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Topic in Depth - Biologically-Inspired Technology (9)

Most people do not associate microprocessors with DNA, or aircraft design with butterflies. But science is increasingly looking to biological systems as models for new technologies. These resources explain how and what scientists are finding to connect the created world with the natural world.

This trend has implications for computing, materials science and engineering, robotics, and much more.

Ant Colony Optimization
The Ant Colony Optimization project uses the behavior of ants as a model to solve optimization problems, such as how to minimize Internet traffic congestion. Several downloadable research papers are included on the project's homepage, as well as links to news stories, radio broadcasts, and conference proceedings about...

Biologically-Inspired Computing
A seminar course at the University of Virginia in Spring 2003 considered aspects of biologically-inspired computing. The course homepage has links to journal articles and research papers that range in topic from evolutionary programming to spacecraft designs based on living cells. There is also a page of links that...

Biomimetics: Biologically-Inspired Technologies
Biomimetics, the mimicry of biological systems in engineering and technology, is the focus of work being done at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Here, visitors will find information about biomimetics technologies, publications, announcements, and links.

DNA and Natural Algorithms Group
This research group at the California Institute of Technology is studying the capability of DNA and other biomolecules to process information and implement algorithms. A general overview of the group's purpose and motivation is provided, as well as a number of publications.

Biologically-Inspired Computing Approaches To Cognitive SystemsPDF
An excellent background of some of the most significant developments in artificial life and intelligence is given in a 56-page paper from Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. The author discusses many different issues, including neural networks and software agents, and concludes by alluding to future application areas.

Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems
A NASA technology brief from May 2003 discusses efforts to combine characteristics of several different species into one artificial creation to optimally serve the purposes of a mission. There is also a very interesting graph which illustrates three different types of mobility used in space craft inspired by insects...

Biomimicry.net provides an explanation of biomimicry, printed publications, case studies, and other resources. The site features a Biomimicry Database, the Biomimicry Institute, and the Biomimicry Guild, all of which are dedicated to nature. The Case Studies section includes photographs of various materials and...

The Baldwin Group
This website features Professor Sir Jack Baldwin group's research in bio-organic and synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Oxford. Users can read about its research activities in penicillin, biomimetics, parallel, and total synthesis. Visitors can also download, as pdf documents, Group Problem Classes...

The Shair Group
Chemist Matthew Shair at Harvard University presents his lab's research in the "syntheses of naturally occurring complex molecules that challenge the state-of-the-art of organic synthesis" which allows the team to "explore new areas of organic chemistry, especially with respect to reactivity and selectivity." The...

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