Ever since the Industrial Revolution, human beings have been devising tools and processes intended to improve both longevity and quality of life. Yet as sophisticated as these innovations appear, they pale in comparison to the 3.8-billion-year-old R&D project known as evolution. Whether it's the creation of super-adhesive by geckos or climate control methods implemented by termites, the natural world's own strategies for survival constitute a potent example of the art of the possible.
No wonder a growing number of scientists, ecologists and entrepreneurs have begun to incorporate "biomimicry" across a vast spectrum of enterprises. The list is virtually endless, but here are five up-and-coming ways nature is helping us improve life on the planet.
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