Is Komodo dragon blood the key to new antibiotics? - BBC News
Scientists find a compound based on a molecule in dragon blood helps heal infected wounds in mice.

We’ve known for a while that Komodo dragons harbor a ton of symbiotic bacteria in their saliva - that’s what makes their bites so toxic. It seems that they’re not harmed by those same strains because of a compound in their blood (lovingly named DRGN-1 by researchers). It turns out DRGN-1 is super effective at combating some of the most difficult types of bacterial infections to treat with antibiotics - even proving effective against MRSA. 

Deadly spider's unique spinning technique could inspire tougher materials

Brown recluse spiders use a unique micro looping technique to make their threads stronger than that of any other spider, a newly published UK-US collaboration has discovered.

One of the most feared and venomous arachnids in the world, the American brown recluse spider has long been known for its signature necro-toxic venom, as well as its unusual silk. Now, new research offers an explanation for how the spider is able to make its silk uncommonly strong.

Researchers suggest that if applied to synthetic materials, the technique could inspire scientific developments and improve impact absorbing structures used in space travel.

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Choi+Shine Architects, “The Urchins,”

2017 iLight Marina Bay Festival, Singapore.

The Urchins were created in response to the festivals theme of biomimicry and sustainability.

The Urchins are composed of 20 white hand crocheted segmented panels, which are joined to a series of metal ribs at ground level at the site, and later fastened to a top and bottom ring once suspended. Each Urchin is about 56 feet (17m), and weighs about 220 pounds (100 kg).

Formative forces are, for example, the surface tension, the force of gravity, pressure differences, adhesion, or magnetic, or electrostatic forces. Nothing but basic physical laws. The similarity with natural structures was recognized only after the first experiments with soap films, bubbles, and nets. Together with biologists, Frei Otto has built a very deep understanding of design principles in nature. Not with the idea to use this for building, like bionics. He himself thought his best insight at all was that bubbles and nets are the source of all life, of all living form. Frei Otto has always felt responsible for his ideas, even if he had no influence. He argued for inconvenient things, asked questions, and formulated ideas — critical, demanding, or thoughtful.
—  Christine Otto-Kanstinger, accepting the prize on behalf of Frei Otto, 2015 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize
Chem Miss

Author: @kpopfanfictrash as part of Bangtan University - a series of ongoing one shots with @eradikeats-writes

Creative Content Contributors: @daegusoftboys (her moodboards for the series are perfection)

Pairing: Reader / Jimin

Rating: 18+ (explicit sex, dirty talk)

Word Count: 12,807

Summary: “You’re my TA. I’m in your class. I’m sure you don’t want to spend your Saturday night talking to me about biochem.”

Jimin appears amused by this. “Who’s to say that I don’t? Also,” he leans in, a slight smile on his lips. “Who says we have to talk about Chemistry?”

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A slideshow of our project background

The oceans are the main source of life on our planet, yet we have no greater understanding of what lives there, and what effects man made changes of its eco-system may have.

Ocean mining is an emerging field with in the sub sea industry. What consequences will this open pit mining have in that particular area? What Butterfly effect will it potentially have on the rest of the eco-system, and eventually us? 

9 Basic Principles of Biomimicry

  1. Nature runs on sunlight.
  2. Nature uses only the energy it needs.
  3. Nature fits form to function.
  4. Nature recycles everything.
  5. Nature rewards cooperation.
  6. Nature banks on diversity.
  7. Nature demands local expertise.
  8. Nature curbs excesses from within.
  9. Nature taps the power of limits. 

TARDIGRADE (waterbear, 1.5mm): a microscopic animal found in mosses of Himalaya and now worldwide. They are indestructible to freeze, fire, micro gravity, cosmic radiation and high concentration. Like a cacti in the desert, they are able to survive months without water. According to recent discovery, before a tardigrade dries out, it ‘encapsulates itself in a glass-like material’. It may appear decayed or dead; but, in fact it enters hibernation and is able to resurrect, even respawn in masses. This adaptive behavior raises the possibility for architecture and housing in outerspace. Tardigrades feed on contamination and absorb air pollutants which could potentially improve our quality of glass and oxygen. Tardigrades are the only animals to live, breath, and habit in space. Perhaps this biomimicry is a vector for environmental growth and sustainable life beyond Earth.

(Concept Art: Miranda Sivilay) 


Biomimicry Chair - Lilian van Daal

This conceptual chair - designed by design graduate Lilian van Daal - is influenced by plant cells; constructed from a single 3D-printed material. It is seen as an alternative to traditional furniture wherein many materials are used and glued together. The structure is designed to function in the place of sturdy support materials where needed, while thinning elsewhere to function much in the way foam might in cushioned pads. The result is a seat that is comfortable, less wasteful to produce and far easier to recycle. 

See more at: Dezeen

Geckos: Sticky Business

How geckos stick to surfaces has been a point of serious interest for some time to many scientists. Yet the solution continues to evade them and to prove more complex than first though. Their interest persists though because nature has been been working on these problems for the better part of 4.5 billion years and we could learn a lot from her! Mimicking nature is, unsurprisingly, called biomimickry and is a very useful tool in science. If we could figure out how to stick over and over again with the ease of the gecko it would be quite the achievement.

Scientists haven’t been idle twiddling their thumbs over the decades; it was first posited in 1934 that electrostatic forces may be the force behind the adhesive property of gecko. A researcher W.D. Dellit subjected the air surrounding the toes of the gecko to x-rays in order to neutralise any charges. He believed that this should have caused the gecko to fall if it were attached via electrostatic forces, however this did not occur. This lead him to conclude that the gecko must be employing another trick of nature.

Having crossed off electrostatic forces, curious minds across the world moved on and just over a decade ago a paper was published asserting that the adhesive property of geckos are due to van der Waals forces. These forces exist between touching surfaces such as a smooth windowpane and a gecko’s toes. But now, a new paper suggests that scientists were too hasty in ruling out electrostatic forces. Their first port of call is the adhesive force between the gecko and various surfaces. In their research they found that geckos can exert twice the adhesive force on Teflon AF than to polydimethylsioxane; these two materials are very similar in structure which made this result surprising. This lead the researchers to conclude that van der Waals are not the only forces at play.

Their second reason comes from a deeper understanding of how x-rays interact with their surroundings. The 1934 researcher, Dellit, was correct in saying that the x-rays should neutralise any electrical charges on the surface but did not know that the gaps between the grip pads on the gecko’s toes were too small to allow the ionized air particles between them. Thus the electrical charges would not have been neturalised.

It is also noted by other scientists that geckos have no trouble sticking to surfaces upon which electric charges do not accumulate, eg. bare steel and underwater. Thus it is noted that constant electrification does not seem to be necessary for adhesion. As the mystery deepens, the scientists realise that they have their work cut out for them in figuring out this complex problem.