I don’t know if any of you saw the segment on CBS Sunday Morning News about Biomimicry...the study of finding solutions to present-day problems from nature…thus creating new innovations… I was fascinated!
In the title photo…the study of jelly fish and the way their tentacles fan out to ensnare plankton inspired a specialized filter that can capture cancer cells in blood. Isn’t this amazing?
It doesn’t stop there, however. When the Japanese created its first bullet train (travels over 300 mph) there were some glitches…mainly the booming sound as the train left the exit tunnels. It scared the wits out of people and affected nature and animals negatively also.
One day a Japanese bird-watching engineer (Nakatsu) watched a kingfisher diving for fish and marveled at the smooth transition into the water at high speeds…hardly a ripple and no sound. With continued research on how the kingfisher was able to do this…(the design of its beak in relationship to the head)…the problems with the bullet train were solved.
When George de Mistral was hiking in the Alps burs kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s hair. He took some home to study them and what made them able to stick to objects for long periods of time (unless physically removed) and the innovation from this study was ultimately… Velcro.
Even though clothing industries shied away from Velcro initially NASA immediately saw the benefits for their program and off it took!
Buzz Aldrin showing off his Velcro watch band to Neil Armstrong
Janine Benyus was one of the first scientists to document these innovative ideas stemming back to nature itself.
She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
But while the scientific field might be new, there’s nothing new about being inspired by nature.
“We need new ideas,” Benyus admits to match the resources.
Correspondent Faith Salie said, “So what you’re saying is, the newest ideas are the oldest ideas, and they’ve been there all along?”
“Exactly!“By one estimate, biologically-inspired innovations could contribute $425 billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2030.
The irony in this revelation is how man must reconsider who and what is the smartest way to find solutions to make the world a better place…by using what earth has given us since life appeared on it (millions of years of testing) or keeping on trying to make up new innovations without our planet’s input.
After all…the plants and animals we learn solutions from to solve our daily problems would no longer exist if these same obstacles hadn’t already been solved. They would be extinct.
When I am sickened and saddened at the mess we have made of God’s gift to us environmentally…our home on Earth…movements like this give me hope. There still are researchers and just ordinary people who are curious enough and filled with wonder enough to return to our greatest source…God’s gift to us. The answers have been there all the time. Another example of not seeing what is right in front of us. God must chuckle a lot over this.
So until tomorrow…God fill us with the wonder of your world and help us see the answers to so many of our own on-going problems that lie within our proximity to discover solutions in the most mundane parts of life.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*And speaking of going back to basics for answers…it is my trusty little rabbit of old with one eye and one broken ear who has taught me that when one gets low on faith…perseverance can take the lead until our faith is restored.
So on this first day of the month, of April, the Easter month…say “Rabbit” first thing this morning and then have a wonderful amazing month. It is even starting off with a strong chance of April showers here which we earnestly need in the low country…a good sign.
It is also April Fool’s Day and I have blood lab work scheduled this morning…but I am looking for improving results and no pranks popping up…Happy April everyone!
Congratulations Rutledge (Left) for being selected Student of the Month at Phillip Simmons School! So proud of you!!!!