Trees and bones are constantly reforming themselves along lines of stress. This algorithm has been put into a software program that's now being used to make bridges lightweight, to make building beams lightweight.
Everyone is trying to jump on the biomimic bandwagon. But a cork floor is not biomimicry. Neither is using bacteria to clean water.
Organisms sip energy, because they have to work or barter for every single bit that they get.
Biologically inspired materials could revolutionize materials science. People looking at spider silk and abalone shells are looking for new ways to make materials better, cheaper, and with less toxic byproducts.
For businesses, biomimicry is about bringing a new discipline - biology - to the design table. It's not to write an environmental impact statement, as most biologists in business do right now.
Organisms don't think of CO2 as a poison. Plants and organisms that make shells, coral, think of it as a building block.
Conserving habitats is a wellspring for the next industrial revolution.
Biological knowledge is doubling every five years.
Glue actually contaminates recyclables. We throw things in a landfill just because they're glued together.
There are three types of biomimicry - one is copying form and shape, another is copying a process, like photosynthesis in a leaf, and the third is mimicking at an ecosystem's level, like building a nature-inspired city.
We're basically this very young species, only 200,000 years old. We're one of the newcomers, and we're going through the same process that other species go through, which is, how do I keep myself alive while taking care of the place that's going to keep my offspring alive?
There are literally as many ideas as there are organisms.
The truth is, natural organisms have managed to do everything we want to do without guzzling fossil fuels, polluting the planet or mortgaging the future.
Green chemistry is replacing our industrial chemistry with nature's recipe book. It's not easy, because life uses only a subset of the elements in the periodic table. And we use all of them, even the toxic ones.
Water is at the center of every chemical reaction, and therefore should be the earth's most precious gift.