This profound and accessible book details how science is studying nature’s best ideas to solve our toughest 21st-century problems.
If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
Ch. 1. Echoing Nature: Why Biomimicry Now? -- Ch. 2. How Will We Feed Ourselves? Farming to Fit the Land: Growing Food Like a Prairie -- Ch. 3. How Will We Harness Energy? Light into Life: Gathering Energy Like a Leaf -- Ch. 4. How Will We Make Things? Fitting Form to Function: Weaving Fibers Like a Spider -- Ch. 5. How Will We Heal Ourselves? Experts in Our Midst: Finding Cures Like a Chimp -- Ch. 6. How Will We Store What We Learn? Dances with Molecules: Computing Like a Cell -- Ch. 7. How Will We Conduct Business? Closing the Loops in Commerce: Running a Business Like a Redwood Forest -- Ch. 8. Where Will We Go from Here? May Wonders Never Cease: Toward a Biomimetic Future.