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Showing posts with the label Biomimetics

Sea Sponges Inspire Building Materials

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There is something I say frequently because it is worth emphasizing: It is the often-observed fact that the more we learn about nature, the less "simple" it becomes. People in the thrilling days of yesteryear thought that cells were simple, but advancements in technology and scientific understanding left that notion behind. This happens frequently. Despite the bleating of atheists and other anti-creationists, evidence that the Master Engineer designed living things (as well as space, the laws of physics, logic, and so on) is increasingly abundant. It is galactically foolish to claim that living things  appear  designed, but are actually not. Glass sponge  Euplectella aspergillum image credit: NOAA (Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) A "simple" glass sponge called Venus' flower basket is obviously not designed, but it is the product of time, chance, mutations, random processes, luck, and so on. That's why scientists are drawing inspiration fr

Biomimetics and Flapping Flight

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Various forms of flight technology have made impressive advances. Hot air balloons are not sufficiently controlled, but fixed- and swing-wing can be quite impressive in their maneuverability. Fixed rotors on helicopters and drones can have precise control. However, the assorted aircraft with jet engines or propellers are actually less efficient than flapping flight. This is where biomimetics comes into play. Readers of this site recognize that word ( biomimicry  is also used), describing how people look to nature and try to imitate them for our use. Ironically, flapping flight was too difficult to grasp. You may have seen videos of primitive attempts at human flight that imitated flapping, but the intricacies were not appreciated until much more recently with the advent of precision photography. Credit: Freeimages /  evfab4 Some people just want greater challenges. This is the case in making insect-sized flapping drones. Many factors come into play, including durability, efficiency,

Social Amoebas and You

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While naturalists have their systems and rate various living things are primitive or advanced, many other recognize that our Creator has designed organisms for ecological niches. Sure, why not? Human societies have seemingly less important people to make society function, God has placed social amoebas and the like in the biosphere. Physarum polycephalum image credit: Flickr / Bernard Spragg It may seem funny or "alpha male" to eat moldy bread, but that is potentially dangerous; some molds can be scraped off and the food is still safe, others must be discarded . Mold has a function, even if people find it disgusting at times. There is another kind of mold that many have seen but may not be able to identify. One of its names is "social amoeba" because it is actually a colony comprised of single-celled amoebas. Another name is rather unpleasant: slime mold. The Latin name Physarum polycephalum is cumbersome. It is often found in wooded areas. In a surprising bit of b

Nanobots and Biomimetics

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Robots have fascinated people for decades. Science fiction stories have frequently made them as humanity's enemies. Similar stories have been written about nanobots , but that technology is only in its early stages. Scientists are hoping they can be used in space exploration and medical technology. Made at PhotoFunia We can guess about the "bot" part of the word, but what is a nano? It's not someone hired to care for the children. A nanometer is very, very small , and nanobots (or nanomachines) are robots that may work on the molecular level, but that is still under development. Sometimes games can be used to stimulate creativity, and there were nanosoccer competitions several years ago — microscopic games, what a concept! There was a movie in 1966 called Fantastic Voyage  that involved a submarine and crew miniaturized, injected into a patient, destroying a blood clot, then escaping. Imaginative stuff, but if nanobots are successfully developed, they may be useful f

Paws to Reflect on Biomimetics

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Biomimetics (or biomimicry) is the scientific applications of using what has been found in nature and making them available for our use. We use the minds that our Creator gave us to make use of various things, but deny rightful credit (" it evolved "). Has biomimetics gone to the dogs? Credits: Original from Freeimages / Lidija Macej , modified at PhotoFunia Or more accurately, some of biomimetics is  coming from the dogs. The right person was paying attention to burrs in a dog's fur, and eventually, Velcro was developed . Another invention inspired by observing a dog — "A dog walked into a saloon with one arm in a sling. He tipped back his cowboy hat and announced to the bartender and everyone else, "'I'm lookin' for the man that shot my paw!'" Many thanks for that humorous non-contribution.  So anyway, why was the cocker spaniel getting along so well on the ice, but his pet human was having all sorts of troubles? This observant man had hi

