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Spotlight: The Benefits of Biomimicry

Millions of years of evolution have shaped organisms to survive and adapt to Earth in remarkable ways, and engineers have been taking note for centuries. Birds inspired human flight, and supercomputers are often tested against the power of brains, for instance.

Mother Nature continues to make her mark on modern engineering, and some researchers are looking to the smallest creatures, like insects, amoebas, and small sea creatures, to solve big problems. Read about a Harvard group that runs an army of termite-inspired robots, a University of Maryland lab interested in tiny, insect-like drones, and a Cornell researcher trying to understand how living creatures can create incredibly strong crystals.

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