Researchers are looking into the possibilities nature also holds for us. This inspires scientific discovery in a host of unexpected ways. Lex Amore from the Biomimicry Institute: “Nature is a source of inspiration for science, because it has figured out the way Earth supports life. It is imperative we look to the biological blueprints that have been successful over millennia to launch ground-breaking ideas faster.”
Durians: To some people they are simply too delicious, to others they are so overpoweringly stinky that they are routinely banned from hotel rooms across Southeast Asia. But this tropical fruit may be about to add a new unexpected reason for its fame, helping to charge mobile phones and electric cars.
In a February study published in the Journal of Energy Storage, scientists described how they made extremely light and porous materials called aerogels from the fruit. Aerogels are “great super-capacitors”, which resemble energy reservoirs that dole out energy smoothly, said co-author and Sydney University associate professor Vincent Gomes. “(Super-capacitors) can quickly store large amounts of energy within a small battery-sized device,” he said. They can then supply energy to charge electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops within a few seconds, he told lifestyleasia.com.+
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