Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

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Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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[This outline written in 2002

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Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

Janine M. Benyus William Morrow 1997 New York

A.

Only book recommended by Amory Lovins at March 8 presentation

B.

Fellow at RMI

C.

She’s a Forester

D.

Books:

1.

Nature writer: Field guide to wild
life habitats

2.

Watcher’s guide to How animals act and why

E.

A fine stylist in places

though heavy on corny slogans, subtitles, and
headings

F.

Always clear, even when presenting dense and difficult material, of which, for
me at least there’s quite a bit

II.

The tit
le of the book, Biomimicry, is a word she made up

and it’s a brilliant
invention.

A.

Rolls off the tongue, obvious what it signifiies, allows itself to be transformed
to both the noun and verb “biomimics,” and the adjective,“biomimetic.”

III.

In introduction
, she provides its definition

A.

First its Etymology: “from greek, bios

life; mimesis

imitation

B.

Then three essential principles: Biomimicry uses…

1.

Nature as model

a)

Studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration
from these designs and processes
to solve human problems, e.g. a
solar cell inspired by a leaf

2.

Nature as measure

a)

Uses ecological standard to judge “rightness” of innovation.
After 3.9 billion years of evolution, nature has learned: What
works. What is appropriate. What lasts”

3.

Nature as

mentor

a)

New way of viewing and valuing nature, based not on what we
can extract, but what we can learn from it.

C.

This epigrammatic definition of her concept keeps returning throughout the
book, and the more you learn of her different examples the richer t
he definitions
become. One of the side effects of studying this book is that you keep seeing new
ways to understand what these three principles mean. You also are prompted to
keep thinking more about what their constituent terms mean

what is life; what
a
re its properties? Its principles, its intentions. What is nature, and as Emerson
famously asked, What is nature for? And what is imitation

copying, echoing,
replicating, modeling, learning

D.

The introductory page struck me as being like a seed that con
tains the
book’s many messages in germinal form. And this analogy itself mimics one of
Benyus’ characteristic literary devices

linking abstract ideas to natural process
through metaphor

E.

The subtitle of the book is “Innovation inspired by nature.” I
n it I hear an
echo of Lovins’ seminal book, Natural Capitalism. Both are part of the
sustainability movement that’s been growing by leaps and bounds in the effort to
combine environmentalism with economics and technology. “What works.
What is appropria
te. What lasts.” Both books are important surveys of that
movement as well as theoretical explorations of its principles and implications.

IV.

Chapter structure:

A.

Read chapter headings in table of contents

each chapter could be a book;
huge scope

B.

each sur
veys of a different branch of scientific research and technological
innovation that follows these principles

C.

the branch of science is categorized by its adaptive or “natural”function

a
function we share with all living beings.

V.

Chapter 1

Echoing Nature:

why biomimicry now?

A.

Epigraph: Vaclav havel: “We must draw our standards form the natural
world…admitting that there is something in the order of being which evidently
exceeds all our competence.”

B.

Her primitivism

1.

Begins with Moi, Amazon Indian leader in W
ashington
--
primitivism

2.

“Living things have done everything we want to do, without guzzling
fossil fuel, polluting the planet, or mortgaging their future”

a)

is this true? Deserts? Overgrazing? Species collapse and
natural die out

3.

Countermovements: Agricultur
al Revolution, Scientific
Revolution[Bacon] Industrial Rev. Petrochemical and Genetic engineering
revolutions

4.

Nostos erda

returning home to earth; sentimental and spiritual quest
-
-
Odyssey

a)

Learn not about nature but from nature

C.

Anti primitivism: Scientific

advances show the cleverness and complexity of
natural organisms and systems

1.

Her fascination with science and scientists

makes them heroic;
biographical descriptions of individuals and their discovery process

2.

She doesn’t shy away from the most complex a
nd advanced areas of
research:

a)

Quantum mechanics

b)

Biophysics and molecular biology

c)

Genetic engineering

d)

Computer science

D.

Nature’s laws and strategies

1.

Runs on sunlight

2.

Uses only energy it needs

3.

