Scientists are now designing many products based on the concepts of nature.

Below are some of the latest experiments:

Learning from Human Lungs How to Sequester Carbon: researchers are now mimicking the human lungs design to filter CO2 and the science is being used to create filters that will allow 90% removal of greenhouse gases.

Learning from Humpback Whales How to Create Efficient Wind Power: by studying the whale’s flippers and how he swims in circles to catch his prey, scientists were able to increase wind tunnel efficiency by 8% improvement in lift and 32% reduction in drag.

Learning from Termites How to Create Sustainable Buildings: the Eastgate Building in Zimbabwe, has an air conditioning system modeled on the self-cooling mounds of Macrotermesmichaelseni, termites that maintain the temperature inside their nest to within one degree, day and night (while the temperatures outside swing from 42 °C to 3 °C).the building has 90% less energy use and saved the building $3.5 Million in air conditioning costs

Learning from Trees and Bones How to Optimize Strength and Materials: engineers are looking how to mimic nature’s designs to optimize the strength seen in the trees designs; for better car safety against crashes and accidents. In addition to imitating the way human bones are designed to carry and support big loads of pressure

Learning from Lotus Plants How to Clean without Cleaners: water usually floats on the surface of the lotus plants and takes away with it any dust or dirt. The same technique is being used to create a new paint where you can use 8 times less harmful chemicals when cleaning surfaces

The examples are limitless and finally scientists are realizing the importance of living according to nature’s own design and standards…living sustainably.

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