Fatty acids prevent freezingcotton plants
Fatty acids in cotton seedlings prevent freezing by changing the composition of the cell membranes.
Dispersed solid transported within watertallaganda velvet worm
The liquid slime of the Tallaganda Velvet Worm carries a water-resistant solid because of dispersed hydrophobic protein regions that prevent the solid from forming until evaporation.
Sclereid cells prevent soft tissue collapseplants
Sclereid cells in vascular plants help prevent the collapse of soft tissues during water stress via thick, lignified walls.
Wings lock togetherdarkling beetles
Wings of darkling beetles lock to prevent lateral movement due to interlocking hairs on the forewing surface and the body.
Walls prevent collapse under tensionplants
Xylem vessels and tracheids of vascular plants prevent their own collapse while under tension via helical thickening of their walls.
Ant colonies respond quickly to distribute foodTemnothorax ants
Ant colonies distribute food effectively and safely after famine using a decentralized response to quickly spread food.
Food web complexity increases along gradientdune ecosystem
The complexity of food webs in sandy dune ecosystems increases along productivity gradients, with feedback loops governing the stability of the system.
Body shape and position direct water currentblack flies
The larvae of black flies direct water currents to create conditions favorable to gathering and filtering food by adjusting the shape and position of their body and foldable, food-trapping mouth fans.
Self-healing foams and membranesSwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Materials that self-heal
Self-repairing polymer compositesNatural Process Design, Inc.
Self-repairing composites increase safety, decrease waste
Self-assembling surfaces enable growthsplit gill fungus
Hydrophobins produced by the split gill fungus protect surfaces by self-assembling into a highly water-repellent layer when exposed to an air-water interface.
Feet self-cleanTokay gecko
The feet of gecko self-clean due to energetic equilibrium--its foot has less physical attraction to dust than most surfaces.