It is called biomimetics and it is the method of studying and imitating nature, guaranteeing effective and sustainable innovations for man. This way, ferns for apartments which absorb harmful substances become a model for purification of the air, whilst the adaptations developed by some plants to resist in the desert provide ideas for collecting rainwater and storing vaccines without refrigeration. In other fields, observing the plant kingdom can help design networks for the exchange of information, plan new approaches to marketing, develop light eco-sustainable architectures and obtain artificial photosynthesis. In nine stories/essays featuring a very particular consultancy company, Renato Bruni shows us how the lessons of the plant kingdom can meet some of our needs.
Renato Bruni is associate professor of pharmaceutical botany/biology in the Department of Food Science of the University of Parma. In his laboratory he works on the secondary metabolites of plants and their uses, while on the Web he curates the blog “Erba Volant”, in which he writes about how studying plants and their effects is more difficult than you may think. It is also why the more he knows plants, the more he is certain that they are complicated creatures.
Text, no illustrations Subject: Natural science Pages: 256 Original title: Erba Volant. Imparare l’innovazione dalle piante (2015)