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Nature Reading

“Nature manages to craft materials of a complexity and functionality that we can only envy. The inner shell of abalone is twice as tough as our high tech ceramics. Spider silk, ounce for ounce, is five time stronger than steel. Mussel adhesive works underwater and sticks to anything, even without a primer. Rhino horn manages to repair itself, though it contains no living cells.

 

Nature has at least four tricks of the trade when it comes to manufacturing materials:

1) Life-friendly manufacturing processes

2) An ordered hierarchy of structures

3) Self-assembly

4) Templating of crystals with proteins.” (p.97)

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Taken on December 2, 2004