A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Biomimicry and Synthetic Biology in Space Travel
I recently contributed concept images to the University of Copenhagen Synthetic Biology Department .That type of research is fascinating and gets my creative mind wondering. In this case into space. I always try to see design through the lens of Biomimicry. Space technology seems to be dark on this matter. Space is hard on the body, extra terrestrial landscapes are devoid of the raw materials humans use to metabolize. Normal solutions isolate and insulate the body against these forces providing an artificial environment to survive and providing stored resources shuttled from earth. If one of the great contributions of 21st century science is biotechnology and a master of genomics what does that mean for our existence in space and beyond. I looked to the butterfly as an inspiration for my exploration. The butterfly goes through a lengthy process of metamorphosis to enact change in its physical character for a different stage of its life. What if people could use synthetic biology to metamorphose into a body that could survive in martian climates? What if the long journey is spent going through the biological change instead of laying dormant in cryogenic sleep?In visual searches for my collage to illustrate this concept I consistently found Chrysalis under the protection of understory leaves. It made me realize the synergy between Solar Collection of Understory Leaves and how that efficient structure harnesses light so well in low light areas, maybe some of the concepts could be applied to the design of Giant Solar Sail craft to ferry pioneers to distant planets and through deep space. Perhaps at the end of the journey the craft could facilitate biological production of complex substances needed in the new frontier. (via Biomimicry and Synthetic Biology in Space Travel | Bios Design Collective)

Biomimicry and Synthetic Biology in Space Travel

I recently contributed concept images to the University of Copenhagen Synthetic Biology Department .That type of research is fascinating and gets my creative mind wondering. In this case into space. I always try to see design through the lens of Biomimicry. Space technology seems to be dark on this matter. Space is hard on the body, extra terrestrial landscapes are devoid of the raw materials humans use to metabolize. Normal solutions isolate and insulate the body against these forces providing an artificial environment to survive and providing stored resources shuttled from earth. If one of the great contributions of 21st century science is biotechnology and a master of genomics what does that mean for our existence in space and beyond. I looked to the butterfly as an inspiration for my exploration. The butterfly goes through a lengthy process of metamorphosis to enact change in its physical character for a different stage of its life. What if people could use synthetic biology to metamorphose into a body that could survive in martian climates? What if the long journey is spent going through the biological change instead of laying dormant in cryogenic sleep?In visual searches for my collage to illustrate this concept I consistently found Chrysalis under the protection of understory leaves. It made me realize the synergy between Solar Collection of Understory Leaves and how that efficient structure harnesses light so well in low light areas, maybe some of the concepts could be applied to the design of Giant Solar Sail craft to ferry pioneers to distant planets and through deep space. Perhaps at the end of the journey the craft could facilitate biological production of complex substances needed in the new frontier. (via Biomimicry and Synthetic Biology in Space Travel | Bios Design Collective)

Scientists have built a digital camera inspired by the compound eyes of insects like bees and flies. The camera’s hemispherical array of 180 microlenses gives it a 160 degree field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different depths.
Human eyes, and virtually all cameras, use a single lens to focus light onto a light-sensitive tissue or material. That arrangement can produce high-resolution images, but compound eyes offer different advantages. They can provide a more panoramic view, for example, and remarkable depth perception.
The new artificial version, created by by John Rogers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and described today in Nature, could potentially be developed for use in security cameras or surgical endoscopes.
“The resolution is roughly equivalent to that of a fire ant or a bark beetle,” Rogers wrote in an email to Wired. “With manufacturing systems more like those in industry, and less like the academic, research setups that we are currently using, we feel that it is possible to get to the level of a dragonfly or beyond.” (via Tiny New Compound Camera Is Built Like a Bug’s Eye | Wired Science | Wired.com)

Scientists have built a digital camera inspired by the compound eyes of insects like bees and flies. The camera’s hemispherical array of 180 microlenses gives it a 160 degree field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different depths.

Human eyes, and virtually all cameras, use a single lens to focus light onto a light-sensitive tissue or material. That arrangement can produce high-resolution images, but compound eyes offer different advantages. They can provide a more panoramic view, for example, and remarkable depth perception.

The new artificial version, created by by John Rogers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and described today in Nature, could potentially be developed for use in security cameras or surgical endoscopes.

“The resolution is roughly equivalent to that of a fire ant or a bark beetle,” Rogers wrote in an email to Wired. “With manufacturing systems more like those in industry, and less like the academic, research setups that we are currently using, we feel that it is possible to get to the level of a dragonfly or beyond.” (via Tiny New Compound Camera Is Built Like a Bug’s Eye | Wired Science | Wired.com)

US scientists have devised a new way of storing and delivering vulnerable antibiotics and vaccines, with a little help from the silk moth. Infectious diseases kill millions of children every year, and continue to do so in the developing world more than two decades after the World Health Organisation, Unicef and charities such as Rotary International launched a campaign to eliminate polio and immunise every child against the six biggest killers. Civil war, corruption, ignorance and poverty all created problems, but one of the biggest is simply the fragile nature of vaccines: they tend to deteriorate rapidly unless kept in the refrigerator. This is a problem even for Britain’s National Health Service. It is a much bigger problem in hot, humid regions without clinics, electricity or clean water – those regions where children are most at risk from mumps, measles and rubella, from gastric infections and pulmonary diseases, and where the wild polio virus still presents a threat.

