Inspired by Nature

Researchers are applying lessons learned from butterflies, beetles, mussels, and other creatures to problems of human survival.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM October 26, 2004

People do a lot of things that plants and animals can't do. We can talk and read. We can play computer games and go snowboarding—stuff that no worm or fern could ever do.

But nature is no slouch. There are lots of things that people wish they could do, and, in many cases, nature has already come up with a solution.

Some insects walk on water. Geckos can crawl across ceilings. Leaves turn sunlight into stored energy. Burrs stick to your socks like Velcro. Certain birds sail on the wind for ...

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