Case Examples

Case Example: Mimicking prairie sustainable food system strategies

The Land Institute has been working successfully to revolutionize the conceptual foundations of modern agriculture by using natural prairies as a model

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Case Example: Sustainable building secrets of termites

An office complex in Harare, Zimbabwe, has an air conditioning system modeled on the self-cooling mounds of Macrotermes michaelseni, termites that maintain the temperature inside their nest to within one degree, day and night.

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Case Example: Learning how to sequester carbon from human lungs

Studying the way human lungs work is inspiring new technologies that remove carbon dioxide from sources like flue stacks, preventing this greenhouse gas from reaching our atmosphere and warming the planet.

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Case Example: Learning from whales to create efficient wind power

Wind tunnel tests of model humpback fins with and without tubercles have demonstrated the aerodynamic improvements tubercles make, such as an 8% improvement in lift and 32% reduction in drag.

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Case Example: Learning from nature to create flow without friction

Nature moves water and air using a logarithmic or exponentially growing spiral, as commonly seen in seashells.

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Case Example: How trees and bones optimize strength

Engineers have incorporated these and other lessons learned from how trees and bones optimize their strength and minimize their use of materials into software design programs, such as Claus Matteck's “Soft Kill Option” software, which are revolutionizing industrial design.

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Case example: Learning healing practices from chimpanzees

By observing how chimps and other species cope with illness, researchers have acquired leads on plants with promising medical applications to human health.

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Case Example: How lotus plants clean without cleaners

Microscopically rough surface additives modeled after lotus leave surfaces have been introduced into a new generation of paint, glass, and fabric finishes, greatly reducing the need for chemical or laborious cleaning.

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Case Example: Learning efficiency from kingfishers

Modeling the front-end of the train after the beak of kingfishers resulted not only in a quieter train, but 15% less electricity use even while the train travels 10% faster.

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