A new gel that the inventors say you can play with like Silly Putty, can repair torn skin, bond implants, or act as an adhesive for underwater machinery. The invention, under development for several years, is now patent pending, and it's all thanks to the biomimicry of a mussel's byssus, the hair-size filaments that form a sticky foam enabling the mussel's fierce attachment to rocks, substrates, and beds on the sea walls and floors.
Josh Bongard is one member of a growing field called evolutionary robotics. In short, it means that stronger, more useful, more adaptable robots should develop their skills one step at a time, like animals and humans, rather than being built 'ready to go.' Bongard has experimented with his very literal biomimetic approach to robot upbringing in a first-of-its-kind experiment sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
In an “old gadget” find of the day, US and Greek archeologists have found evidence that humanity may have been tooling around the ocean earlier than imagined.
In 1671, Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini discovered Iapetus, Saturn’s most distant moon, and correctly surmised that it was tidally locked to the planet, always showing one light and one dark face. Now, as the Cassini space mission to Saturn returns more data, it Iapetus is showing a new feature – a ridge covering 75% of its equatorial surface.