Category Archives: occurs when necessary

tree frog climb wet and dirty surfaces as well as upside down surfaces without falling

TreeFrog_Laubfrosch_cropped.jpg.w300h400Here is an activity to try with a length of adhesive tape. Press the tape against a dusty surface several times. As expected, the tape quickly loses its holding strength as dust particles collect and coat the sticky side. In contrast, consider tree frogs which thrive in dusty, wet, or muddy surroundings. Yet they cling securely to branches and leaves, even hanging upside down. How are they able to hold on without falling?

Technical application:

holding applications

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flexible eye lens focused by a fluid

Fish_Eye The lens in our eye has a special designed feature called accommodation. That is, the lens changes shape, curvature, or focal length to bring images into focus. When we look at a far distant object the lens becomes thinner. For nearby objects the lens thickens and becomes rounder for clear vision. The flexibility is possible because tFocus_in_an_eye.jpghe lens is somewhat jellylike. Ciliary muscles around the edge of the lens control its shape. These muscles can become fatigued, and they recover when eyes are closed.

Technical application:

optical lens technology

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eye-lens camera contact lens and monitoring your body for health purposes

220px-Sony_DSC-H2_01First watch the video below!

Cameras have long mimicked  the optics of the eye. Both collect and focus light with a convex outer lens. However, cameras have a shortcoming: They typically focus the image onto a flat surface. Whether this surface is covered with film or a digital sensor, distortion results from the projecting of light from a curved lens onto the flat 120px-Eye_Central_Heterochromia_crop_and_lightersurface. The insertion of additional lenses reduces the distortion, but this adds to camera weight and cost. Our eye with its hemispherical shape has no such problem.

Technical application:

better optical technologies, contact lens

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our brain inspires for supercomputers

Computers have come a long way but they still primitive compared with our own brainpower. Our brains can handle much more information and processing than any supercomputer yet developed. The brain is so far superior to current braincomputers that scientists seek ways to mimic its “wiring” in modern computers.

 

Technical application:

supercomputing

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Dog inspired drying machines

dogshakingPerhaps you have stood near a wet dog as it dries by shaking its fur. Watch out! An impressive amount of water is thrown off in all directions. The shaking technique for furry creatures including mice, dogs, and bears is studied by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. They find that larger animals tend to move their bodies at a frequency of 4-5 shakes per second. Mice and rats move more rapidly, up to 27 shakes per second. Whatever the size, each creature begins the shaking process with its head and then the process moves along the body. Mathematical formulas have been established for the animal shaking process based on size, nature of the fur, water surface tension, and other variables. The animals apparently know these technical details by instinct.

Technical application:

drying machines

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Miracle Tree helps to get clean Water for a cheap price

Moringa_oleifera_drumstick_fruitIn today’s world more than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water. This leads to untold suffering and death from dysentery, typhoid, and other diseases associated with contaminated water sources. Children are especially victims of unsafe water. One solution to this serious problem comes from a tree which grows worldwide in both tropical and arid areas worldwide, called the miracle tree.

Technical application:

water filters

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inspired by a tree: bypassing problems will make complex systems more fail-safe

Vein_sceletonLook closely at many tree and plant leaves and you will see an intricate network of veins. Besides the channels branching outward from a central stem, you may also notice many smaller veins in random directions, connecting with each other in closed loops. This complex arrangement is unlike the simple outward geometry of tree branches and root systems. The structure provides protection for the leaf. Suppose there is damage from disease, insects, or wind so that a vein is broken. Nutrients and water can then take alternate paths across the leaf through adjacent veins. Even the larger, central vein of the leaf can be successfully bypassed. The multiple veins also allow for fluctuations in nutrient loads due to moisture and temperature changes. Similar loop network designs are observed in coral colonies, insect wings, and the blood vessels of our eye.

Technical application:

create safe complex systems

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Ice-free roads caused by sugar?

beet.jpg.w180h141 salzlorrySugar beets provide 30 percent of the world’s sugar. At refineries, the sugar is extracted and a liquid residue remains. In the upper Midwest, it was noticed that this residue, placed in holding ponds, did not freeze under wintry conditions. Chemical studies reveal a natural antifreeze chemical in the beets. This design feature protects the growing beets themselves from the cold, and also caught the attention of highway crews.

Technical application:

ice-free roads

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beaver teeths for sharp cutting-tools

beaver.jpgGerman engineers have applied the tooth sharpening ability of rodents to cutting tools.

Beavers, rats, rabbits and similar rodents depend on their teeth for survival. They are experts at gnawing, and their teeth are designed with a self-sharpening ability. Unlike our own, roSaw_bladedent teeth are covered with enamel on only the front side. Softer dentine is exposed on the back of the front teeth. As the rodent chews and wears down its teeth, it alternates grinding its lower incisors against either the front or the back of the upper incisors. As a result, the hard enamel slowly wears down the softer dentine and the teeth remain sharp. The teeth also continue to grow from the root, maintaining their length. The animals must continue to gnaw or their teeth will outgrow their mouth.

Technical application:

self shaping tools

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Salt-Nano wire for high speed data transfer

salt We are all familiar with table salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl). This essential, common compound is ordinarily crystalline and brittle in nature. However, many materials behave strangely on the scale of minute quantities, and salt is no efirewirexception. Researchers at Boston College have explored tiny salt samples at close distance using an atomic force microscope.

 

Technical application:

high speed data transfer

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