Fits form to function

4.

Recycles everything

5.

Rewards cooperation

6.

Ban
ks on diversity

7.

Demands local expertise

8.

Curbs excesses from within

9.

Taps the power of limits

E.

Critique/observation

1.

This is nature on earth

the product of evolution; doesn’t necessarily
apply to larger cosmic and astronomical nature

2.

Based on evolution

natur
al selection; adaptation; life

F.

Her Misgiving

1.

Will we steal nature’s thunder and use it in the ongoing campaign
against life?

a)

Last famous biomimetic invention was airplane

using it to
drop bombs in 1914

2.

Will our ideology change to recognize that we share ea
rth with other
species rather than use them

VI.

Chapter 2: How will we feed ourselves

Farming to fit the land; growing food like a
prairie

A.

Agriculture in an area would take its cue from the vegetation that grew there
before settlement. 13 Nature
-
based Agricu
lture=Biodiversity; Rutherford, Allan
Savory

B.

Agriculture as wound

1.

Deepest wounds on the planet

the gash made by till agriculture
[Ovid]

2.

Box canyon of industrial farming

3.

Loss of soil

selection of annuals over perennials

4.

Plowing simplifies soil structure; ba
ring the soil is bad

5.

Gradual depletion; slow sterilization

6.

Fetish for production

cf. Cows

7.

Sodbusters; destruction of prairie led to dustbowl

8.

Soil conservation service reversed trend, but then reversed again;
windbreaks and other methods abandoned during an
d after wwII

9.

Homogenization and monoculture

10.

Subsistence to industrial farming; indebtedness to petrochemical
companies

11.

More you spray the more you have to spray

12.

Seed companies now belong to chemical compnies

13.

Pesticides make ag the number 1 polluting indust
ry in the country

14.

Success of inputs mask the problem of growing infertility
[controversial perception]

C.

Biometic approach

1.

Land Institute, Kansas
--
Wes Jackson

a)

The prairie

(1)

“From where I am now I can see both wheatfield and
prairie, and it’s like a visual par
able…one is the expression
of imposed will, the other the expression of the land’s
will.”

(2)

Wauhob

a prairie never sodbusted

(3)

Choked with blossoms..no hint of hail damage or
drouught wilt, no such thing as weeds. Every plant
--
231
species in this patch alone

has a role…diversity of form
23

(4)

Nitrogen fixers, deep
-
rroted ones that dig for water,
shallow rooted ones that makes most of gentle rain, ones
that grow quickly in the spring to shade out weds, the ones
that resist pests or harbor heroes such as beneficia
l insects

(5)

70 percent of weight are roots and rootlets…fibrous
plumbing…miniature zoo: ants springtails, centipedes,
sowbugs, worms bacteria and molds, thousands of species
in a single teaspoon…tilth that transforms prairie into
living sponge

(6)

diversity keep
s change from being catastrophic

(7)

Prairie species are perennials

no runoff because soil
isnt exposed at any time of year

big sponge

(8)

self fertilizing and self weeding

(a)

30%decay going back into soil

(b)

the rest bloom before weeds can

(9)

diversity

adjust to different

climatic conditions

(10)

pest control

attacks don’t become epidemics

(11)

four plant types (or suits) in every prairie; warm
season grasses, cool season grasses, legumes and
composites

b)

objective is to design domestic plant community that behaves
like a prairie, but

that is predictable enough in terms of seed yield
to be feasible for agriculture

c)

cultivating perennials

(1)

trying to develop eight crop species that fit these
requirements

(2)

there are very few natural species that are perennial,
herbacious and seedyielding

(3)

can

perennial produce as much seed as annual crop?

going against conventional wisdom

(4)

try to increase seed yield without stripping plant of wild
hardiness 27

(5)

looking for crops dependable but not dependent on us

(6)

search for native perennials that would survive
in
Kansas and had agronomic characteristics: reuced sheed
shattering, uniform time of maturity, ease of threshing and
large seed size.