Biomimicry: unintended consequences | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian
monotask:

A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure.
The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.
http://vimeo.com/41160704

A web of tubes and electric cords is interwoven in closed circuits through a Heart-Lung Machine, Dialysis Machine, an Infant Incubator, a Mechanical Ventilator and an Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine.
The organ replacement machines operate in orchestrated loops, keeping each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.
Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, an ECG device monitors the system’s heartbeat. As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape.

The interpretation of anatomy with a mechanical vocabulary reflects strongly on the Western perception of the body. Defining the body as a machine - where dysfunctional parts can be replaced by mechanics - speaks of how we understand life.
These objects encompass social debates about the ethics of euthanasia, the quantification of both the value and quality of life, making physical a poetic desire to conquer our own mortality. The medical machine - whether in use or not - is an object which transcends its materiality. Designed and created to perform a single, most meaningful function, we never subject these devices to a critical investigation as industrial products within the context of material culture.
This work aims to explore the nature of these devices as objects of our times, liberated from their restrained purpose while still charged with its resonance.

By exploring the medical instruments while detached from the human body and functioning as an independent being, each electronic body part accentuate the distance between the organic and the artificial.
Through the visibility of motors, electronic circuits, fluid pumps, audio-visual signals and particularly the scale and electric exhaustion of the work, we are confronted with the stark contrasts that lie in the primitive functions of precision hardware.

The Immortal is occupied with the compelling and discomforting nature of these objects,  the products of our attempts to conquer biology with engineering. The absence of the body only underlines that the machines filling the room are inherently biological.

Original Article

monotask:

A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure.

The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.

http://vimeo.com/41160704

A web of tubes and electric cords is interwoven in closed circuits through a Heart-Lung Machine, Dialysis Machine, an Infant Incubator, a Mechanical Ventilator and an Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine.

The organ replacement machines operate in orchestrated loops, keeping each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.

Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, an ECG device monitors the system’s heartbeat.
As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape.

The interpretation of anatomy with a mechanical vocabulary reflects strongly on the Western perception of the body.
Defining the body as a machine - where dysfunctional parts can be replaced by mechanics - speaks of how we understand life.

These objects encompass social debates about the ethics of euthanasia, the quantification of both the value and quality of life, making physical a poetic desire to conquer our own mortality.
The medical machine - whether in use or not - is an object which transcends its materiality. Designed and created to perform a single, most meaningful function, we never subject these devices to a critical investigation as industrial products within the context of material culture.

This work aims to explore the nature of these devices as objects of our times, liberated from their restrained purpose while still charged with its resonance.

By exploring the medical instruments while detached from the human body and functioning as an independent being, each electronic body part accentuate the distance between the organic and the artificial.

Through the visibility of motors, electronic circuits, fluid pumps, audio-visual signals and particularly the scale and electric exhaustion of the work, we are confronted with the stark contrasts that lie in the primitive functions of precision hardware.

The Immortal is occupied with the compelling and discomforting nature of these objects,  the products of our attempts to conquer biology with engineering.
The absence of the body only underlines that the machines filling the room are inherently biological.

Long strands of bull kelp ripple beneath the surface of churning coastal waters, drawing fuel from the sun and, perhaps, pointing out a better way for humanity to capture and use energy. Seaweed is just one of the innovations of nature from which engineers are drawing inspiration as they seek to design energy systems that are cleaner and more efficient. In plants—the engines of photosynthesis—and in creatures as small as insects and as large as whales, advocates of “biomimicry” are looking for systems that can help humanity better meet the challenge of fueling civilization sustainably. Biomimicry simply means using designs inspired by nature to solve human problems. The idea is that over 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature itself has solved many of the problems that humanity finds itself grappling with today. Since energy is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, with much of the research aimed at designing systems that would work in greater harmony with the planet, it is not surprising that science would look to nature for answers. (via Biomimicry Pictures: Nature Yields New Ideas for Renewable Energy and Efficiency)

Long strands of bull kelp ripple beneath the surface of churning coastal waters, drawing fuel from the sun and, perhaps, pointing out a better way for humanity to capture and use energy. Seaweed is just one of the innovations of nature from which engineers are drawing inspiration as they seek to design energy systems that are cleaner and more efficient. In plants—the engines of photosynthesis—and in creatures as small as insects and as large as whales, advocates of “biomimicry” are looking for systems that can help humanity better meet the challenge of fueling civilization sustainably. Biomimicry simply means using designs inspired by nature to solve human problems. The idea is that over 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature itself has solved many of the problems that humanity finds itself grappling with today. Since energy is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, with much of the research aimed at designing systems that would work in greater harmony with the planet, it is not surprising that science would look to nature for answers. (via Biomimicry Pictures: Nature Yields New Ideas for Renewable Energy and Efficiency)

All our technology has come through biomimicry-from spinning like silkworms and weaving like spiders, building like termites and tunneling like moles, flying like birds and computing like brains, to using radar like bats and sonar like dolphins, and so on and on. But now it is time for the biggest and evolutionarily greatest biomimicry feat of all: copying those of our ancestors who made it to mature sustainability, pulling back on our economic expansion just as our bodies did when reaching mature size and shifting to maintaining stable sustainability.

Towards a Biomimicry Culture of Cooperation