Inspired by nature: the thrilling new science that could transform medicine

Inspired by nature: the thrilling new science that could transform medicine

In the summer of 2005, Jeffrey Karp, a bioengineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was working late one night when he spotted a journal article on a colleague’s desk. What caught his eye was not the text itself, but the full-page colour illustration of Spider-Man that accompanied it. Intrigued, Karp sat down and started reading. The article detailed how a group of researchers had created a new synthetic material by mimicking the properties of gecko feet – whose tiny, hair-like pillars allow…

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