(7)

Careful breeding process of selection of individuals

(8)

Progress is encouraging

d)

Holy Grail is growing these desired strains
in polycultures

community assembly

(1)

In addition to other characteristics you have to breed for
compatibililty

e.g. coevolution

(2)

This is developed by natural selection over long periods
of random experiment

outcome is order for free NB

the
concept of natural

selection as not random, but using
random to create order

(3)

Prairie or any stable community needs a succesional
history, the past of the species dropped out make it possible
for the for the final assembly to be there.

(4)

Expect to take five years to produce t
his combination

(5)

Recipe might include fire, mowing or grazing at
different stages

(6)

Best hedge is variety

e)

Prelimininary findings

(1)

Polyculture can overyield monoculture

(a)

Not competing for the same nich

(2)

polyculture can defend itself against insects, pests,
andwe
eds?

(3)

polyculture can sponsor its own nitrogen fertility

(4)

Genius loci should dictate best agricultural system

f)

We are 25
-
50 years from being able to use these crops now
under development

2.

Other alternate agricultures

a)

Do Nothing farming, or natural farming

(1)

Mim
ics natural succession and soil covering

(2)

Completely contradicts modern agricultural techniques

(3)

Sowing rye and barley and rice in same fields in
overlapping succession

(4)

The harvested crop waste mulches the coming crop

(5)

Requires little labor and water and land

(6)

Used on 1 million acres in China

no inputs

b)

Permaculture

Bill Mollison

(1)

Companion plants

(2)

Planning location of crops in relation to gardener

(3)

Edge
-
transition zones

(4)

Use of animals

chickens in the greenhouse

c)

New Alchemy

(1)

Ecoculture in place of agriculture

(2)

Work o
f machines and humans replaced by biological
organisms or systems

(3)

Principle of succession [fragmentary report and
explanation]

d)

Three story farming in Costa Rica

(1)

Use of domestic jungle in costa rica, replacing
volunteer jungle species with domestic species
in success
they appeared

e)

New England Hardwood Forest

(1)

Farming method proposed in 1943 and 1953 books,
now republished with introduction by Wendell Berry

f)

The Desert

(1)

Native people’s mimicing ecology:

(a)

Planting right before or after rains on flood
watered allu
vial fans

(b)

Leaving mesquite in place to restore nitrogen

g)

Rodale Regenerative Ag

h)

Grass Farming Dairy


this idea is growing in popularity

(1)

take cows to fields instead of bringing them hay;
manure the fields; dry off cattle during winter

as used to
be done in
SLO county

take a vacation

(2)

farmers consider themselves solar harvesters, turning
sunlight into grass and then meat and milk

(3)

grassfarmers look to cowpies: with healthy microfauna
and flora should break down in three weeks in midsummer

(4)

read nature instead of

rely on word of pesticide
salesman

i)

How to implement change in Ag

(1)

100 million acres now planted in perennial grass in
response to federal program to retire ag land through
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

(2)

this is in useless exotic grasses; no good for wi
ldlife

(3)

use this land for perennial polyculture

allow for
harvest and grazing

(4)

looking forward to “sunshine future” [this depends on
success of theprairie project]

j)

Ag research: how to grow crops in presence of stronger
herbicides

k)

Principles

(1)

Ecology is accou
nting;

(a)

systems must sustain farmers and their
communities

(b)

they must pay their own energy bills and not
draw down the resources of the locl landsape or the
planet

(2)

solution: depend on farmers and small farms

(a)

raising prices of food commodities

(b)

eliminate tax
breaks that substitute capital for
labor and subsidize irrational farm expansion and
overproduction

(c)

break coupling between farming and
petrochemical industry.

(d)

Make yield expectation more realistic [optimize
rather than maximize]

(3)

Sunshine Farm

organic ag an
d sustainable energy use

(a)

One big accounting project**

(b)

Everything measured

(c)

Track labor in kilocalories

(d)

Tracking of true costs

(4)

Becoming native to the place

(a)

Bringing people back to the country

(b)

Matfield Green

Utopian farm community in
Kansas

(5)

Wes Jackson

the La
nd

l)

Crossing into the Eddy

(1)

Right
-
living projects

attemptsto create counterpoints
to the extractive economy

(2)

Discussion of CSA

523 farms are doing it

(3)

Food is more than a commodity

VII.

