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Learning from the Namibian Desert Beetle
Alex Steffen, 26 Nov 03

Jer sends this follow up to Dawn's recommendation "Clouds on Tap". From their press release:

"Farmers in arid regions of the world could soon benefit from QinetiQ technology that has been developed by copying a method of collecting drinking water used by beetles living in the Namibian Desert

"Rainfall in the Namibian Desert is almost unheard of, but some species of beetle survive by extracting water from desert fog. The unique surface of the beetles back attracts and allows water molecules in the fog to settle and form water droplets that roll down the beetle's surface to its mouth in a controlled manner. A QinetiQ research team ... discovered that the surface of the beetle's back could be carefully mimicked and reproduced in sheet form using techniques such as injection moulding or printing to produce structures that can collect water for drinking or farming."

Beetle-back fog collectors, anyone?

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