Look but do not Touch the Poison Dart Frogs

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Bright colors in nature are often a signal to leave a critter well alone. If you saddle up and ride into the rain forests of Central and South America, you might find the famous poison dart frogs. They are not going to attack, but some are exceptionally deadly. Dendrobates tinctorius  credit: Wikimedia Commons /  Olaf Leillinger  ( CC BY-SA 2.5 ) You may have heard of contact poison, where toxins are absorbed through the skin. Some of these frogs, especially the golden one, are so dangerous that other critters have been poisoned by touching a place where it was earlier! Others are still deadly, and some leave a bad taste in a predator's mouth. The frogs with the strongest poisons are used by hunters who smear the darts of their blowguns on them. Interestingly, the neurotoxin is being studied to benefit humans. They are also an example of the Creator's work where they convert what they eat into a strong defense mechanism. The family of poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae)

The Energy-Efficient Albatross

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Have you ever seen a Gooney Bird riding the wind? If so, you would probably have to have been in windy latitudes. It got that nickname because of its take-off and landing clumsiness, and mayhaps because of amusing courtship dances. It is more formally known as the albatross. Northern Royal Albatross image credit: Wikimedia Commons / JJ Harrison ( CC by-SA 3.0 ) Some look like an overgrown seagull in some ways, but with much longer wingspans. They can stay at sea for a mighty long time, too. But they rely on wind currents (something that researchers want to imitate for unmanned aerial vehicles), so they spend some time in the water when the wind dies down and pick up again with the winds. Creationists have studied the kinds of these birds that went on the Ark, as there are many species of albatrosses. There are other related birds as well. Graceful. In control. Effortless. That’s how the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) has appeared to generations of sailors on the f

Imitating the Silent Flight of Owls

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Standing on the patio near the bird feeders, I can hear the sound of wings a-fluttering when a customer arrives. It seems that I can even distinguish a couple of different kinds of birds by the sound. If for some reason an owl arrived near the patio, I would not know it. Credit: Flickr / pics by stefanie  ( CC BY 2.0 ) In fact, I would be mighty startled. Not only are they silent, but many are quite large. Their silent flight has attracted the attention of biomimetics researchers. Their wings and flight have already inspired quieter computer fan blades, and more work is being done for use in flying machines. Of course, some owlhoots give praise to Darwin instead of giving deserved credit to the Master Engineer. Intelligently designing devices based on something they believe happened by chance doesn't make a heap of sense, does it? If you watch an owl flapping or gliding, it’s like viewing film footage with the sound on ‘mute’—they are so silent. That’s because their wings have ve

Basilisk Lizard Sprints on Water

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There is a lizard down in Central and South America called the basilisk. I wonder what prompted Carl Linnaeus to name it after a creature that could kill you with a its gaze or breath. Maybe it looks like the art from mythology. Anyway, this critter has baffled scientists for a mighty long time because of the way it runs across the water. Funny to watch, but it works. Credit: Wikimedia Commons / The Rambling Man ( CC by-SA 3.0 ) It doesn't just take a leisurely stroll, because that won't work. It has to be moving right quick. Even then, its feet sink in a little bit.  When it gets all tuckered out and can no longer run, the basilisk will be content to swim. Proponents of molecules-to-machinist evolution have trouble explaining ability to run on water, but the specified complexity in the details involved clearly indicate the work of the Master Engineer. By the way, God's design is up for plagiarism again: scientists are studying this creature so they can design machi

Shining Cold Light on Bioluminescence

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Quite a few people have seen living things that give off their own light. It can be a mite disconcerting sometimes, but a wide variety of organisms do this, including fish, algae, fungi, insects, and others. It is called bioluminescence, and is extremely challenging for adherents of microbes-to-miner evolution to explain. The mechanism is extremely efficient, and evolutionists claim that it happened over forty times. They have no idea how ,   but " stuff happens " is somehow a valid evolutionary explanation. Scientists are studying fireflies for biomimetics applications (as usual, refusing to give credit to the Creator). The diversity of bioluminescent critters is baffling to evolutionists, as is the specified complexity of the mechanism: everything has to be in place and working at the same time, else nothing works or makes sense. Another puzzler for them is that some self-glowing has no apparent purpose; perhaps the Master Engineer put some in place for our appreciati

