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Issue 1, 2002
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Chemists and the school of nature

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The term biomimicry first appeared in 1962 as a generic term including both cybernetics and bionics. It referred to all sorts of imitation of one form of life by another one, while the term “bionics”, defined as “an attempt to understand sufficiently well the tricks that nature actually uses to solve her problems”, is closer to the meaning of “biomimicry” as it has been used by materials scientists since the 1980s. Biomimetism is an umbrella covering a variety of research fields ranging from the chemistry of natural products to nanocomposites, via biomaterials and supramolecular chemistry. It is an informal movement and the concept itself is so loose that one might wonder whether biomimetism is more than a slogan forged by chemists in order to hop on the “green” bandwagon. Or could it bring a revolution into chemistry with a profound transformation of its practices? It is too early to judge, but a historical perspective helps to highlight some trends and tendencies.

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The article was received on 13 Sep 2001, accepted on 26 Nov 2001 and first published on 03 Jan 2002

Article type: Opinion
DOI: 10.1039/B108504M
Citation: New J. Chem., 2002,26, 1-5
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    Chemists and the school of nature

    B. Bensaude-Vincent, H. Arribart, Y. Bouligand and C. Sanchez, New J. Chem., 2002, 26, 1
    DOI: 10.1039/B108504M

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