Thursday, October 2, 2014

Nature's Engineers

 We invited members of a silk lab to our school. And oh, wow, were we treated to an amazing presentation today!

I am forever grateful to Principal Investigator Fio Omenetto who came, along with Benedetto, a post-doc, and Alex, a graduate student, to talk to our students about the seriously mind blowing power of silk. I thought I already knew a fair amount about potential applications of biomimicry (imitating elements of nature to solve complex human problems). But today, thanks to the silkworm (and to some really smart biomedical engineers!) I could actually envision a future without our piles of trash accumulating in landfills.

It was inspiring to meet these scientists who are spending their life's work cleaning up our planet; creating everyday products made out of silk.  Fio and his lab members are figuring out how to manufacture electronic gadgets from a renewable, sustainable source.

Could we really hand off a cleaner world to future generations; one without plastic piling up in landfills and in trash heaps?! It's a beautiful vision!

Fio, Ben, and Alex came with beaucoup props: thin sheets that looked like plastic, screws, nuts and bolts, a femur bone, entirely made of melted down silk. And enough cocoons for every student to take one home.

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