The Black Widow Spider and Biomimetics

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Good science can be had by studying the work of the Master Engineer in nature, then finding ways to implement them for our own lives. The field of biomimetics is rapidly growing, with new applications being considered frequently. Some of these come from sources that may seem startling, such as the black widow spider. Credit: Pixabay / jgiammatteo This infamous arachnid causes folks to yell, "Katie, bar the door!", which can be counterproductive if the thing's inside with you. But although their venom is somewhat dangerous (less so for healthy adults), antivenom exists. Just don't be fussing with it, you savvy? You might consider calling an exterminator if they're in your home. Or maybe one of the researchers. Spiders have always been spiders, and they show no signs of having evolved from something way back when. Researchers want to know about their webbing, since it is proportionately very strong and they have some interesting ideas to implement. Like th

Imitating the Rainbow Weevil?

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Mention a weevil to a farmer, and you are likely to hear about how certain kinds destroy grain . You may have had them in your stored food . Even so, studying science and creation can provide some amazing insights into the work of the Master Engineer, and the rainbow weevil of the Philippines even inspires imitation. Because it displays all the colors of the visible rainbow in its spots, researchers want to examine it for applications (biomimetics) in areas that involve optics. These rainbow spots are the product of complex cell structures, which defy evolutionary explanations. The beautiful glossy rainbow weevil from the Philippines is unique for the spectacular rainbow colored spots on its thorax and forewing. These circular spots produce all the colors, and in the same order, as those found in a rainbow in a series of successive rings. Many insects exhibit the ability to produce different types of colors, but it’s unusual for one to exhibit such a vast spectrum. Researchers

How to Fly - a Little Birdie Told Me

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There are several words used to describe the how humans copy things in the natural world for our own use. I use biomimetics, others use biomimicry , and today I learned a new one: bioinspiration. Has a nice sound to it, don't you think? Today, we take a lesson from Bicycle Repairman . First successful flight of the Wright Flyer by the Wright brothers Image via Wikimedia Commons I was getting a mite playful for a moment. This is about Wright brothers, who had several interests, including bicycles. They were firm creationary Christians, and wanted to know how to fly. The Wrights were right in studying birds, and they were very meticulous and scientific in their studies of how the Master Engineer created flight.  They also looked at the failures of their contemporaries. Ever see old videos of "early flight attempts" or "flight failures"? Some were just weird, and many seemed to think that flight is a matter of flapping up and down, sometimes with paddles

Were Spear-Thrower Tools Ancient Biomimetics?

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When watching movies where indigenous people were attacking, hunting, or driving off enemies, I noticed something resembling a long trough used to launch a dart, arrow, or spear. Seemed silly to me, just throw the spear. I was dreadfully wrong on that. Although it looked awkward, the tool became an extension of the arm and gave more power to the projectile. This made it possible for womenfolk and young'uns to get into the act. When you had a group of people on the prod who were skilled in using those tools, you'd better get out of Dodge mighty quick-like! Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Richard Keatinge ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) I was uncomfortable using a photo where people could be recognized, so I blurred the facts even though the original image does not do this. There are several names and styles, and simple enough that you can make your own atlatl . Interesting that these spear-throwing devices are very similar, and can be found in 'Straya and the Americas, among other pla

Manta Rays and Biomimetics

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You probably know that there are some mighty strange things living in the oceans, and we have not even explored all of them yet. An odd flat fish thing that is somewhat familiar is the manta ray. Rays are related to sharks, but without the bad attitude. Sharks, dolphins, and so on move from side to side, but mantas have that interesting motion that (to me) looks a bit like it's flying underwater. One endangered species has the unfortunate moniker of " devil fish " or "giant devil ray" because some folks thought it looked creepy. Scientists wanted to study the motion of mantas for biomimetics uses. The sting ray was not mentioned in the report that I saw. Credit: flikr / jon hanson ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) If you recollect that biomimetics is the way scientists study organisms in nature so they can imitate them for our use, then you recollect rightly. Someone got the notion that mantas have a way of moving that, if successfully imitated (although without credit to