Chapter 3: How will we harness energy: Light into life: gathering energy like

a
leaf

A.

Whats wrong with burning carbon fuels

1.

Danger of releasing so much CO2 by burning it all now

a)

Flux in the biosphere

2.

Discovery of fire is not so great compared to photosynthesis

primary
egg in our energy producing basket

3.

Uphill vs. downhill reactions

those requiring energy inputs vs. those
not

e.g. biochemical reactions fueled by catalysts and sunlight

B.

Photosynthesis

1.

Nature took 3 billion years to evolve it

2.

Photovoltaics are no good compared to leaves

3.

All plants and fossil fuels store solar energy

4.

Phot
osynthesis produces 300 billion tons of sugar a year

5.

How it works: based on electron transfer

a)

Physical chemistry: photons activate electrons in chlorophyll
pigment reaction center and they move outside of the thylakoid
membrane separatingthem from the re
st of the atom [or molecule],
leaving positively charged ions on the inside

b)

the separation is what holds the solar energy

(1)

Donor
-
pigment
-
acceptor device

(2)

The tension created=membrane potential=chemical and
elctricla potential=life

(3)

A molecular mechanism worki
ng on atoms

(a)

The charge separation takes place in a few
hundred pico seconds

10 to minus ten seconds

(b)

The reaction center is 30 by 80 angstroms

3 by
10 billionths of a meter

(c)

Charge separation is what is done in batteries

these are molecular batteries

6.

Researc
h methods

a)

Study reaction center in purple bacteria; trying to duplicate in
simplified form

(1)

Building a new molecule that would slow down the
separation reaction

a triad

through organic synthesis

(2)

Purple bacterium is ambidextrous

it both
photosynthesizes and

oxidizes

(3)

Difficulty of getting picture of molecular structure

x
-
ray crystallography

(a)

Mutagenesis used to discover functions of
different proteins in reaction center, by genetically
engineering specific defects in the proteins and
observing results

(b)

Methods

of tracking what molecules are doing
with laser pulse of light and pico photos

(c)

Making movies of different impaired reactions
and comparing them to “wild” reactions; when one
of the impaired reactions shuts down the process,
they know its essential and try

to model it 74

b)

Creating charge separation

(1)

Difficulty of separation: the electron wants to go back;
how do you keep it moving forward away from its original
location

(2)

Moving further to create pentad

longer and more
distant charge separation; Team in Tempe a
rizona;
describes lab

c)

Next stage is to put the reaction center molecule into a
membrane

(1)

Membrane potential is what biochemistry uses for
“pumping ions, making ATP

the gasoline of life,
importing sugars”

(2)

Scientists already know how to make an artificial ce
ll

lipids in water, shake, they self assemble into watery
spheres

liposomes

d)

Photozymes

(1)

Another issue in photosynthesis: how do
photosynthesizers trap the two photons at once coming
from sun required for the reaction

(2)

Arrays of antennae resonating with one
another

two
hundred pigment molecules in each

funnel photons to
reaction centers and focus the inflow to allow for two to
come in simultaneously; drain photons to a basin in the
energy landscape

7.

Application and purpose

a)

Scientists looking for solar cell of
molecular proportions that
will turn light energy to electricity, storable fuel or…

b)

Producing hydrogen gas from sunlight and water

(1)

Hydrogen is worlds cleanest storable fuel

(2)

Fuel cell technology

not yet feasible

(3)

It involves cracking water and extracting hy
drogen gas;

(4)

Nature does it with enzyme, hydrogenase;
photosynthetic charge separators could be used for this

c)

Photosynthesis
-
mimicked technology applied to computers

(1)

Light activated charge separating devices can be used
as switches faster than electron a
ctivated switches because
they respond to light at specific frequencies

VIII.

Chapter 4: How will we make things

fitting form to function: Weaving Fibers
like a Spider

A.

Materials science revolution

B.

