Biomimicry

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Biomimicry by Mind Map: Biomimicry

1. As fish swim, they shed tiny vortices. In large schools of fish, individuals transfer energy to each other with these vortices, lowering the energetic costs of swimming. Researcher John Dabiri has taken inspiration from this strategy and applied similar principles to the spatial design of wind farms. By placing vertical-axis turbines (different from the traditional horizontal-axis, propeller-style turbines) close together in a strategic array, energy is gathered by each turbine, while simultaneously directing wind to nearby turbines. Dabiri's research team, supported in part by Windspire Energy Inc., is currently working to determine ideal positioning of turbines to achieve optimal power output.

2. Waste Management, with its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is a company that manages waste throughout the United States and Canada. Previously focusing on garbage collection, Waste Management has been actively moving toward a goal of net zero waste. Waste Management addresses waste from its source through its final disposal, providing recycling services and looking for more ways to reuse wastes and convert wastes into new products.http://www.asknature.org/product/fc4d0678aa5aba1b8195ec177bcaafce

3. Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical current. Biofuel cells are a subset of fuel cells that generate electricity, using microbes themselves or synthesized enzymes. Microbial fuel cells can last for years and fully oxidize nutrients to carbon dioxide (i.e., derive maximal energy from each fuel molecule); however, they generate very little power for their size (low-power density). In contrast, enzymatic fuel cells have much higher power densities but cannot (usually) fully oxidize fuel molecules. Moreover, owing to the degradability of enzymes, they do not remain functional over an extended period of time. http://www.asknature.org/product/d008144558256f27755edd684d2a6804

4. Waste Management, with its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is a company that manages waste throughout the United States and Canada. Previously focusing on garbage collection, Waste Management has been actively moving toward a goal of net zero waste. Waste Management addresses waste from its source through its final disposal, providing recycling services and looking for more ways to reuse wastes and convert wastes into new products. To accomplish both, the company has forged partnerships with other companies.

5. "The icy depths of the Antarctic seas support one of the most densely populated and diverse benthic communities on earth. Although the water temperature is only just above freezing, it is rich in oxygen, and the long-term environmental conditions are quite stable; changes in temperature and food supply are reliably periodic, waxing and waning with the seasons. At 300 feet, the bottom receives almost no light from above, but food in the form of tiny, single-cell marine plants sinks to the sea floor. During the long daylight hours of spring and summer, a period of about three months, the phytoplankton produce enough food through photosynthesis to support life in the Antarctic seas. For the remainder of the year, the food is redistributed from one organism to another as predators consume prey and scavengers recycle the dead."

6. "Deinococcus radiodurans can survive doses of ionising radiation thousands of times stronger than would kill a human. So how does it do it? "Radiation shatters DNA into fragments, and it has long been thought that this is what makes it dangerous, explains Michael Daly of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. "Not so, Daly says: instead it is protein damage that is the killer. 'The ability of cells to survive radiation is highly dependent on the amount of protein damage caused during irradiation.'

7. sight

7.1. Researchers from Sweden, Canada, and California have developed a synthetic cornea that can be implanted into a human eye to significantly improve sight in people with eye-related diseases. The synthetic cornea is made of collagen and encourages the regeneration of natural human tissue into the collagen matrix, improving sight while reducing infection and discomfort usually associated with cornea transplants or contact lens use. The regenerated corneas can produce tears and are sensitive to touch, essentially making them just like the natural cornea of a healthy eye.

8. Waste

8.1. Waste Management, with its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is a company that manages waste throughout the United States and Canada. Previously focusing on garbage collection, Waste Management has been actively moving toward a goal of net zero waste. Waste Management addresses waste from its source through its final disposal, providing recycling services and looking for more ways to reuse wastes and convert wastes into new products.http://www.asknature.org/product/fc4d0678aa5aba1b8195ec177bcaafce

8.2. Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical current. Biofuel cells are a subset of fuel cells that generate electricity, using microbes themselves or synthesized enzymes. Microbial fuel cells can last for years and fully oxidize nutrients to carbon dioxide (i.e., derive maximal energy from each fuel molecule); however, they generate very little power for their size (low-power density). In contrast, enzymatic fuel cells have much higher power densities but cannot (usually) fully oxidize fuel molecules. Moreover, owing to the degradability of enzymes, they do not remain functional over an extended period of time. http://www.asknature.org/product/d008144558256f27755edd684d2a6804