Waterwheel Plant Traps Evolutionists

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Shut your trap. No, not you. There are two carnivorous plants with snap traps, one of which is the more famous Venus fly trap , which snaps on insects and so forth for supper. Some people have them, but they are endangered, so you can get in a heap of trouble if you dig one up yourself. However, you can get one from a licensed dealer and make it a kind of pet if you give it the proper care . Credit: US Geological Survey (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) There's another trap shutter called the waterwheel plant. This bad little boy is endangered, has no roots, and floats along. When a small critter triggers its mechanism, the hinge snaps shut in as little as a hundredth of a second. Biomimetics research is being conducted for shading systems in architecture. A couple of papers were submitted in the same month about the waterwheel plant. One discussed the biomimetics application, and details on the plant's operation. The other paper had a little inform

New Inspiration from Geckos

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Geckos, those cute little lizards from 'Straya that look like they're smiling, have already inspired scientists to do some biomimetics. The Master Engineer gave us minds, and also gave us what is called the dominion mandate that includes learning from nature and applying what we can to our lives. Credit: Clker clipart Of course, smart-from-the-beginning-of-creation humans have been copying from nature for a mighty long time, but it took modern technological advances to be able to find out how these critters operate. Just when they thought they could leave the lab and go home, they were stopped at the door for more study. The skin of geckos repels water quite handily. More than that, it is antibacterial! What does that mean for us? Glad you asked. There are several potential applications, including medical science, where implants would repel potential infections. Once again, Darwinian concepts strain credulity. The gecko gives silent testimony to creation. Now scien

Surprising Inspirations for Biomimetics

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The word serendipitous sometimes refers to a happy circumstance, or simply being in the right place at the right time. Several instances of biomimetics have occurred when a creature or organism was doing what it does, and someone wanted to know, "How does it do that?", or mayhaps, "We should try to imitate this feature". Credit: Freeimages / Aleph Ozuas (cropped) I have to admit that the article linked below is something I put off. That is because I didn't want to bring up another critter that might prompt some people say, "Ewww!" In this case, the much-maligned earwig is our first example. I'll allow that this insect is rather startling in appearance, and it is a pest for some folks. No, the story about it burrowing into your ear is a prairie patty. The interesting part is the way they fold their wings like they were doing origami , but more intricate. Engineers foresee biomedical applications, spacecraft modules, and other possibilities.

Razor Clams Teach Digging Methods

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Suzie's sister Sarah was selling seashells by the seashore (Suzie lives in Australia), and I saw some odd clams. Well, they were new to me. I asked what kind they were. "Those are razor clam shells", Sarah said shyly. I saw where they get their name, and when they are sticking up out of the sand, stepping on them could be an unpleasant experience. Credit: NOAA / Northwest Fisheries Science Center (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) People dig clams (see what I did there?) because they're good eatin'. Just have to watch for algal blooms that affect shellfish so you don't get poisoning from okadaic acid or domoic acid . Don't be ignoring the warning signs, old son. Anyway, people have to dig clams because clams dig themselves into the wet sand. See how that works? Scientists tried to figure out how they managed to reach certain depths, but were unable to replicate the clam's ability. Further research was in order. The Master Eng

Spider Webs and Biomimetics

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Do you like the feeling of taking a stroll and being surprised by a spider web in your face or on your arms? Me neither. Be glad that the strands are so small, because if they were about the diameter of a garden hose, they would not only stop you and the horse you rode in on, but some commercial jets as well! Credit: Unsplash / RĂºben Marques On television shows and movies, you may have seen someone get shot but the vest stops the bullet. When realism is intact, the recipient is often knocked down and injured. Again in proportion, if spider web strands were larger and could be used in this way, they would be stronger than man-made fibers for bullet-stopping power. via GIPHY Scientists have been puzzled by spider webs, including how they get stronger after being stressed , and that these clever arachnids have different kinds of webbing for different purposes . The study of creatures and such in nature for use in human applications is called biomimetics or biomimicry. Our Cr