Conventional approach
--
New alchemy

heat, beat and treat 97

uneart
hly
synthetics vs. in water, room temperature, without harsh chemicals or high
pressures

C.

Natural materials
-
manufacture principles

1.

Life friendly

2.

Ordered hierarchy of structures

3.

Self
-
assembly

4.

Templating of crystals with proteins

D.

Natural materials

1.

Abalone she
ll, spider silk, mussel adhesive, rhino horn

E.

Inorganic materials used for skeletal structure or protective armor; crytallized
version of Earth
-
derived materials

1.

Abalone nacre investigated at Uwash.

a)

Twice as tough as any ceramic known; under stress it def
orms
and behaves like metal

(1)

Problem with ceramics, now used for all kinds of high
-
tech applications

is cracking

b)

Hexagonal disks of calcium carbonate, mortar of polymer;
brick wall pattern

2.

Twinned structure of mirrored elements

a)

Like tendon

bundle of bundled

bundles

self
-
referential
fractal kaleidescope; mathematical beauty

b)

Ordered hierarchical structure

3.

How to grow these crystall structures?

a)

Mixture of inorganic minerals and organic polymers

b)

Polymer mortar produced first and self assemble into three
dimensi
onal compartments in seawater; ions of calcium and
carbonate ions attracted to reverse charges on matrix

(1)

The protein template attracts ions in seawater, that then
crystallize the structure

(2)

Proteins are necklaces of amino acids, having different
pattern of
charges; neutral water fearing ones burrow into
the center of the medium; charged water
-
loving ones go to
peripheries; they also either repel or bond with one another,
resulting in three dimensional shapes

c)

Principles of self
-
assembly

(1)

Use forces ruled by cl
assical and quantum mechanics

(2)

Like charges repel; opposites attract, weak electrostatic
bonds hold molecules gingerly for correction and change;
stronger more permanent bonds consummated with help of
lock and key catalysts

enzymes

(3)

Molecules are always in m
otion; so they tend to collide

(4)

Genes are informational templates for making proteins;
proteins are templates for making structures

d)

Synthesizing materials production

(1)

Sequencing proteins for nacre construction

(2)

Use bacterium to create the protein

as in yeast,

and
today many other products

(3)

Farming operation; bacteria crossed with abalone dna
will synthesize the protein which will produce nacre
ceramic

bioreactors

(a)

dna probe to find the protein producer you want,
by taking dna probe to vat of complementary dna
e
xtracted from the natural material; once you’ve
found the right genetic material you put it to e coli
bacteria, then you hunt for the ecoli that are
producing it with antibodies to that material that
seek it out.

e)

Biomineralizers

f)

Issue of Genetic engineerin
g and nature

(1)

DIFFERENCE from biotechnology 107

(a)

Splice gene from another species into bacteria
altering its protein manufacture process

(b)

She says its ok to do it with different species of
bacteria, but not crossing interphylum line

(c)

Dilemma in researching th
is book

counterbalancing fear about genetic engineering
with desire to find more benign ways of
manufacturing [is this returned to?]

F.

Soft
-
side: high tech organics

1.

Skin, blood vessels, tendons, silk, adhesives, and cellulose

2.

Also hierarchically ordered,
structure coupled to function, templated to
order, “self assembled at life
-
loving temperatures and pressures, with no
toxic aftertaste”117

3.

Organic (carbon based) building blocks

here proteins are more than
scaffolds; they are the materials

4.

Superglue made b
y mussels to stick on rocks

Mytilus edulis

a)

Tethers called byssus complex

translucent threadlike
filaments; at end of each a disk called plaque attached with natural
adhesive

b)

Needed for turbulence feeding which brings in food and
reproductive cells on the t
ide

c)

Foot of bivalve presses foot onto surface, secretes collagen
protein into groove that acts as mold; thread and plaque self
assemble and harden; gland in foot then squirts adhesive protein
between plaque and surface. Process including cure takes 3
-
4
mi
nutes

d)

“nature invents and we invent…human and all other life
-
forms
have been evolving toward similar points, but other organisms are
simply farther along…”

e)

How do they do in water?

f)

