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Biomimicry by Mind Map: Biomimicry

1. Effecient

1.1. Managing stormwater runoff is now being used in a society of innovation. A number of features are being employed to slow water down, allow it to sink into soils, where it is cleaned through natural processes. These features vary by site but include green roofs, rain gardens, roadside plantings, rain barrels, bioswales, tree trenches, and porous hard surfaces.

1.2. The Butterfly Wing Scale Photonics. The wings of many butterflies are not pigmented. They obtain their color by physically manipulating light. The photonic structures present on their surface selectively reflect certain frequencies of light, with extreme specificity and efficiency. In this case, the source of inspiration was the Indonesian peacock or swallowtail butterfly. To the naked eye their wings appear green, but with the correct filter they appear brilliant blue. In their native rainforest, this allows the butterflies to evade predators while attracting mates.

2. Adapt

2.1. BioWave: The bioWAVE™ design mimics the flexible stalks of undersea flora pivot, maintaining orientation relative to wave force. Floating blades also mimic the floats of undersea flora. The unit can collapse against the seafloor during excessively violent wave conditions, mimicking the compliance of kelp and other undersea vegetation.

2.2. LifeTree Physiological Tool: This hierarchical structure is akin to the structure of a tree; the trunk representing aspects of the self that are lifelong and very general, such as having a body and a name, the branches representing ongoing life themes such as a career path, through to the leaves representing what is very specific and immediate, such as a particular event. Thus the LifeTree tool uses the organising principle of a tree's structure as a metaphor for the creation of a concrete visual representation of what is important in someone's life. Beyond this, the LifeTree tool has a number of other principles taken from the structure and function of trees to assist in creating a representation of a life. 1) Trees grow upwards towards the direction that sunlight comes from: in the LifeTree the higher branches represent the strategic direction that the person's life is developing in. 2) In trees sap flows from roots to leaves, giving life to the tree: in the LifeTree people gain the strength to live life from having roots grounded in external foundations, such as being part of a family or spiritual beliefs. 3) In trees the thickness of a branch corresponds to how much structural load it is carrying: in the LifeTree the width of a branch emphasizes how important something is in the person's life.

3. Change

3.1. Self Repaving Concrete: Concrete is inexpensive relative to other construction materials, however, damage can greatly reduce its life cycle. Internal damage is common in concrete. Repair of this type of damage is crucial in preventing failures that can progress to ultimate catastrophic failures. However, it is hard to detect micro scale cracks unless they have developed to macroscopic scale flaws. Nondestructive evaluation techniques have limited ability to detect these microcracks. Also, the damage repaired in the field by hand does not restore the original strength of the material.

3.2. Fatty Acids Prevent Freezing: Cotton Plants: Cotton plants prepare for cold nights by changing the composition of their cell membranes, reports Arnon Rikin and his colleagues at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. At night, the concentrations of two unsaturated fatty acids in the membrane--linoleic and linolenic--increase. The double carbon bonds in the tails of these fatty acids create a "kink" that keeps fatty acid molecules from packing together too tightly. In effect, the membrane remains fluid, and proteins are readily able to move through. Interestingly, cotton plants exhibit this response even without light cues. That is to say, the adaptation is triggered by an internal clock, rather than by the daily light/dark cycle.

3.3. Pathogens must adhere to host tissue in order to survive and reproduce. They produce many adhesive proteins on their surface most of which exhibit slip-bond type binding with host compounds; in other words, the bonds slip and let go when pulled apart. Salmonella bacteria have evolved special binding proteins that exhibit catch-bond type adhesion to host cells—these bonds actually become stronger when pulled apart, up to a certain threshold. FimH is one of Salmonella's multi-domain adhesive proteins. The binding domain is a lectin pocket that binds to mannose on the surface of the host cell. This domain is linked to another part of the adhesive protein which anchors FimH to the bacteria. When the bonds between the bacteria and its host are pulled apart by weak forces, the pilin domain holds tightly to the binding domain which in turn binds mannose with low force. But when the bonds between the bacteria and its host are pulled apart by stronger forces, the pilin domain is stretched away from the binding domain causing the structure of the binding pocket to shift so that it binds mannose with 100 times more force. In short, strong mechanical forces pull a binding inhibitor away from the binding domain increasing adhesion: a catch-bond. There is an optimum range within which catch-bonding occurs; when that range is exceeded, catch-bonds revert to slip-bonds.

3.4. Vertical Farming: Nature does not produce and ship materials en masse. It is far more typical to produce material local to the usage. Additionally, in a direct metaphor, a rainforest is a 3-D photosynthetic space, not the relatively 2-D traditional farm field. In this farming strategy, 3-D plant biomass production and local resource production would be coupled.

4. Trade

4.1. Green Shield Fabric Finish: GreenShield™ textile coating was inspired by the nano-textured, self-cleaning surface of the lotus leaf, but takes it further by adding oil resistance, fire retardation, and antimicrobial functionalities. This is done by "decorating" the surfaces of nanoparticles with specific molecules. The technology also mimics nature's tendency to aggregate nanoparticles, at least during production and use stages, rather than allowing them to float freely in the environment where their small size increases their potential to cause harm.

4.2. Water Recycling and Upcycling: Waste Management is mimicking the way that natural systems reuse all materials. In nature, there's no such thing as garbage, because every molecule goes through multiple configurations in multiple organisms. When a tree falls, a community of organisms breaks down the tree's chemical compounds into other compounds and individual molecules, which are then used in other organisms. Everything is used, and there is no waste.

4.3. Waste Management is also following some other of Life's Principles besides "Recycle All Materials." The company is cultivating cooperative relationships with its customers and with other companies, its using readily available materials and energy, and using feedback loops from its customers.