23 Sep '12, 10pm

Can you guess what item in the natural world inspired the design of Oklahoma's SkyDance Bridge?

Can you guess what item in the natural world inspired the design of Oklahoma's SkyDance Bridge?

Biomimicry literally means the imitation of life. But what biomimicry means for you and me is a new world of innovation. Or rather, our natural world translated into innovation. Armed with centuries of trial, error and evolution, the natural world is the ultimate Consumer Reports guide. Cockroaches have been around for more than 300 million years – you may not like them in your kitchen, but you have to admire their destruction-proof design. The study of biomimicry is looking to that time-tested design for new ideas. In 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed his woolen socks covered in burrs after walking his dog in the woods. He slipped the burrs under a microscope and saw hook-shaped seeds meshed with the looped fibers in his socks. Today we call that Velcro. Nature’s designs are integrated in so many aspects of our daily lives, and, with more than half of our gl...

Full article: http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/specialfeatures/biomim...

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