“Copying the ideas of others is usually frowned upon, but when it comes to the work of Mother Nature, scientists are finding they can use nature as a template.” That’s how an interesting press release from Georgia Tech begins (reproduced on EurekAlert) about a new center on campus called the Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID). This new multidisciplinary research center (see a similar story about Caltech, 06/25/2005) seeks to explore natural solutions to physical problems and apply them to human engineering projects. This approach is often called biomimetics, or the imitation of nature (for examples, see 07/16/2005 on sharks and beavers, 10/05/2004 on pine cones, 09/21/2004 on termites, 08/27/2002 on geckos, and many others in the “Amazing” category of Chain Links). A well-known example is the invention of Velcro® by someone who became intrigued by the sticking ability of cockleburs (see Wayne’s Word for a popular account). The press release describes the origin and purpose of the CBID:An interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently formed the Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID) with the goal of capitalizing on the rich source of design solutions present in biological processes. The researchers believe nature can inspire design and engineering solutions that are efficient, practical and sustainable and thus have the potential to greatly enhance new technologies, materials and processes. “Biology can be a powerful guide to understanding problems in design and engineering,” said Associate Professor of Biology Marc Weissburg, CBID co-director. “In comparative physiology, we teach that every animal has to solve a particular problem to survive, so every animal is a design solution for a particular problem. “They can provide solutions for more efficient manufacturing and design of materials with new capabilities, for example. These are things the biological world has solved, and if you study them, you have the opportunity to apply that knowledge in the human sector. You can also extend that reasoning to ecological processes. These are guiding principles behind the Georgia Tech Center for Biologically Inspired Design.” (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The center has 17 initial members, but expects to grow. One of its goals is to extend its discoveries for public benefit: “CBID researchers also want to communicate to government and industry officials that nature can provide unique design solutions to the problems they must address.” The center also reaches beyond to a “network of citizens, scientists and entrepreneurs that explores practical solutions adapted from natural systems and native cultures and then applies these solutions to fundamental environmental, economic and social challenges.” The name for this network is: “Bioneers.” An invited talk by the “Bioneers Southeast Forum” is being held today at the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design Any examples from this new research approach? Sure: learning navigation from honeybees (02/15/2005), studying orienteering in lobsters (01/06/2003), imitating materials manufacture by diatoms 10/01/2004), and studying neuromechanical principles of animals (02/09/2005) to build better robots and prosthetics – for a few. The sky’s the limit. Subjects for investigation abound: the gathering and transporting of energy, remote sensing, locomotion, system organization, and eco-friendly technology. One professor is studying fish ears to build an “auditory retina.” Another ancillary benefit will ensue from this approach, according to one of the CBID biology professors: “biomimetry even offers inspiration for the way students – and faculty – learn.”OK, Intelligent Design community, charge again! (See 06/25/2005 commentary.) This is exactly the kind of new infusion of creative energy and practical benefit that a design perspective can bring to science and technology. Despite the humorous reference to Mother Nature, this approach does not need to focus on the identity of the Designer to parlay design detection (a fundamental principle of intelligent design) into fruitful scientific research. This is not to say that knowing the Designer personally would be a hindrance, obviously – but it demonstrates that design science can produce a cooperative enterprise among diverse people regardless of their religion. Maybe someday the plagiarism will be rectified by appropriate attribution. For now, though, the ACLU and other religion-hating groups would not be able to get their bony fingers on the CBID, because members only need good observational and engineering skills. Simultaneously, the ability to tell spooky Darwinian stories would drop off the list of qualifications. Are Georgia Tech and Caltech’s new multidisciplinary centers for biological design indicating that a major shift in scientific research is underway? Is there a promised land beyond the crumbling, haunted remains of Down House? Bioneers! O Bioneers! The fruitful land, the frontier of discovery and happiness, belongs to you. There was no mention of evolution in the press release, demonstrating again that Darwinism has no necessary or pragmatic connection to the new wave of institutions like the CBID. Unlike the founders of science who, like Francis Bacon, put a high priority on applying science to improve the human condition, the Darwinists, like the later scholastics, waste their time looking for confirming evidence for the outworn philosophy of their Victorian Aristotle. It’s time to question the presumptive authority of the past 146 years, and look to the future, where the Bioneers of design science are taking their inspiration from the exquisite contrivances of observable nature. A Darwinist Bioneer is almost a contradiction in terms. Any Darwinists on the CBID faculty must certainly be Darwinists in Name Only (DINOs), because whether or not they bow at the shrine of Charlie, pitch the obligatory incense and repeat the mantra “Evolution is a fact, like gravity,” such exercises contribute nothing to their actual research. DINOs should be distinguished from DODOs (those who squawk “Darwin Only! Darwin Only!), but it doesn’t matter, since both clades are rapidly going extinct.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
PSG goalkeeper Areola: With or without Mourinho Man Utd dangerousby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola says they’ll be ready for Manchester United in their Champions League round of 16 tie.However, Areola also recognises they cannot underestimate United after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.He stated, “Manchester is a very big club with or without Mourinho.”They are back, they have a story, they know how to handle those moments. “We had difficulties during this group phase, we came out even bigger and we will be ready on the day.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
VICTORIA, B.C. – A new Off-road Vehicle (ORV) Trail Fund has been created for outdoor groups interested in improving Off-Road riding conditions and safety.The total available funding in 2019 is $200,000, with 25% of the money set aside for safety promotion and 75% marked for construction and maintenance. The intention is to improve outdoor motorized vehicle opportunities for B.C. residents and visitors.Requests for funding from $1,000 to $20,000 will be considered. To apply; CLICK HERE Applications will be accepted by any legal entity in the province, except for individuals. This includes:First Nations;Local governments (such as municipalities and regional districts)ORV organizations (including those representing quads, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, motorbikes and side-by-sides)Non-profit societiesBusinessesThe deadline to apply is March 20, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified about a month after the application period closes.Created in 2017, the ORV Trail Fund was established as a part of the Off-Road Vehicle Act and regulations. The act requires registration of all off-road vehicles within British Columbia. A portion of the registration fees collected by ICBC is redirected to the ORV Trail Fund.This is the second year for the funding program. Future planned yearly disbursements will be between $100,000 and $250,000 per year, depending on the growth of the fund.Submissions will be adjudicated by provincial recreation staff, with input from provincial-level ORV representatives.
