Saturday, November 19, 2005

LEB: Light Emitting Butterflies

Good afternoon, I hope all is well out there in bloggsville. Just a quick post today relating to biomimetics, which you DWB regulars will be somewhat familiar with, but for those of you who aren’t and want to know more should check out my previous post natures calling.

In 2001, a team from MIT came up with a new way of making LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes). The problem with conventional LED’s is that most of the light produced cannot escape or in scientific terminology, there is a low extraction efficiency of light.

Anyway a team from Exeter University recently discovered that African Swallowtail Butterflies communicate using what is essentially an identical method as the MIT team's high emission LED. It seems a little pointless me going into the specifics of how they both work as it is already covered in the BBC article, so here is the link:

This story again stresses the importance of Biomimetics in todays technologically advanced world. I think that everybody should spend some time looking at how plants and animals solve problems in their day to day lives, and deciding how their solutions can be mimicked to benefit the progress of mankind in someway. And if that’s not a big enough motive for doing so, you could patent your ideas and become filthy stinking RICH!

Off on a slight tangent here; but did you know that the guy who invented & patented the automated switching system that turns your electric kettle off when its boiled lives in Swansea, South Wales (10 minutes drive from the DWB’s cave)? I bet that guy must be seriously loaded.

Anyway be sure to check out the article about the LED’s and butterflies, and take it easy.



Anonymous David Michael said...

Dear DWB:

I have just posted on our site Researcherlinks ( your article on 'Natures Calling', which is on the GoArticles web site, You can view it in the Forum under the Biology category. You are also welcome to post other related articles on
David Michael

12:07 am  
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2:32 pm  

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