Mussel first cleans surface with squirms

g)

After pushing down foot to push wa
ter away, it makes mucous
seal and then hollows foot behind it to create vacuum space

h)

Protein secreted by foot in balls of tangled strands with hooks
that create cohesion and adhesion. Initiator of chemical reaction is
oxygen in water; catalyst is include
d in protein

i)

Plaque is made of solid foam containing air bubbles to expand
and contract with host, holes also provide crack stopping function

j)

Done like the new styrofoam made without gas infusion

k)

To form thread, the foot curls in to form groove and then
ex
trudes threads of protein of mixed stiff and spring consistency
that creates optimum elastic
-
rigid mix

l)

The plaque and thread assembly is coated with a protein sealant
to protect it from sea microbes; then a releasant is spread over the
whole thing and the
foot releases it; in two or three years, the
sealant falls apart and the microbes can feast on the protein

(1)

Example of self decomposing material, or composting
material

m)

Patents in this one animal would support a whole industry

n)

The same adhesives in the mus
sel clamp on to heavy metals it
ingests and leaves them behind

o)

Natural materials are difficult to interrogate: insoluble proteins,
huge molecules

Waite has found more than 10 different ones in
the mussel adhesion equipment; comparatively little research do
ne
with them

5.

Spider silk

a)

Spider in lab being “silked” not milked

b)

Dragline is one of six specialty silks extruded through its own
spinneret

c)

Researcher is a metallurgist

d)

list **of functions of spider silk

p.130

e)

strong as Kevlar, which requires heating, high
pressure,
extreme energy input and creates toxic byproducts

f)

properties of silk

(1)

Passing explanation of crystals: predictably spaced
atoms in repeating pattern. Liquid has more random
spacing of molecules

(2)

Liquid crystal is in between.

(3)

Spider silk has high

refractive index indicating
combination of crystallites embedded in rubbery matrix of
organic polymer. Spider invented composite

(4)

Its very tough

five times more than steel by weight
--

and highly elastic

30 percent more than stretchiest nylon

(5)

Elasticity i
s energy absorbing

(6)

Can stay elastic at very low temperatures

g)

How silk is made

(1)

Begins as pool of raw liquid protein that is water
soluble

(2)

Comes out of spinnerets as insoluble, water proof,
highly ordered fiber

(3)

it goes through liquid crystal phase requiring
anisotropic structure of protein

one that has directional
order

(a)

Researcher Viney theorizes that this is done as it
goes through spinnerets where water and water
-
loving molecules are pushed to edge or sheared off
and crystalline structure remains as kind of

pop
-
bead necklace

(b)

Others don’t agree with this theory

h)

Learning the spider’s secret of spinning would transform our
textile industry, which is now based on petroleum

i)

Research on the protein which is turned into silk fiber

(1)

Trying to isolate the wild gene
which programs this
protein production

for splicing into e coli

but its too big
and complicated

(2)

Two teams working to synthesize a simpler one

(3)

Once sythesized they will be able to tweak the dna to
produce different properties in the silk

j)

Ecological issue

m
any other spiders in different habitats may
have other models of silk that would be even better; the threat to
biodiversity, means that model for human technology could be lost

6.

Rhino horn

a)

Threat because of poaching

b)

Poached because of value of horn protein:

strength and lustre

c)

Need for substitute to undermine the market in rhino horn

d)

Keratin is protein in hair and fingernails; horn is composite of
two forms of keratin in same material

e)

Composite like skin of stealth bomber or tennis racket

rigid
graphite enca
sed in flexible resin

f)

Natural materials aresuperior in method of assembly and in
desired characteristics, but still very similar

g)

Both compressional and torsional strength

h)

Ability for horn to heal shows it may contain some living tissue
that reproduces or o
ther chemical process

de and
repolymerization

may be at work

i)

Biomimicry come full circle

save the rhino with research into
its biological structure

IX.


Chapter 5: How will we heal ourselves: Experts in our midst: finding cures like a
chimp [learning from high
er animals]

A.

Biorational drug and crop discovery

B.

