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Tiny solar cells-"Pentads" are solar batteries that mimic the leaf's reaction center. Molecular in size, they could one day be used to split water into clean-burning hydrogen gas and oxygen



"Biomimicry" is a term used by Janine Benyus to describe innovation inspired by nature. She says: "Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new science that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example....The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth....


With biomimicry we humans are imitating the best and brightest organisms in our habitat. We are learning, for instance, how to harness energy like a leaf, grow food like a prairie, build ceramics like an abalone, self-medicate like a chimp, compute like a cell, and run a business like a hickory forest." - from "Biomimicry Explained: a Conversation with Janine Benyus," retrieved March 21, 2006 from http://www.biomimicry.net/faq.html


Janine Benyus and the Biomimicry Guild are online at: http://www.biomimicry.net. Her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, is the groundbreaking work on this topic.


see also: biomimicry_methodology.pdf


Photozymes-chlorophyll-like molecules that act like lightning rods for sunlight, channeling light energy and then absorbing it. Photozymes are also like enzymes in that they trap molecules in a "sweet spot", using the absorbed sun energy to do chemistry. Example: when scattered in sunny water, photozymes can break down pollutants such as PCBs into harmless compounds.


The CBC broadcast a two-part special on biomimicry and maintains and informative and interactive website on the topic at: http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features.html# (scroll down to Biomimicry)


Visit the Bioneers Website at http://www.bioneers.org to further explore this topic via articles, videos and audiotapes.


Wes Jackson of The Land Institute, Kansas, is a leader in applying biomimicry to agriculture. http://www.landinstitute.org/vnews/display.v/ART/2001/04/17/3aa80bec9


The University of Manitoba maintains an extensive website describing Natural Systems Agriculture: http://www.umanitoba.ca/outreach/naturalagriculture/index.html

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