Filtered By: Mark Dorfman
Filter
Mark Dorfman

About Mark Dorfman

Mark Dorfman is a Principal at Biomimicry 3.8

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

April 20th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

While members of the plant kingdom may appear to move only when acted upon by an outside force, time lapse photography of twisting vines, unfurling flowers, or popping seed pods betrays the programed movement of plants. Underlying such dynamics are the juxtaposition of clockwise and counterclockwise “twisted” molecules. According to this My Paper article, scientists in Europe have begun to mimic this principle with exciting potential applications in robotics, medicine, and more.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Fern fractals inspire fast flow that saves energy

April 8th, 2017|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Fern fractals inspire fast flow that saves energy

Solving the challenge of creating smaller, more efficient batteries enables greater use and application of renewable energy systems. Inspired by the microgeometry of fern leaves, scientists created electrodes that can store more power per unit area while reducing the path that electrons have to follow to complete a circuit, according to this Nature article. Small geometries not only increase efficiency, but are amenable to powering small, wearable devices, or large, regional systems.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Good things come in nano packages

March 24th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Good things come in nano packages

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have revealed deeper secrets about tiny compartments inside bacteria that enable them to manage chemicals and chemical processes while protecting the rest of the organism. These encapsulation systems could inspire more efficient and effective applications in chemical manufacturing, drug delivery, and material science.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Nature is Alive with Chemistry

March 10th, 2017|Categories: Life's Principles, Materials, Webinar|Sectors: , , , , |

To access this content, you must purchase Nature is Alive with Chemistry, Individual Subscription, Synapse 1-Week Trial or Corporate Subscription, or log in if you are a member.

Nature is Alive with Chemistry

In this pre-recorded webinar available on demand, Biomimicry 3.8 chemist Mark Dorfman unpacks the complexity of chemical science as he takes us on an illuminating tour of nature’s chemistry-based adaptations, including a deep dive into how we can “use life-friendly chemistry”–one of Life’s Principles that represent the main strategies and deep design lessons Life has evolved over 3.8 billion years in order to survive and thrive.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Seagrasses wave goodbye to pathogens

March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Water, Wellness|Sectors: , , |

Seagrasses wave goodbye to pathogens

Research done off the Indonesian coast suggest that seagrasses reduce the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms in the water column, helping fish and coral reefs thrive, as detailed in this Science magazine article. Whether the seagrass strategy involves chemistry, surface physics, or a surprisingly new mechanism remains to be seen, the potential for new public health approaches in the face of failing antibiotics is exciting.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Oxygen-starved sentiments could help create sustainable industrial processes

February 16th, 2017|Categories: Engineering|Sectors: , , |

Oxygen-starved sentiments could help create sustainable industrial processes

Scientists have discovered a multicellular life form that thrives in the muddy, salty, oxygen-starved sediments at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Crete, according to this BBC Earth article. The principles underlying the survival strategies used by such organisms in this extreme environment could provide inspiration for effective, innovative, and sustainable solutions to challenges faced under the hazardous conditions of certain industrial processes.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Bacteria hitch on a ride on the fungal highway

February 11th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Bacteria hitch on a ride on the fungal highway

The thin layer of water covering the surface of fungal filaments acts as a high speed rail for bacteria. Vast mycelium networks that knit the roots of different plants together in forest soils allow bacteria to jump the dry gaps, according to this Scientific American article. Where might these principles give rise to new innovations in drug delivery, chemical manufacturing, or perhaps the next generation of computing “hardware”?

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

New tools let us eavesdrop on hard-working proteins

February 3rd, 2017|Categories: Structures|Sectors: |

New tools let us eavesdrop on hard-working proteins

Proteins are the workhorses of living things, but the distinct 3D shape and movement that determine their function have been difficult to observe. But now, scientists in Spain have demonstrated a new technique that allows us to do just that. The better we are at understanding the associations between protein shape, movement, and function, the better we will be at applying those features to the design of innovative new materials and systems.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Looking to nature for self-shaping ceramics

January 28th, 2017|Categories: Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , , |

Looking to nature for self-shaping ceramics

Ceramics play key roles in everything from massive engines to microelectronics. Achieving the particular shapes needed for these functions without compromising structural integrity has been a challenge for ceramics manufacturing. Now, thanks to the inspiration of the self-folding design principles in plant seeds, scientists have developed innovative processing for controlling the shape of industrial ceramics. Read more in this Nature article.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Scientists uncovering the super powers of gut bacteria

January 19th, 2017|Categories: Life's Principles, Wellness|Sectors: , |

Scientists uncovering the super powers of gut bacteria

Scientists in the UK and Spain found that a protein receptor associated with a beneficial gut bacteria controls levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can influence mood and proper bowel function, according to this PLOS Journal article. Greater understanding of the specific roles beneficial gut bacteria play in human physiology could lead to better health and wellness interventions.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman