How Lessons From Nature Can Transform Technology
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An exploration of the transformative ways in which nature has inspired the technological advancement of humankind.
Biomimetics literally means emulating biology – and in a broader sense the term covers technological advances where the original inspiration came from nature. The Earth is a vast laboratory where the mechanisms of natural selection have enabled evolutionary solutions to be developed to a wide range of problems.
In this new title in the Hot Science series, science writer Brian Clegg looks at how humans have piggybacked on natural experimentation, redeploying a solution to create things that make our lives easier. He looks at how the hooks on burdock seeds inspired the creation of Velcro, how the stickiness of the feet of geckos and frogs has been used to create gripping surfaces, such as tyre treads, and how even the most basic optical enhancement in the form of spectacles is itself a form of biomimetics.