Animals can lead us: they know what to eat and avoid, what wil make them
sekc, give energy arrest a case of diarrhea

C.

Study what they are eating

D.

Plants defend themselves from Herbivores with “secondary compoun
ds”

1.

They kill, inhibit digestion, poison in many different ways

2.

Humans learned through cooking to detoxify many of them

E.

Herbivores need to discriminate among harmful and helpful plants

be
nutritionists.

1.

Strategies:

a)

Be a specialist like koala and eucalypt
us

b)

Generalist eating only small amounts of different plants you
can detoxify in tiny batches

c)

Be very picky about which and which parts of plants you eat.

2.

Glander, Primatologist: analysed foods that monkeys ate and rejected:
“Howlers are chemically astute”

3.

Not only avoiding toxins but finding good nutritional mix

4.

Animal craving for complete diet

nutrient specific eating

buffalo if
given a chance to roam

5.

Some eat dirt for minerals, as do african people

F.

Switching from vegetarian to carnivorous diet might have
given them more
neural building blocks composed of fatty acids

1.

Adaptive functions of cravings

during pregnancy for example

G.

How primates learn what to eat

1.

Smelling and tasting what mother eats

2.

Taster individuals do sampling while others wait

H.

Lesson to learn

1.

Keep alive local wisdom, bioregional agriculture, learn from
animals

maybe 160

I.

Medicinal eating

1.

Chimpanzees have great orienteering ability; they use it to find pith of
rare plant which kills parasites

2.

Secondary compounds of plants turned against inner

enemies

3.

Eat bad tasting leaves and excrete them without digesting, but they kill
worms

hairy leaves comb gut

4.

Investigation of these veggies is hampered by their becoming extinct

5.

Dogs eat grass to purge

6.

Sick creatures’ taste change and crave secondary comp
ounds
ordinarily avoided

7.

Cultural learning

8.

We know a very small portion of what animals know about secondary
compounds

J.

Human uses of medicinal plants

1.

Went out of style in 1970’s

2.

Coming back; drug companies searching for natural medicines;
Medicinal gold r
ush

3.

One in four wild species will face extinction by 2025

4.

Nothing known about 99% of species in Brasil [downside?]

5.

Method of extracting medicine

a)

Analysis difficult 5
-
600 compounds per leaf

b)

Each is tested with certain diseases and the search is narrowed
dow
n

c)

Assaying for bioactivity

d)

After randomly searching , now we are asking shamans

e)

Growth of ethno botany

f)

Loss of native cultures means loss of this practical and
irreplaceable knowledge

g)

Race before they become extinct to extract their knowledge

6.

Biorational d
rug prospecting

a)

Ecological sleuthing

what does very healthy plant have that
others lack?

b)

Environments with high levels of disease or parasites “are
breeding gournds of chemical inventiveness” 180

creatures that
should be vulnerable but arent

c)

Oceans

shark
s have defensive immunity against infection:
new antibiotics

d)

Studies on suppressing organ rejection, cancer threating and
anti
-
inflammatory drugs

7.

These findings are controversial

8.

Animals are living repositories of habitat knowledge

of the kind
we’ve forgot
ten

X.

Chapter 6: How will we store what we learn: Dances with molecules: computing like
a cell

A.

Dense and science fiction

B.

Molecular and atomic level; quantum mechanics

XI.


Chapter 7: How will we conduct business? Closing the loops in commerce: Running
business
like a forest

A.

Industrial ecology [natural capitalism]

1.

Stewart Brand

whole earth catalog

2.

Hardin Tibbs, Paul Hawken

a)


ecology of commerce

3.

mainstreaming radical idea

4.

bell laboratories, General Motors

5.

the birkenstocks are teaching the suits 247

a)

irvine company

b
ren school

b)

research park; science and math building

B.

industrial ecology wants economy to function like nature

natural capitalism

1.

nature is cyclic; our economy is linear; life cycles materials; nothing is
wasted; the whole show runs on solar energy

2.

pricing s
cheme ignores environmental costs

a)

dumb materials choices, process choices and no choices about
waste

3.

environmental regulation produces red tape and higher costs

C.

surviving in place: emulating nature’s economics; mature ecosystems

1.

