The Gecko's Foot: How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book

3.87 avg rating
( 116 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007179893: The Gecko's Foot: How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book

A cutting-edge science book in the style of ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ and ‘Chaos’ from an exciting and accessible new voice in popular science writing.

Bio-inspiration is a form of engineering but not in the conventional sense. Extending beyond our established and preconceived notions, scientists, architects and engineers are looking at imitating nature by manufacturing 'wet' materials such as spider silk or the surface of the gecko's foot.

The amazing power of the gecko's foot has long been known – it can climb a vertical glass wall and even walk upside down on the ceiling – but no ideas could be harnessed from it because its mechanism could not be seen with the power of optical microscopes. Recently however the secret was solved by a team of scientists in Oregon who established that the mechanism really is dry, and that it does not involve suction, capillary action or anything else the lay person might imagine. Each foot has half a million bristles and each bristle ramifies into hundreds of finer spatula-shaped projections. The fine scale of the gecko's foot is beyond the capacity of conventional microengineering, but a team of nanotechnologists have already made a good initial approximation.

The gecko's foot is just one of many examples of this new 'smart' science. We also discover, amongst other things, how George de Mestral's brush with the spiny fruits of the cocklebur inspired him to invent Velcro; how the shape of leaves opening from a bud has inspired the design of solar-powered satellites; and the parallels between cantilever bridges and the spines of large mammals such as the bison.

The new 'smart' science of Bio-inspiration is going to produce a plethora of products over the next decades that will transform our lives, and force us to look at the world in a completely new way. It is science we will be reading about in our papers very soon; it is the science of tomorrow's world.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

‘[Forbes has] An easy style and an innocence of jargon, and he treads softly on his scientists’ dreams. Forbes prefers the term “bio-inspiration” to “biomimetics”. The aim is not slavishly to imitate nature, but to learn from it to develop our own solutions to engineering problems. And he is surely right to pounce now, before inspiration turns to perspiration. He has succeeded splendidly.’ Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Independent

‘The book is a witty blend of anecdote and analysis.’ Rita Carter, Daily Mail

‘[Forbes] provides an illuminating discussion of the evolution of visual systems and the emergence of contemporary understandings of the nature of light.’ Dr Brendan Kelly, Sunday Business Post

About the Author:

Peter Forbes has written a series of articles Biomimetics for the Guardian and a chapter on the same subject for the Guardian’s book, ‘Frontiers 03’ (Atlantic Books). He was the editor of Poetry Review from 1986 to 2002 and his anthology ‘Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Verse’ was widely acclaimed. He translated Primo Levi’s personal anthology, ‘The Search for Roots’, (Penguin Press) in 2001 and Bloodaxe published his latest poetry anthology ‘We have come through’ in 2003.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Forbes, Peter
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800071798930000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Book Express
(Bristol, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0007179898 All our listings are Brand New copies held on shelves and ready to be dispatched right away. Super-fast delivery. Excellent value for money with 100% money-back guarantee. Buy with confidence. 3.2.9-pb-w-m.m. Bookseller Inventory # LV-Y23W-FU5B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.10
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service!. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.07
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Forbes, Peter
Published by HarperPerennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperPerennial, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Forbes, Peter
Published by HarperPerennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperPerennial, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 356 pages. 7.75x5.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Forbes, Peter
Published by HARPER COLLINS (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Herb Tandree Philosophy Books
(Stroud, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HARPER COLLINS, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780007179893 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE0983202

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 8.04
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Booked Again
(Summit, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-198-89-8185008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
24.68
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 8.16
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
41.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial (2006)
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
42.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.44
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Forbes, Peter
Published by Harper Perennial
ISBN 10: 0007179898 ISBN 13: 9780007179893
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0007179898 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0007179898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
54.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds