A new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) features a tiny creature with a single cell:
“Diatoms are unicellular algae that form an intricate silica cell wall. A protective shell that is light enough to prevent sinking while simultaneously offering strength against predators is of interest to the design of lightweight structural materials. Using three-point bending experiments, we show that the diatom shell has the highest specific strength of all previously reported biological materials. Fracture analysis and finite element simulations also suggest functional differentiation between the shell layers and features to mitigate fracture. These results demonstrate the natural development of architecture in live organisms to simultaneously achieve light weight, strength, and structural integrity and may provide insight into evolutionary design.”
There you have it: evolutionary design. To all intents and purposes, it looks designed. It is so well designed that engineers are interested in copying its structure. It is anything but heavy, yet it is extremely strong and does not break easily.
Creation abounds in intelligent solutions that strongly suggest design that cannot be explained away by evolution.
No wonder biomimicry or copying these solutions is such a flourishing field of research. Here are some inspiring examples: