Biomimicry Leads to New Inventions

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Five Scientific Findings That Could Lead to New Inventions

by Rachael Lallensack Smithsonian.com

British architect Michael Pawlyn thinks of nature as a “catalog of products,” all of which, he explains in a TED Talk, “have benefited from a 3.8-billion-year research and development period.”

“Given that level of investment,” he goes on to say, “it makes sense to use it.”

While new technology can sometimes feel strange, almost other-worldly at first, the future of innovation actually involves researchers better understanding the natural world around us. And inventors are catching on, with more and more embracing biomimicry, or the process of designing products to function as animals and plants do after evolution’s fine-tuning. From mantis shrimp to bee spit, engineers are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to inspiration.

Here are five recent discoveries in the natural world that might someday lead to new inventions.

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