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 Mimicking the Building Prowess of Nature

This story is from the category Artificial Intelligence
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Date posted: 14/11/2009

Joanna Aizenberg, a materials scientist at Harvard University, has scoured the natural world for clues to biological building codes. She aims to decipher some of Mother Nature?s unique designs, including dirt-resistant sea urchins and sea sponges made of super-strong light-conducting glass, to develop novel materials that, like these organisms, can self-assemble and sense and respond to their environment.

?We try to identify biological systems that have unusual and sophisticated properties, such as optical, structural, or magnetic properties, to make extremely sophisticated, efficient, and highly potent devices and materials,? says Aizenberg, who is also a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. ?Then we take these principles and try to integrate them with what we already know in materials science--incorporating them into existing materials or fabricating a new generation of materials based on biological principles.? The work could result in better fiber optics, paint that changes color in response to temperature or light, and new ways of delivering drugs or clearing arterial plaques.

See the full Story via external site: www.technologyreview.com

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