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Further to carnivorous plants: Their “flypaper” may prove useful technology


pitcher plant/kmmeyer
Remember the series of posts and discussion we had here recently, about carnivorous plants? In “Insect-eating plant inspires water repellent material” (MSNBC, November 15, 2011), John Roach reports on industrial interest in the pitcher plant. The substance in the plant’s slippery insect trap may have industrial uses:

Inspired by this material in nature’s bag of tricks, researchers have created what is being deemed one of the world’s most slippery materials, named SLIPS for slippery liquid infused porous surfaces.

The material repels just about any type of liquid, including blood and oil, in conditions ranging from super high pressures to freezing cold temperatures. Potential applications include anti-icing technologies, self-cleaning windows, improved optical devices and pipes for transporting oil.

Note how this, along with many other super-tech adaptations, is merely a “bag of tricks.” Would the same people write about the space shuttle that way? Darwinism grows on people in stages ….

To make the material, she and colleagues studied how the leaves of the pitcher plant work — they have a spongy texture filled with water, creating a surface that repels the oily feet of insects — and created a nano/microstructured material filled with a lubricating fluid.

Ifit’s just a trick, why do we need them way more than they need us?


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