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6 Ways Nature is Inspiring Human Engineering

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Biomimetics, or the imitation of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems, has been around for centuries. Examples are everywhere, from aircraft wings and the treads on tires to climbing robots and solar panels, and in recent years biomimicry has led to new breakthroughs in such areas as fabrication, nanotechnology and biomedicine.

There are so many examples of great nature-inspired engineering. Here are some of the most recent and most interesting.

Bulletproof vests made of spider silk. When we look at a delicate spider web we might not instantly think of strength and durability, but in fact, spider silk is one of the toughest natural fibers known to man, stronger by weight than steel, yet highly flexible. Its potential is endless, with possible applications in the medical industry, apparel, and even defense.

Michigan based Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is studying how to turn spider silk into bulletproof vests for…

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