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Oded Shoseyov's Science Talk Looks at What We Can Learn from Nature

By: Joey Haar - Dec 15, 2016
References: ted & youtube
Oded Shoseyov begins his science talk with an example. The giant sequoia trees that grow in California's forests are some of the strongest and oldest living things in the world, surviving massive fluctuations in heat and cold for hundreds of year. Yet, these trees are made out of a form of sugar. The key is that this sugar, called nanocellulose, is 10 times stronger by weight than steel.

From an engineering and technology perspective, that fact is absolutely astounding, if not downright embarrassing (as a marker of how poor humanity's best materials are in comparison.) Shoseyov posits that humans shouldn't be too downtrodden, though -- nature has had billions of years to test its materials, while humans have only had the tiniest fraction of that.

The science talk goes on to explain how human engineering and technology can stand to benefit from researching biological processes and simply attempting to copy them as closely as possible.