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Biomimicry by Mind Map: Biomimicry

1. Created

1.1. Biological tissues are created out of many cells. These cells join together in a specific sequence in order to produce a high performance tissue. The joining of these cell types allows for resilient functioning, and often when one cell is damaged it can be easily replaced without loss of function for the entire function. This idea inspired the pneumocell architecture.

1.2. BioPower has created a wave power system called bioWAVETM. Each unit is mounted on the seafloor. A pivot near the seafloor converts the motion of the three floating blades and stem to electrical energy via an onboard power conversion module. The wave motion is converted into hydraulic pressure that spins a turbine which generates the electricity that is fed to shore via subsea cables. This design can harness energy from dynamic waves and exhibit robust performance.

1.3. Some of the most vivid colors in the animal kingdom are created not by pigments, but by wavelength-selective scattering of light from nanostructures. Here we investigate quasi-ordered nanostructures of avian feather barbs which produce vivid non-iridescent colors. These β-keratin and air nanostructures are found in two basic morphologies: tortuous channels and amorphous packings of spheres. Each class of nanostructure is isotropic and has a pronounced characteristic length scale of variation in composition. These local structural correlations lead to strong backscattering over a narrow range of optical frequencies and little variation with angle of incidence. Such optical properties play important roles in social and sexual communication. To be effective, birds need to precisely control the development of these nanoscale structures, yet little is known about how they grow. We hypothesize that multiple lineages of birds have convergently evolved to exploit phase separation and kinetic arrest to self-assemble spongy color-producing nanostructures in feather barbs

2. Trade

2.1. bioSTREAM™ is a tidal power system that mimics thunniform swimming fish such as tuna, sharks, and mackerel. However, instead of moving through water as they do, sweeping their caudal fins back and forth, bioSTREAM™ is anchored to the bottom. There, it can rotate with the incoming or outgoing tide, and the energy in the passing flow is used to drive the device motion against the resisting torque of an electric generator. In the event of extreme flows, the device can assume a streamlined configuration to avoid damage.

2.2. Joinlox™ is an innovative mechanical method of joining a large range of rigid or semi-rigid components. It is also suitable for: producing internal cavities without welding, gluing, bolting or screwing parts together; making joints made of traditionally incompatible materials; making joints that have complex compound curving joint edges. Joinlox™ is straight forward to produce using existing mass production techniques, such as: injection moulding, forging, pressing, casting, compression moulding, extrusion, roll forming, punching or laser cutting.

2.3. Absorbing nutrients from the environment is essential for all heterotrophic organisms. All but a few vertebrates accomplish this task by orally consuming food and absorbing freed nutrients through the gut epithelium. Nutrient uptake through the skin is not observed in most vertebrates because the skin, by nature, is meant to function as a tough, mostly impermeable barrier. However, Pacific hagfish have adapted to suit their feeding habitat by evolving the ability to absorb certain organic nutrients directly through their skin. Hagfish feed by burrowing through the decaying corpses of large animals, a rich stew of organic nutrients that have sunk to the ocean floor. In this environment, absorption of some nutrients through direct skin contact is a valuable adaptation. However, skin must also be a strong physical barrier and capable of denying passage of non-vital compounds. The hagfish solve this conflict by embedding active transport proteins in the skin epithelium cells. The transport channels are highly selective for specific nutrient substrates like amino acids. They derive the energy required for transport from a sodium ion gradient that exists between the outside of the skin cells and the inside. Like almost all cells, the hagfish actively pump sodium ions out of the cytoplasm. This creates a concentration gradient across the cell membrane. Allowing sodium ions to flow back into the cell through the transport channels fuels the energy-intensive uptake of useful nutrients (symport). Other factors like allosteric regulation can manipulate how compounds are absorbed through the skin. In this way, the hagfish permit the transport of select nutrients through an otherwise impermeable skin barrier.

3. Evolved

3.1. "Helena Cronin, codirector of the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics, has a new approach to Darwinism: Only the altruistic survive. Smart evolution, Cronin says, involves self-sacrifice to aid the greater cause. Darwin himself recorded numerous examples of animals giving up their time, their food, their mates, and even their lives to help others in the population. By applying these principles to the economy, Cronin says, we can evolve to new heights. Cronin suggests stressing cooperation, putting renewed emphasis on policy, and understanding that competition is to be approached not as mortal combat, but as a display--similar to lekking behavior exhibited by male grouse."

3.2. "Many plant species depend on insect pollinators, and such insects are often rare on peatlands. Bog dwarf shrubs have separated flowering times. For instance, in Ontario the flowering sequence is Chamaedaphne calyculata, Andromeda glaucophylla, Kalmia polifolia, Rhododendron groenlandicum, Vaccinium macrocarpon (with wide overlap in flowering time only between Andromeda and Kalmia). The pollinators (e.g. bees) are quite generalist and serve several species, so it may well be that the differentiation in flowering time has evolved to avoid competition for pollinators (Reader 1975)."

4. Senses

4.1. "Bat researcher Dr. Ken Paige of the University of Illinois's Institute for Environmental Studies noted that flying insects were most common when air (barometric) pressure was low (except in heavy rain). During these conditions eastern pipistrelle bats inhabiting caves in western Illinois came outside in large numbers. When the air pressure rose, however, insect numbers declined, and fewer bats exited the caves. The bat's barometric sense may be due to the Vitali organ in the middle ear -- bats are the only mammals with this organ."

4.2. "The elephantnose fish, which finds its way at night using an electrical version of sonar, has sharp enough senses to assess the shape and size of objects in its tank in the dark, researchers have found. The fish can even identify shapes when they are present as simple wire frames rather than solid objects."