Scientists have come up with an adhesive that makes the guy who invented Velcro look like a simpleton. While the latter inventor picked burrs off his dog for his lightbulb moment, researchers at Northwestern University studied two animals to develop Geckel, a biomimetic material combining gecko and mussel "technologies."
Geckos have millions of tiny hairs on their feet that stick to whatever they touch; although that makes no sense to most of us and the principle doesn't apply to moustaches, that's apparently how they're able to climb things and lower your car insurance.
Mussels don't climb much of anything, but they can secrete a gluelike protein that enables them to stick to things underwater, even when pounded by crashing waves.
Researchers combined these principles to make a sort of tape covered in millions of hairs, with each hair coated by mussel-like glue. The reusable adhesive sticks well even to things that are slippery when wet, like Bon Jovi.
The next animal/product-developer match-up we'd like to see: aardvarks and James Dyson.
via the new york times