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Media CoverageThe media coverages are summaries of the newspaper articles of the day published about SNU

  • April 24, 2017

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Nature plants a seed of engineering inspiration

Researchers in South Korea have quantitatively deconstructed what they describe as the "ingenious mobility strategies" of seeds that self-burrow rotationally into soil. This is an example of the many ways nature uses biological geometry to provide plants with muscle-like capabilities. Professor Ho-Young Kim, from Seoul National University in Korea, brought together his colleagues to start a research project based on inspiration he took from watching a plant documentary. Seeds maneuvered to dig into soil using a coiled appendage, known as an awn, that responds to humidity. The team investigated this awn's burrowing and discovered how the nubile sprouts seem to mimic a drill to bury themselves. Their findings, published last week in the journal Physics of Fluids, could have dramatic implications for improving agricultural robotics.

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