The sea mouse lives at the bottom of northern seas. Actually a worm, the creature’s name results from its furry appearance. The size of a thumb, the sea mouse is covered with many thousands of crystalline fibers called setae. These strands shimmer with iridescent colors as they reflect sunlight which filters downward hundreds of feet.
The setae are about 100 nanometers in diameter. This is about four millionths of an inch, several times smaller than a human hair. In addition, the sea mouse fibers are hollow tubes. Researchers in Finland and Norway have successfully used these fibers in a valuable high tech application.
nano circuits, mediacal implants
Continue reading sea-mouse inspired wire for micro circuits →
Sound is always produced and heard as a vibration, whether a violin string, vocal chords, or an ear drum. Sound vibrations in our hearing range vary between 20 and 20,000 cycles per second. Sound waves travel in air as vibrating air molecules, and also through water as pressure waves. Underwater microphones, or hydrophones, have long been used to track whale migrations, fish populations and submarines. The devices also service undersea oil wells and map the seafloor.
Continue reading “Killer Whales” inspire for Undersea Hydrophone →
The 650 volts of electricity and one ampere of current is sufficient to stun large sea creatures within about two meters distance.
The electric eel’s ability comes from 5000-6000 internal layers of cells or electroplaques, stacked in a series circuit like the cells of a car battery.
Continue reading electric eel inspires for medical implant →
Many marine creatures produce chemical light in a process called bioluminescence. The typical color produced is blue. One group of deep-sea fish, however, called the Malacosteid family, produce an unusual red color. They are also called dragon-fish or loose-jaws. Other fish cannot see or detect the red color, so dragon-fish are able to communicate with each other in secret.
Continue reading mimic the dragon fish; put chlorophyll into your eye for higher night vison sensitivity →
Cement is made from limestone and other ingredients in a high temperature kiln process above 1300°C. One by product of the cement preparation is a large amount of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which is not friendly to the environment when in excess amounts.
Scientists at Stanford University, led by Brent Constantz, have found an alternative to traditional cement production. They study coral which forms the largest biologically formed structures in the world.
convert CO2 gas from powerplants to concret
Continue reading CO2 gas could be converted to concret →
The austrian scientist Michael Bacher presented at TMI before an artificial snow cloud. It produces 15 cubic meters of fresh snow out of one cubic meter of water. Lautenbacher says that the operation of the cloud is much cheaper and more efficient than conventional snow cannons. The cannons would need more than seven times more water for the same amount of snow. In addition, the snow from the cloud is equal to real snow. In Obergurgl (Austria) the artificial cloud is tested now for several months.
Continue reading synthetic cloud snows austria →
Thousands of wind turbines have been installed worldwide in recent years for the production of clean electric energy. Efforts continue to make the large turbines efficient and quiet. One successful modification of existing turbine blades is inspired by the stegosaur.
Continue reading stegosaurus plates for innovative wind-turbines →
This is an unusual example of practical designs found in nature. Automobiles have several new options for fuel including batteries, hydrogen gas, and natural gas. Natural gas is especially attractive because it is in good supply in the U.S., and emits only half the carbon dioxide of conventional fossil fuel. However, one challenge is to carry enough natural gas on board the vehicle for practical driving. Large, high pressure cylinders are expensive, bulky, and somewhat hazardous.
Continue reading Intestine – Fuel Tank →