Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Biomimetics (Say what???)

Oh guess what, I’ve just learned a new word! =D Yeah, you wonder what in the world “Biomimetics” is – or you might have already read about. Either way, I’m still very thrilled to tell you about it!

I happened to flip through the National Geographic magazine (April 2008 issue) the other day, and partly being so awed by the brilliant nature shots, I flipped on further and came across an article entitled “Biomimetics: Design by Nature” which featured the relatively new science known as Biomimetics or Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate).

Biomimetics is a new science that studies nature, its systems and elements, and then imitates or takes inspiration from them to solve human needs. Researchers in the field of Biomimetics mimic the brilliant concepts found in nature to for the purpose of improving technology, medicine, and the way people grow food or use energy.

Here are a few examples of the use of Biomimetics:

Close up shot of burdocks. Velcro invented in 1948 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, who noticed how the teeny-weeny “hooks” of these burdocks stuck in the fur of his dog.

Velcro close up.

“Gecko tape” – a product inspired by the gecko lizard’s ability to climb up walls and walk along ceilings. The tape uses weak intermolecular attractive forces by mimicking the tiny hair-like structures that cover geckos’ feet.
Cat’s eye reflectors – these were invented in 1935 by Percy Shaw, who studied the mechanism of cat eyes. He found that cats had a system of reflecting cells, which was capable of reflecting the tiniest bit of light.
Sonar, radar, and medical ultrasound imaging imitates the echolocation of bats.
Researchers have found the flipper of the humpback whale a more efficient wing design than the current model used by the aeronautics industry on airplanes. Engineers are now applying the humpback whale’s concept to future airplane and automotive design.

Oh wow, I am so, so amazed by the whole prospect of this new science thingamajig! The possibilities are simply out-of-this-world. I find it kinda’ funny that scientists are now being such copycats of God’s intricate, mind-blowing creation! Haha, it’s so true, isn’t it? We can’t survive without copying God’s bright ideas. Honestly, without all this inspiration from nature, we wouldn’t be enjoying all the comforts of modern-day technology.

It is said that Biomimetics is the “abstraction of good design from nature”.

And that simply directs us to the awesome Creator of all nature’s good design! Who can ever surpass God’s awesome wisdom? No mortal being can ever outdo God! Even unknowingly, we all have to depend on God. There’s no better way or solution. Our only hope is to draw from God’s bright ideas and use them so that He may be glorified in our lives.

No comments:

The Visitors