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Biomimic Superglue
Alex Steffen, 19 Jan 04

Researchers have figured out how mussels glue themselves to rocks. Yet another example of biomimicry in action!

"The glue - or a synthetic version of it - would be a valuable asset to surgeons. It is compatible with biological tissue, and forms a strong bond in wet conditions.

"Knowledge of the glue's chemistry could also benefit the shipping industry. Without protection, ships quickly become covered with barnacles, algae and other organisms, which slow them down.

"Many current protective paints work by releasing toxic copper ions into the water, eradicating the animals before they can attach themselves. More environmentally friendly coatings might release specific chemicals to interrupt the setting process..."

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