Cicada Wings Clean Up Bacteria. 

Cicada and dragonfly wings are known to have a surface layer that kills bacteria by tearing them apart and then removing the dead bacteria.  Getting rid of dead bacteria is an important property as it prevents other bacteria from colonising the surface and feeding on the debris of the shredded bacteria.  It was thought that […]

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Keratin Socks It to Evolution

Keratin socks it to evolution, as our Tasmanian colleague Craig Hawkins exposes Australian sock producer Merino Threads, who proudly proclaims on its sock packaging that Keratin based merino wool is “Nature’s evolution tested renewable performance fibre”, that it will “outperform any synthetic fibre” and that “No synthetic fibre can match the complexity and performance of […]

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Macadamia Nuts

Why Are Nuts Hard to Crack?

Why are nuts hard to crack? This question is answered in reports in Science (AAAS) News, 10 August 2021, Royal Society Open Science 11 August 2021, doi: 10.1098/rsos.210399 and Advanced Materials 20 October 2020, 10.1002/adma.202004519. Over the last few years Notburga Gierlinger, a biophysicist at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and colleagues […]

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Efficient Butterfly Flight

Efficient butterfly flight reported in BBC News 20 January 2021, ScienceDaily 21 January 2021 and Journal of The Royal Society Interface 20 January 2021 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2020.0854. Two researchers at the Swedish Lund University have studied the fluttery flight of butterflies, which has traditionally been considered ungainly and inefficient.  Per Henningsson and Christoffer Johansson commented in […]

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Mosquito Proboscis

Mosquitoes Inspire Injection Needles

Mosquitoes inspire injection needles, according to a report in ScienceDaily 25 June 2018 and Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.05.025 published online 18 May 2018. Scientists and engineers have studied the structure of the mosquito proboscis, and how the mosquito uses it, to find out how mosquitoes are able to bite […]

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Synthetic Cilia

Synthetic cilia made, according to a report in New Scientist Tech, 13 April 2007. Cilia are microscopic hair-like structures that project from the surfaces of cells. Large numbers of them are found in the linings of airways where they are used to sweep the layer of fluid that lines the airways away from the lungs. […]

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Sticking a Frog Foot on It

Sticking a frog foot on it, described in ABC News in Science, 12 October 2007. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur have developed a reusable adhesive tape inspired by frog feet. Conventional sticky tapes are not reusable because they crack when removed from one surface, and they collect dust and other particles and […]

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Spring Loaded Plankton Inspire Engineers

Spring loaded plankton inspire engineers, according to a report in New Scientist, 17 December 2005, p12. Danielle France of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has studied the way a pond dwelling protozoan named Vorticella convallaria attaches itself to surfaces such as rocks and leaves by a stalk called a spasmoneme. If the cell is […]

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Spider Vision for Robots

Spider vision for robots is being developed at the California Institute of Technology by a group of engineers who are “turning to nature for help” in reducing the amount of computing power needed to analyse images formed in the micro-chip eyes of moving robots. According to a report in New Scientist, 31 March 2001, p20, […]

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Smart Seeds

Smart seeds described in ScienceNOW 12 June 2009 and Science Roundup 2 July 2009. David Lentink, a zoologist at Wageningen University, the Netherlands and colleagues have studied the way maple seeds are able to ‘fly’ long distances away from their parent tree. Seeds need to be able to move away from the parent tree so […]

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