Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus

By Janine M. Benyus

This profound and obtainable e-book information how technology is learning nature's top rules to unravel our hardest 21st-century problems.

If chaos concept remodeled our view of the universe, biomimicry is reworking our lifestyles in the world. Biomimicry is innovation encouraged through nature – making the most of evolution's 3.8 billion years of R&D because the first micro organism. Biomimics learn nature's most sensible rules: photosynthesis, mind energy, and shells – and adapt them for human use. they're revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness strength, fix the surroundings, and feed the realm.

Science author and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out within the box with state of the art researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unharness their computing strength; examine how electrons zipping round a leaf telephone convert sun into gasoline in trillionths of a moment; notice miracle medicines through staring at what chimps consume while they're in poor health; learn the hardy prairie as a version for low-maintenance agriculture; and extra.

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The discovery of supertasters underscored a problem that she has focused on for the last decade: how to measure something subjective such as taste in a way that you can make meaningful comparisons between two people. ” You know what you mean when you say that, but it means something very different if you happen to be a supertaster. Taste belongs to a class of experiences known as hedonic experiences. In general, these are qualities that you can sense or feel but can’t really measure in a physical way.

So Rozin tested the residents of the Mexican village, who eat a lot of chilies, and compared their thresholds with students at the University of Pennsylvania, who ate far fewer chilies. There was only a tiny difference. The second line of evidence is that Penn students who like chili peppers should have a higher threshold than students who don’t. Again, the difference was marginal. Third, people who really like chilies should have a higher threshold for detecting the burning sensation, but Rozin showed that there was no relationship between taste preference and threshold.

The chemical that packs the chili’s punch is called capsaicin. “It’s been known for many years that you can desensitize nerve fibers to capsaicin,” says David Julius. In 1997, Julius identified the receptor that responds to capsaicin. Julius says that with repeated exposure, capsaicin can actually cause damage to the nerve fibers. The damage is reversible, though: the nerve fiber can recover with time. For a certain period of time, however, the nerve is less able to signal to the brain. indd 32 08/03/11 8:55 AM A CASE OF MISTAKEN INTENSITY 33 Rozin doesn’t think that desensitization explains people’s chili-eating behavior, either.

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