A crystalline substance which creates a unique visual effect (changing colors at various viewing angles) attributed to pearls. Nacre known as the “mother-of-pearl” is an organic substance produced by mollusks. Not only does it catch the eye with its beauty, but it is also strong and durable! Biomimetics engineers want to create from this same material.
In order to accomplish such a feat, one has to understand how a mollusk does it! According to pnas, biomimetics engineers have a ways to go before they can actually attempt a fairly accurate imitation but they are getting closer. Researchers described how they“identified 80 shell matrix proteins, among which 66 are entirely unique.”
“This is the only description of the whole “biomineralization toolkit” of the matrices that, at least in part, is thought to regulate the formation of the prismatic and nacreous shell layers in the pearl oysters. We unambiguously demonstrate that prisms and nacre are assembled from very different protein repertoires. This suggests that these layers do not derive from each other”
In a new paper, published in “Advanced Functional Materials” David Kisailus, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering who is inspired by various designs in nature in order to come up with the next generation of engineering products and materials. He came up with an idea is to use snail’s teeth to improve batteries and solar cells.
“His work revealed this occurs in three steps. Initially, hydrated iron oxide (ferrihydrite) crystals nucleate on a fiber-like chitinous (complex sugar) organic template. These nanocrystalline ferrihydrite particles convert to a magnetic iron oxide (magnetite) through a solid-state transformation. Finally, the magnetite particles grow along these organic fibers, yielding parallel rods within the mature teeth that make them so hard and tough.”
“Incredibly, all of this occurs at room temperature and under environmentally benign conditions,” Kisailus said. “This makes it appealing to utilize similar strategies to make nanomaterials in a cost-effective manner.”
“Kisailus is using the lessons learned from this biomineralization pathway as inspiration in his lab to guide the growth of minerals used in solar cells and lithium-ion batteries. By controlling the crystal size, shape and orientation of engineering nanomaterials, he believes he can build materials that will allow the solar cells and lithium-ion batteries to operate more efficiently. In other words, the solar cells will be able to capture a greater percentage of sunlight and convert it to electricity more efficiently and the lithium-ion batteries could need significantly less time to recharge.”
“Using the chiton teeth model has another advantage: engineering nanocrystals can be grown at significantly lower temperatures, which means significantly lower production costs.”
In another story, scientists who embraced evolution used to wonder why “nature” made such a “counter-intuitive choice” to use dynein, which is a rather sluggish motor, instead of the more powerful kinesin. Very confusing to them indeed, but what they found out was pretty amazing. The molecular motors in your muscle cells are like motors you find in high-performance cars!
In an article in phys.org…
“Scientists at TIFR, led by Dr. Roop Mallik, have discovered that a team of dyneins is able to share a load much larger than any one of them can handle, due to the unique ability of each dynein to change gears. Because of this, dynein’s do much better at teamwork than other stronger motors that cannot change gears.”
“To live is to move. You strike to swat that irritable mosquito, which skilfully evades the hand of death. How did that happen? Who moved your hand, and what saved the mosquito? Enter the Molecular Motors, nanoscale protein-machines in the muscles of your hand and wings of the mosquito. You need these motors to swat mosquitoes, blink your eyes, walk, eat, drink… just name it. Millions of motors tug as a team within your muscles, and you swat the mosquito. This is teamwork at its exquisite best.”
While the dynein gears are orders of magnitude smaller than those on a performance car, the principle is the same!
“Taken together, these new studies show that Nature may have learnt how to use the gear in a motor much before we made our Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. But, what boggles the mind is that dynein’s gear works on a size scale that is ten-million times smaller than the Ferrari’s gear.”
Since the research has revealed things comparable with intelligently designed machines such as high performance, it has sparked a debate between creationism and the modern intelligent design movement verses Darwinism. Evolutionists attempt to use natural selection as the basis of these well thought of designs found in nature even suggesting that natural selection would select a bad design to be used.
The research paper doesn’t even mention evolution, normally they give it credit. Evolutionists use natural selection rather than something had been designed intelligently. But it is interesting how the reporter compared the discovery to high performance cars rather than a comparison to something using a blind process. How can then evolutionists invoke Darwinism? They use circular reasoning.
Animals as diverse as flies and mammals and yet they share the same motors in their respective muscles. This falsifies evolution, so common ancestor is invoked and the so-called decision nature had made! So these amazing motors stayed the same for millions of years because nature decided for some reason it was ‘good enough’ If you get the vibe that evolutionists describe natural selection the same way you would describe an intelligent designer, you would be correct! .
Since nature was designed by vastly intelligent mind, God. We can expect to learn things in nature that relate to how we improve lives, how we understand machines and how we make our materials!