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MIT Researchers Study Mussels to Develop New Medical, Industrial Materials

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 11:15:27 AM
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Yes, in some ways Portugal is similar to a third-world country (at least in certain parts of the country, especially the south) so the resourcefulness of the people is key to their survival and such a part of every-day life no one thinks much about it. It's one of the things I really love about my adopted country and gives the people here a real earthliness that is familiar and solid.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Ann R. Thryft   8/28/2013 1:17:45 PM
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Thanks, I'll make sure to stop there. I'm already very interested because of the archaeology and prehistory of the region. I know what you mean about lower income lifeways and tradition. That's true in many areas around the world.



Elizabeth M
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Elizabeth M   8/28/2013 7:03:54 AM
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It's a beautiful place for sure, Ann, and yes, some traditions are kept here, more than one would think. In a way, the fact that Portugal remains largely a poor-ish country (especially in the south) demands that people continue to be as naturally resourceful as they have been for centuries. Portugal is worth a return visit from you, next time to the coast! :)

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Cabe Atwell   8/27/2013 2:42:28 PM
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Agreed. If adhesives could be as strong as those found in marine life, I could cancel my long-standing order of Super Glue. :)

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Ann R. Thryft   8/27/2013 12:10:42 PM
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Thanks for the info, Elizabeth. I was in NE Portugal once, very briefly, a long time ago, not on the coast. Your area sounds like a beautiful one, although I understand the Atlantic is not as pacific as the Mediterranean when it comes to swimming/diving or boating. Glad to know that the people are still living in at least some of their traditional ways.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Elizabeth M   8/27/2013 6:26:18 AM
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Thanks for that link on Buehler, Ann. I will check out his areas of focus. Intelligent guy!

Elizabeth M
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Elizabeth M   8/27/2013 6:13:39 AM
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Ann, I live in southwest Portugal, in a little town called Aljezur just a few kilometers from the coast and many beaches. The sea is quite rough on the west coast so surfing is more the sport, but in the south there is a lot of diving because the sea has many more calm, flat days. There are wrecks and things like that; not really a reef but lots of undersea rocks. I used to dive myself but am a surfer now, but even swimming with a mask and/or snorkel you can see lots of cool sea life here. And there is a lot of barnacle and mussel collecting, as well as fishing--the Portuguese build their lives around the sea and what they can harvest from it to live. There are still the classic-looking fisherman around; it's quite cool.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:35:50 PM
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Elizabeth, it sounds like you're living in an area that's perfect for diving. Is that in the Mediterranean?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:22:04 PM
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Buehler is actually focused on certain areas of biological and bio-inspired materials research using statistical modeling and simulation. Here's the description on his lab site:
http://web.mit.edu/mbuehler/www/



Elizabeth M
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Re: Nature as inspiration
Elizabeth M   8/22/2013 9:58:56 AM
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Indeed, Nadine, that's funny you mention diving for mussels etc. I was just collecting barnacles with a friend this morning, animals that also have very adept adhesive capabilities. Watching him struggle to pry them off was a fine example of just how sticky these creatures can be, and a fine example for creating materials that can also adhere themselves as vigorously.

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