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How a coconut can save your cellphone

April 21st, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Packaging, Product Design|Sectors: , , , |

How a coconut can save your cellphone

Functional gradients are one of the patterns observed in the natural world as a tactic for lightweighting. Recent research published by IOP Science describes how coconuts exhibit functional gradients through the arrangement of fibers leading to greater impact resistance. Might this inspire, say, lightweight + impact resistant cellphone cases?

Curated by Erin Rovalo

What fungal networks can teach business about building relationships & reducing waste

March 31st, 2017|Categories: Business Models, Circular Economy, Collaboration|Sectors: , |

What fungal networks can teach business about building relationships & reducing waste

I first learned about fungal networks at my orientation to Biomimicry 3. 8–I was informed my new role was similar to mycorrhiza. After learning that I had not been insulted, I was astonished to learn how this underground network–which Janine Benyus refers to as the “Wood Wide Web”–enabled plants to communicate, to share nutrients, fend off disease, and fight toxicity. Translating these functions to business, we learn that collaboration trumps competition, enhanced customer experience is key, increased efficiencies and reduce costs are ideal. IDEO CoLab brilliantly draws inspiration from mycelium and mycorrhizal networks to demonstrate the value and possibilities of connected businesses.

Curated by Nicole Hagerman Miller

DNA may hold key to building super computers of the future

March 10th, 2017|Categories: Product Design|Sectors: , , , , |

DNA may hold key to building super computers of the future

One of the most complex, essential, and amazing components of life that holds the key to genetic codes throughout nature, DNA is now being touted as a key to building faster and more efficient computers. This Edgy Labs article details research to mimic DNA’s self-replicating properties to create a computer system that grow as it computes. Looking to nature could create “exponentially” faster computers.

Curated by Janine Benyus

Understanding the complex signaling of chemistry could change the way we innovate

December 31st, 2016|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Wellness|Sectors: , , , , |

Understanding the complex signaling of chemistry could change the way we innovate

Chemistry is the oldest form of communication, whether it’s between cells, organisms, or the environment. Better understanding of complex biological signaling pathways can contribute not only to new developments in health care, but in everything from electronics to textiles. This Science Daily article looks at a new tool, OmniPath, that allows researchers to see biological signaling pathways with unprecedented accuracy.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Important evolutionary lessons from giraffe necks

December 3rd, 2016|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Engineering, Materials, Product Design, Resilience, Structures|Sectors: , , , , , |

Important evolutionary lessons from giraffe necks

Giraffes remind us of life’s “evolutionary baggage”—an important awareness in the practice of biomimicry. Nature’s solutions are local optima (not usually global), yet amazingly still offer huge insights into life’s work-arounds. This fascinating Nautilus article offers a plethora of giraffe lessons worth exploring.

Dayna-01Curated by Dayna Baumeister

How crickets are inspiring nanotechnology innovation

November 5th, 2016|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Product Design|Sectors: , , , |

How crickets are inspiring nanotechnology innovation

It might not be the first thing you think about when you think about “changing technology,” but a group of French scientists focused on advancing nanotechnology innovation has turned to biomimicry–and bugs in particular–to help inspired fresh approaches, according to this EE Times article. For one, they found that the hairs on cricket legs have “unmatched signal processing capabilities.”

Jenna-01Curated by Jenna Cederberg

Looking to insect societies to increase infrastructure efficiencies

October 15th, 2016|Categories: Life's Principles, Resilience|Sectors: , , , |

Looking to insect societies to increase infrastructure efficiencies

Modern infrastructures, such as power grids, are becoming decentralized and self-organized. For example, more and more houses are equipped with solar panels, and heating systems self-adjust to local conditions. In insect societies, resilience emerges as a result of the collective behaviors of individuals. according to this Journal of Royal Society Interface article. Transportation networks, supply chains, and communication networks can benefit from studying how insects deal with disaster and disruption.

Robyn-01Curated by Robyn Klein

Mimicking trees to make smart materials

September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Materials, Packaging, Textiles|Sectors: , , , |

Mimicking trees to make smart materials

Trees can teach us how to make smart materials that respond appropriately to environmental cues. According to this Science Daily article, scientists in Germany discovered that beech and maple trees trigger one type of protective scenario when their shoots are nibbled by deer versus when they are damaged by inanimate physical forces.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman

Learning from birds’ songs to adapt to climate change

August 28th, 2016|Categories: Business Models, Climate Change, Organizations, Resilience, Social Innovation, Wellness|Sectors: , , , , , , , |

Learning from birds’ songs to adapt to climate change

We need a plethora of strategies to adapt to climate change. Once again, life surprises us with new innovations. Zebra finches are singing to their eggs and the tune they choose dictates the size of the developing embryo in the egg, according to this Smithsonian Magazine article. Smaller chicks need fewer resources and cool off more easily. How can our warning calls literally result in more adapted future generations?

Dayna-01Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Processing and storing info, like neurons do

August 18th, 2016|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , , |

Processing and storing info, like neurons do

Researchers developed a device that imitates the functionality of neurons for storing and processing data at high speeds using very little energy. Rather than storing information digitally as 0 or 1, these devices use the phase change of a material between an “amorphous” and a crystalline state, according to this Science Daily article. The artificial neurons have been shown to sustain billions of switching cycles.

Mark-01Curated by Mark Dorfman