9. Design

10. Use

10.1. Researchers at North Carolina State University have recently discovered a novel use for a lipid molecule synthesized by tomato plants. The compound is thought to be used by tomatoes to fend off bugs and its artificial use in a mimetic role has proved effective at repelling numerous types of insects including mosquitoes, ticks, and cockroaches. The lipid, called IBI-246 or methyl nonyl ketone, is found in the stem of tomato plants and seems to work just as well as the noxious chemical DEET in keeping mosquitoes and ticks at bay; however, while DEET is listed by the EPA as a class III toxic compound (slightly toxic), IBI-246 has been in use in cosmetics and dog/cat repellants for year and is listed by the EPA as a class IV toxic compound (practically non-toxic). What's more, IBI-246 is biodegradable and not petroleum based. http://www.asknature.org/product/bac21d352d9da23796cee88d3a0d0a2b

11. Decay

11.1. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to build all the carbon-based compounds it needs for structure and function. When most plants die, these carbon-based compounds break down into their constituent components with a re-release of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Saguaro cactus uses some of the carbon dioxide it removes from the atmosphere to make compounds called oxalates which combine with calcium ions taken up from the soil by the plants roots. The resulting calcium oxalate takes a different path following the death of the cactus. Rather than degrade to its constituent components, calcium oxalate slowly transforms into solid calcium carbonate (calcite), thus essentially sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide into the soil.http://www.asknature.org/strategy/ae27e8ce40fc75eb95085db45c34f099#.Uwer8UJdXit

12. Humans

12.1. Helminths are parasitic animals [worms] that have [co-]evolved over 100,000,000 years to live in the intestinal track or other locations of their hosts. Colonization of humans with these organisms was nearly universal until the early 20th century. More than 1,000,000,000 people in less developed countries carry helminths even today. Helminths must quell their host’s immune system to successfully colonize. It is likely that helminths sense hostile changes in the local host environment and take action to control such responses. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) probably results from an inappropriately vigorous immune response to contents of the intestinal lumen. Environmental factors strongly affect the risk for IBD. People living in less developed countries are protected from IBD. The 'IBD hygiene hypothesis' states that raising children in extremely hygienic environments negatively affects immune development, which predisposes them to immunological diseases like IBD [also allergies, asthma, etc] later in life. Modern day absence of exposure to intestinal helminths appears to be an important environmental factor contributing to development of these illnesses. Helminths interact with both host innate and adoptive immunity to stimulate immune regulatory circuitry and to dampen effector pathways that drive aberrant inflammation.http://www.asknature.org/strategy/c6a2aadb71750fea670b8e3b1312b0a9#.UwetLkJdXit

13. nuclear

13.1. "Deinococcus radiodurans can survive doses of ionising radiation thousands of times stronger than would kill a human. So how does it do it? "Radiation shatters DNA into fragments, and it has long been thought that this is what makes it dangerous, explains Michael Daly of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. "Not so, Daly says: instead it is protein damage that is the killer. 'The ability of cells to survive radiation is highly dependent on the amount of protein damage caused during irradiation.' http://www.asknature.org/strategy/7d45bf876078b3c763fb49c328690419#.UweuFEJdXit

14. Recycle

14.1. Disease outbreaks are certainly part of the natural cycle. Occurring periodically in virtually all populations, they can weed out less fit or vigorous individuals, recycle essential nutrients, influence the mix of species and the direction and pace of successional change in a community. A case in point is the fungal root-rot dieback that sweeps through stands of mature mountain hemlock every 90 to 150 years in the conifer forests of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The outbreak starts from one or a few infected trees and moves out in a radial pattern as the fungal mycelia spread underground from the roots of one tree to another. Pamela Matson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Richard Boone, then of Oregon State University, found that after the disease front has moved through a stand, nitrogen release in the soil doubles. The standing dead trees often give way to fire and then to young hemlock seedlings that grow in the fire-swept clearings, where the extra sunlight and nitrogen help them withstand the effects of the fungus.