Bio inspired solutions
This is research on the on bio inspired solutions/bio technology. In the research I will find how bio technology influences and benefits the world. Discussing whether it has a large impact on people’s life and trying to find an answer to the question. Is bio technology the way to move forward for the future?
Through millions of years of adaptation and evolution, there have been many spectacular ways in which organisms have adapted to overcome problems. These have given scientists frequent solutions to everyday challenges that occur for humans. These solutions can fit into a wide number of different areas such as medical, military or leisure. Whichever category it is they all have solutions to things created by other organisms. Bio inspired solutions creates bio technology. Bio technology is a form of technology based on biology where it harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes. Although bio technology is seen as new we have actually been using is for thousands of years in the form of microorganism processes to create food like bread and cheese. However it is now being used a lot more and in a much wider variety (3).
A lot of bio inspired technology usually comes from smaller organisms for example a medical adhesive was formed which can bond strongly to a number of different tissues within the body even when wet. Meaning it is extremely useful for injury repair inside the body. This medical adhesive was inspired from the strong, sticky defence mucus of the Dusky Arion slug (1). There are also much more famous inventions such as velcro which was inspired from how plant burrs stick to dog hair. This was done as it was noticed that plant burrs contain loads of tiny little hooks to attach onto hair or clothes. Another example is from Namib desert dung beetle which has a clever way of collecting water in a harsh environment. It does this through condensing for into droplets on the ridges of its back. Researches have been able to mimic this and have a product which is useful for collecting water and can even be used to help clean toxic waste spills (2).
Although most bio technology is inspired by insects or microorganisms you do get some from larger organisms. For example the navy takes a lot of inspiration from sleek shark skin the scales create tiny vortices in the water which reduce drag (2). Not only this, but shark skin is barnacle replant which would save most countries millions on their navy. In bio inspired technology there is a wide range of the level of involvement of other organisms. Some bio technologies take substances from an organism to create a useful product while others just take inspiration from an organism’s adaptation and try to replicate it to a certain degree. You also get a wide range of organisms that contribute to bio technology however as u get smaller and smaller in the size of organisms you usually get different uses for bio technology. With larger organism you get useful material or behavioural things where as with smaller organisms they seem to have much more use when it comes to chemical processes. This is why a lot of bio technology with microorganisms is to do involved with medical issues and advancements and to do with food production and variation of the food.
The ideas for different bio technologies are usually produced in universities. The earlier example on with the dusky arion slug and the adhesive inspired by its slime was crated at the university UL. Other prestigious universities such as oxford have created bio technologies this showing that universities play a major role in the formation of bio technology. Bio technology is used all across the world due to the wide range of categories it fills. Most economically developed countries create bio technology due to larger resources and higher number of universities allowing for discussion of ideas. You can see this take place due to the top 5 countries with the most bio tech firms being USA, Spain, Korea, Germany and the UK. With the worldwide wide raking being USA, Singapore, Canada, Sweden and Denmark. However a lot of the countries in Europe and places like USA and Japan have felt a squezze in growth with countries like China expected to join the top nations to much higher growth in the department (4).
So with all of this going on is there a future for bio technology? Yes this is due to the sheer size of the industry and how much the planet relies on it for fuel, food and health. With the rapid expanse of the earth and the high amounts of fuel being consumed bio technology is definitely needed. This being that inventive new ideas are going to be needed to feed the growing population and alternatives such as biofuel are needed due as fossil fuels begin to run out and the burning of these fuels create global warming. Biotechnology is seen as a far more sustainable method of many of the big factors in life. For example waste is a major issue in today’s society and is seemingly only going to get waste. With biotechnology you can create products with far more biodegradable properties. Biotechnology is also extremely useful in the future of food production. There have been breakthroughs where certain crops have been made so that they are naturally resistant to pests or disease. This means that farmers would not have to use harmful things such as pesticides and have reduced risk of plants dying due to disease. Not only this, but biotechnology can help increase nutritional content inside food allowing for health benefits for people who otherwise may have lacked the nutrients (5).
However even though it has many positives it also has its drawbacks. One of the biggest being the reduction in genetic diversity that is created in crops. This reduction in genetic diversity means that whole fields of crops can be wiped out by one disease due to them being so genetically similar. One big problem is simply just the unknown. Many long term impacts of different bio technology are still yet to be explored this being that most biotechnology is relatively new. This leaves people with a lot of questions that will not be answered for a long period of time. Research has also found it may be having a negative impact on our soil. This is due to soils being overloaded by a crop reducing its viability in turn reducing amount of useable land (5).
Overall we see how biotechnology/bio inspired solutions play a huge role for the planet and that it is really an important area for the future of the earth. Within my research I have found the innovative ideas people are coming up with to solve problems while taking inspiration from nature. With there being a very wide variety of industries that use bio inspire ideas. We have also found out how biotechnology plays a pivotal role in food production, fuel production and medical advancements. With that role becoming bigger than ever into the near future. I then found out how impacts of bio technology with there being a large amount of positives but some obvious drawbacks. It is clear however that biotechnology will be used even more than it is now as people try to come up with ways of sustaining the planet. Also with an ever increasing number of problems and the increase in the research bio inspired solutions is also going to be an increasing thing in the near future.