Fostering an inclusive work environment – where leaders seek inputs from everyone regardless of their job responsibilities – can lead to higher satisfaction, innovation, and trust among employees, a study suggests. Researchers from Binghamton University in the US noticed how the nonprofit sector suffers from high employee-turnover rates, low work performance and deficits among the leadership, and wanted to find out what could be done to break this cycle. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainResearchers found that leaders who seek the input of organisational members from all job positions and encourage everyone, regardless of educational background or job responsibilities, to take initiative and participate in work-related processes are more likely to increase feelings of inclusion. This then leads to increased innovation, employee job satisfaction and quality of services in nonprofit organisations. “When nonprofit organization members believe that they are valued for their unique personal characteristics, employee engagement, commitment and retention improve,” said Kim Brimhall, assistant professor at Binghamton University. Implications of these findings have applicability across national settings and for effective management of such organisations internationally.
New Delhi: The Income Tax department has attached assets worth Rs 225 crore of retired Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Net Ram and his associates as part of an alleged tax evasion probe against them, officials said on Wednesday.They said a provisional order under section 132(9B) (power to attach) of the I-T Act has been issued and 20 immovable assets in Delhi, Mumbai, Noida and Kolkata have been attached and three luxury cars — a Mercedes and two Toyota Fortuners — found at the residence of the officer in Lucknow, have been impounded. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’I-T officials had swooped down on about a dozen premises in Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, linked to the 1979-batch Indian Administrative Service officer and his firms, on March 12, acting on “credible inputs” that the former top bureaucrat and his associates have made “accommodation or bogus entries of Rs 98.82 crore from Kolkata-based shell firms” in the past. Rs 2.03 crore in cash and jewellery valued at Rs 17.79 lakh has been seized by the department after the raids even as it recovered Montblanc pens valued at Rs 50 lakh and documents indicating ‘benami’ assets from the premises linked to the retired IAS officer, who served in top positions during BSP supremo Mayawati’s chief ministership. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe department has also sealed 17 bank lockers which will be searched soon and in order to protect the interest of the revenue, immovable properties valued at Rs 225 crore and three luxury cars valued at Rs 1 crore have been provisionally attached under the I-T Act, a senior tax official said. While the retired bureaucrat could not be contacted, the department claimed that the case was an instance of “sophisticated money laundering”. The department alleged that it has “seized a diary in the handwriting of the officer which contained details of about 20 immovable properties like farm houses, bungalows, flats and other commercial properties”. Net Ram was secretary to Mayawati when she was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister during 2002-03, her third stint in power in the state. The officer had served in various capacities in UP, including heading the excise, sugar industries and cane department, stamp and registration, food and civil supplies department.
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday expressed “serious displeasure” over Air India’s failure to respond to its show cause notice for using boarding passes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on them and the airline’s “lackadaisical approach” towards enforcing the Model Code of Conduct.In a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola, the poll panel said that Air India has failed to respond to its notice despite lapse of deadline two days ago. “The Commission expresses its serious displeasure over the non-compliance of the Commission’s lawful instructions and lackadaisical approach towards enforcing the Model Code of Conduct,” the poll panel said in its letter dated April 2, 2019. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The EC said that its displeasure should also be conveyed to Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani for “the lapse of the organization”. The strongly worded letter said,”The Commission has further directed that action taken against the officer incharge be reported to the Commission within a week.” The Election Commission had on March 26 issued a show cause notice to the Civil Aviation Ministry over the use of Prime Minister’s pictures on Air India boarding pass as prima facie it violated the model code of conduct. The code came into force on March 10 when the poll body announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls beginning April 11. The poll panel had said prima facie Air India has violated the model code of conduct, and referred to clause VII of the code which states that “issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer … regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided”.
Washington DC: NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a star 53 light-years away. The Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) also discovered a warm sub-Neptune-sized world in the same system, according to a study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. “It’s so exciting that TESS, which launched just about a year ago, is already a game-changer in the planet-hunting business,” said Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution for Science in the US. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The spacecraft surveys the sky and we collaborate with the TESS follow-up community to flag potentially interesting targets for additional observations using ground-based telescopes and instruments,” Teske said in a statement. One such tool, the Planet Finder Spectrograph on the Magellan II telescope in Chile, was a crucial component of this effort. It helped confirm the planetary nature of the TESS signal, and to measure the mass of the newly discovered sub-Neptune. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe PFS works using a technique called the radial velocity method, which is currently the only way for astronomers to measure the masses of individual planets. Without known masses, it is very challenging to determine a planet’s density or its general chemical composition. This method takes advantage of that fact that not only does a star’s gravity influence the planet orbiting it, but the planet’s gravity also affects the star in turn. The PFS enables astronomers to detect these tiny wobbles that the planet’s gravity induces in the star’s orbit. “PFS is one of the only instruments in the Southern Hemisphere that can do these types of measurements. So, it will be a very important part of further characterising the planets found by the TESS mission,” Teske added. With an orbit that takes about 36 days to complete, the sub-Neptune, HD 21749b, has the longest period of any of the TESS discoveries published so far, researchers said.