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Let's send The Fossil Huntress to Antarctica!

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Stephanie PulfordRSS Feed of this column.

As engineering grad student at UCDavis, I am interested in the common ground between biology and machinery. Incidentally, my column's title refers to the way bacteria navigate-- first they "run"... Read More »

My elementary school art teacher used to discourage the use of rulers, claiming that “there are no straight lines in nature”.  Mr. Dugan, your own cells are here to tell you it’s not true.  Systems of taut fibers and light struts— as straight as the bars and chains of a swingset—are omnipresent in biological forms.

These organic analogs to popsicle sticks and rubber bands often occur in interwoven networks reminiscent of the geodesic domes that Buckminster Fuller promoted in the 1950’s.  Since form follows function, it’s hardly surprising that these natural geodesics offer the same benefits in nature that they do in architecture: high strength, dynamic stability, and material frugality.