“self
-
organize into diver
se and integrated community of organisms
with a common purpose

to maintain their presence in one place, make
the most of what is available, and endure over the long haul” 248

D.

we now occupy ecological niche of opportunists, concentrating on growth and
throu
ghput…we’re acting as if we’re only passing through

1.

opportunists are weeds on a farm, bacteria on leftovers

2.

Type I systems

take advantage of abundant resources as fast as
possible; grow population as fast as possible

3.

These are good pioneer systems at the s
tart
-
up of succession

4.

Type II; perennial berry bushes woody seedlings; longer haul; not
making so many seeds; funnel energy into sturdy stems and hardy roots;
they last over winter and eclipse type I annuals

5.

Type III: do more with less; designed to stay[=s
ustainability]

a)

Larger and fewer offspring (K
-
selected) with longer and more
complex lives; elaborate synergy with species around them

6.

Becoming more like a redwood than a ragweed

[natural metaphor]

E.

How to bring about change from Type 1 to Type 3

1.

Boundary c
onditions

ecological terms for habitat conditions

a)

A change in these causes business to adapt

b)

Market based carrot and stick laws

incentives and
disincentives

c)

Take
-
back laws and community right to know legislation

d)

Fossil fuels are subsidized 220 billion annu
ally

e)

Vague section

2.

Green accounting

a)

Real cost of water in san joaquin valley

b)

Cost of cleanup

c)

Don’t tax income, tax pollution and resource use*

d)

Tax bad things not good things

carbon content of fuel

e)

Government as early adopter through green purchasing

f)

Pollu
tion credits traded

g)

True cost of one CFC aerosol can is $12000

3.

Making envy green

a)

Make green products fashionable

b)

Matrix for scoring greenness

LEEDS

c)

LCA

Life Cycle Analysis

cradle to cradle accounting

(1)

A toss
-
up on cloth vs. disposable diapers

(2)

Author Tom Gra
edel

first textbook on Industrial
Ecology

XII.

Chapter 8: Where will we go from here? May wonders never cease: Toward a
biomimetic future

A.

*Duckweed story and pond

she’s naturalist 285
-
7

pond like Walden

B.

Four steps to biomimetic future

1.

Quieting: immerse ourselv
es in nature

a)

Bringing children back to nature and nature back into
childhood

b)

Realize we arent better than the natural world

2.

Listening: Interview the flora and fauna on our own planet

a)

Entering intimacy with life on earth

b)

Renewed popular interest in natural
history, nature buffism that
characterized the 1800’s

c)

Systematic biology is in decline

learning what there is to
learn about one or a few species

in favor of molecular

learn the
particular and extraordinary of individual species

d)

Make sure nature’s bluepr
ints are at top of stack

3.

Echoing: encourage biologists and engineers to collaborate, using
nature as model and measure 290

a)

Many engineers not interested in the life sciences; biologists
are bored with things mechanical

b)

Life manufactures, computes, does ch
emistry, builds strcutres,
designs systems, engineers within a fine tolerance…

c)

It takes educating in the estuary

the place where two or more
disciplines flow together to make a fertile ideabed…biologists and
technologists should take courses in one another
’s fields. 291

d)

Universities would be wise to create interdisciplinary
departments

e)

Internet and information data bases e.g. allowing engineer
making new desalination device to review strategies of mangroves
that filter seawater with their roots

f)

Screen inno
vations for viability

whether or not they promote
life

g)

New questions: will it fit it, wil it last, is there a precedent for
this nature?

(1)

Does it run on sunlight

(2)

Does it use only the energy it needs

(3)

Does it fit form to function

(4)

Does it recycle everything

(5)

Do
es it reward cooperation

(6)

Does it bank on diversity

(7)

Does it utilize local experitise

(8)

Does it curb excess from within

(9)

Does it tap the power of limits

(10)

Is it beautiful

C.

A species shaped to echo

1.

Echo =mimicry=mimesis=art

XIII.

Biophilia; urge to affiliate with life