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Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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Surprising Science

The next amazing trick we can learn from geckos

Run across water? Sure. No problem.

(Pauline Jennings, PolyPEDAL Lab, UC Berkeley)
  • Scientists analyze how geckos do something they shouldn't be able to do... walk (well, run like heck) across water.
  • They can race over water nearly as fast as on land.
  • Their method may look crazy... but it works. And humans could potentially do the same.
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Surprising Science

5 ingenious inventions to help animals survive man-made eco harm

Jonathon Keats proposes a "Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative" to help return the favor after taking so many great ideas from them.

Oh, you blend. (JONATHON KEATS)

Scientists have been stealing ideas from animals for years. The Shinkansen Bullet Train in Japan for example, was super-fast — 200 mph. But it was also super-noisy until chief engineer and bird-watcher Eiji Nakatsu got the idea that the beak that allows kingfishers to splash-lessly dive into water could also help a train slice more easily through air. One industrial “nose job" later, the bullet train is far quieter and goes 10% faster on 15% less fuel.

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Technology & Innovation
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