Archive | Bio Inspired


Could solar flares be triggering birth defects?

It’s known that airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays, but could these cosmic rays pose hazards even at sea level? A new study into these potential terrestrial effects has just been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Study co-author Adrian Melott, professor of physics […]

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Bionic plants created with carbon nanotubes

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) report boosting plants’ ability to capture light energy by 30 percent by embedding carbon nanotubes in the chloroplast, the part of the plant where photosynthesis takes place. The new field of “plant nanobionics” could, according to the research team, create plants with enhanced energy production that are […]

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Artificial leaf clears developmental barrier

Putting together the chemical reactions that make photosynthesis happen has proven harder than scientists initially thought, but in a new paper in Nature Chemistry, Arizona State University (ASU) researchers describe the breakthroughs they have made toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. The researchers hope their work will one day allow the inexpensive production of hydrogen […]

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Sperm-like biological robot displays “remarkable” self-organization

Powered by cultured heart cells, tiny, self-organizing bio-hybrid machines that swim like sperm have been created by scientists at the University of Illinois. A report on the synthetic self-propelled bio-bots appears in the journal Nature Communications. “Micro-organisms have a whole world that we only glimpse through the microscope,” said Taher Saif, lead scientist on the […]

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Penguin propulsion could drive marine vessels

Scientists have created a highly efficient and extremely maneuverable propulsion system by mimicking the shoulder of an Emperor penguin. The mechanism, which features an innovative spherical joint with three actuated degrees of freedom, could lead to new types of propellers that have directional thrusting capability. Caltech’s Flavio Noca was inspired to design the device after […]

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Bacteria modified with squid protein could be a camouflage game-changer for military

In the latest issue of the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers report on the creation of a biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by Loliginidae (also known as pencil squids, or more familiarly, as the menu item calamari). Lead researcher Alon Gorodetsky explained that the team devised a method to producereflectin (a structural protein the squid […]

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Novel geometry creates ultralight super-strong components from tiny interlocking 3-D printed parts

In what could herald an entirely new approach to manufacturing all manner of complex structures, MIT researchers have created tiny lightweight building blocks that can be snapped together much like Lego bricks to create structures that are exceptionally strong and light. The new approach to construction is described in a paper appearing this week in […]

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“Flowers” self-assemble from basic chemistry

By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, researchers at Harvard have found they can control the growth behavior of crystals to create beautiful, precisely tailored nanostructures. “For at least 200 years, people have been intrigued by how complex shapes could have evolved in nature. This work helps to demonstrate what’s possible just […]

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Successful transplant of bioengineered rat kidney

Bioengineered rat kidneys have successfully produced urine both in a laboratory apparatus and after being transplanted into living animals. The Massachusetts General Hospital scientists behind the breakthrough believe that with further work, bioengineered kidneys could someday replace donor kidneys. In Nature Medicine, the research team describes building functional replacement kidneys on the structure of donor […]

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Fungi make modern violin sound like a Stradivarius

Researcher Francis W. M. R. Schwarze, from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has used fungi to modify the wood in a modern violin to make it sound indistinguishable from a Stradivarius. The wood used in making a violin plays a critical role in how the finished violin sounds. The particular qualities […]

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