Anyone who has read even a few of my previous columns knows I have a cynical streak. I could blame it on my 30 years spent in Washington, D.C., but I suspect I’ve always been a “glass half empty” sort of guy. However, I have now seen that miracles can happen and I have to believe what took place in the Senate with the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform bill just before year’s end qualifies.
Scientists and engineers have long used biomimicry as a way to find solutions to today’s problems in nature. For example, studying shark skin has led to new materials that bacteria cannot attach to, birds and bats have inspired aircraft design, and investigating plant leaves has resulted in light absorption efficiency innovations in solar panels.
Electronic devices are everywhere nowadays,―from the touchscreen checkout monitors at the local library and grocery store to car dashboard navigation systems and communications―applications that we wouldn’t have dreamed could exist just a couple decades ago.