Category Archives: self service

Harvest gold out of plants – Phytomining

The technique of phytomining involves growing a crop of a metal-phyto-mining-300x250hyperaccumulating plant species, harvesting the
biomass and burning it to produce a bio-ore. In the first phytomining experiment, it was found that a yield of 100 kg/ha of sulphur-free Ni could be produced.

Technical application:

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The caterpillars Plage – new resistant animals and plants in Brazil’s agriculture. A faulty development of genetic engineering and natural solutions

A report by ö1.orf.at from Brazil

The Agricultural Research Authority ‘Embrapa’ enlightens about the new crawler plague caused by genetic modified plants.

Helicoverpa armigera

 

Soy-Field-1607234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical application:

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Squid – Arresting device

squidandwhaleLaw enforcement faces the challenge of stopping fleeing vehicles. Non-violent methods include roadblocks and spike strips laid across the pavement. However, neither is entirely successful because drivers sometimes avoid the barriers.

The U.S. Department of Home Security is studying new technologies for stopping vehicles. One promising device is inspired by the squid.

Technical application:

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Shark Skin as an bacteria barrier

shark2.jpg.w300h225In the sea, a whale’s skin is home to barnacles, algae, and bacteria. In contrast, shark skin is squeaky clean. Parasites appear unable to attach to the shark skin. It is thought that the many small ridges and bumps on the shark’s skin surface discourage attachment. Bacteria prefer to colonize a smooth surface; a textured surface many require too much energy. The shark skin does not kill bacteria but simply discourages their presence. As a result, there is little chance of bacteria overcoming their resistance to shark skin.

Technical application:

In hospitals nursing call buttons, bed rails, and tray tables.

In restaurant door handles, especially in public restrooms

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Sea Urchin inspires for Self-sharpening Tools

800px-Sea_Urchin.jpg.w300h201 The sea urchin is well known for its many outward-pointing spines. However, five symmetric teeth at the center of its body are even more impressive than the spines. These teeth are able to chew through solid rock, making a cavity in which the sea urchin hides and withstands the surge of water currents. Scientists have long wondered how sea urchin tee1004__400x300_sea-urchin-teeth.jpg.w300h225th can withstand grinding and scraping against rock surfaces. After all, the teeth are made of calcite (CaCO3) which is just average in mineral hardness.

Technical application:

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Pilot Whale for a Self-cleaning Ship Hull and safe of fuel costs

ship Long-finned pilot whales swim in cool regions of the oceans. They grow to 12-16 feet in length and weigh several tons. The whales are characterized by an enlarged forehead and a swimming behavior siwhalemilar to dolphins. The creatures are found to have highly-specialized apparatus for maintaining smooth, clean skin. Countless tiny surface pores produce a slime coating. The gel washes off with movement and is continually replenished. This “skin care” prevents bacteria and algae from gaining a foothold and forming growth colonies. The whale’s surface chemicals also contain enzymes that repel microorganisms. This feature in turn avoids barnacles, tubeworms and other marine life which are otherwise attracted to underwater surfaces.

How can the production of “slime” by pilot whales possibly be useful as a technical application?

Technical application:

clean ships without cleaning

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Human climbing with efficiently scaled gecko-inspired dry adhesives

spidermanWe present a mechanical concept which improves upon the gecko’s non-uniform load-sharing and results in a nearly even load distribution over multiple patches of gecko-inspired adhesive.

Since the discovery of the mechanism of adhesion in geckos, many synthetic dry adhesives have been developed with desirable gecko-like properties such as reusability, directionality, self-cleaning ability, rough surface adhesion and high adhesive stress. However, fully exploiting these adhesives in practical applications at different length scales requires efficient scaling (i.e. with little loss in adhesion as area grows). Just as natural gecko adhesives have been used as a benchmark for synthetic materials, so can gecko adhesion systems provide a baseline for scaling efficiency.

Technical application:

climb buildings, for cleaning a ships body

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Zebrafish – Spine Repair

ZebrafishInjuries to the spine are some of the most serious challenges in medicine. We are all familiar with the tragedy of paralysis which may result from spinal trauma.  In mammals, including people, a protective mechanism results in an unfavorable side effect to spinal trauma.  Following an injury, cells called glia are activated which flood the area of inflammation.  These cells result in a buildup of scar tissue which becomes a chemical and physical barrier to the growth and repair of nerves at the injury site.

Technical application:

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