Six Ways Bio-Inspired Design is Reshaping the Future

Monday, March 28, 2011 - 10:30 in Physics & Chemistry

Nature's Power Plant via WikimediaFrom harvesting energy to building networks, nature has been solving problems for billions of years longer than humans have How exactly does one turn sunlight and water into usable energy? If it were possible to ask any living organism on Earth this question, you could do far better than asking a biologist or a chemist, or any other human being for that matter, and take the question directly to a leaf. That's the goal of biomimicry: to take human problems and ask nature "how would you solve this?" And increasingly, such questions are changing everything, from energy to information technology to the way we build cities. Look no further than Dr. Daniel Nocera's lab at MIT. Yesterday, Nocera's team announced that it has created the first practical "artificial leaf", a synthetic silicon device that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen for fuel cells using sunlight just as...

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