Biomimetic file 203: Transporters

How the choice of information delivery is crucial to business performance

maxresdefaultImage: Cell Membrane Transport Proteins. A membrane transport protein* (or simply transporter) is a membrane protein involved in the movement of ions, small molecules, or macromolecules, such as another protein, across a biological membrane.

Highlight:“Biological membranes constitute the set of membranes defining boundaries and organelles in living cells–the structural and functional building blocks of all known living organisms… The integrity of the cell depends on its ability to separate inside from outside and yet at the same time allow massive transport of matter in and out the cell… Nature has elegantly met this challenge by developing membranes in the form of lipid bilayers in which specialized and highly efficient transport proteins are incorporated…based on these observations, researchers have developed high performance semi-permeable membranes …the applications for the bio pharmaceutical industry are tremendous…”

Insight: There are many examples in nature that use transporters to carry a signal. For instance cell functions use Membrane Transport Proteins* to allow information to transit through the cellular walls.

Applications in areas as far as telecommunications can be found. We all use mobile phones but few have a clue of the technology behind it. As a matter of fact the principles at the very core of these devices use sophisticated mathematics to encrypt and receive information. One of these is known as Wave Carriers whereby a weak information containing signal is carried by a more powerful one in order to cover the required distances, a bit like a car hoping onto a high speed train. The principle is basically using a three phase approach: encoding-transport-decoding.

amplitude-modulation1

The use of carrier signals is common in modern telecommunications to transport information

A point to make here is that it is crucial to choose the right transportation mode for a given information… For instance If you require information to flow to your employees internally, the use of a speaker (human) which will dispatch the message small groups at a time is probably the most effective; on the other hand, if you require to inform stakeholders throughout the world on an important update, social media may be the best choice; if you require classified information to reach specific people an encrypted message or in person delivery may be used…

While it seems common sense, the misuse of communication means in businesses is surprisingly common which often leads to problems affecting not only performance but in most serious cases even  corporate or individuals reputation. Recent political messages leaks during  the US election campaign is a good example of such…

Are you facing difficulties to communicate information across? If so always consider your options before jumping to the first or easiest communication means as the implications can be far greater than thought. A set of simple questions can be used to quickly decide on the choice of the transporter:

  • What is the nature of the information?
  • Who is the information intended to?
  • Where does the information need to go?
  • When does the information need to reach?

More information here

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species or natural systems on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…

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Biomimetic file 157: Communications

Why diversifying communication means is key to business performance

1447159391liuplant_ros_0Image: Linköping University. Communication* is the act of conveying intended meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.

Highlight: “A team of scientists at Linköping University in Sweden have developed the first electrically augmented plant, creating both analog and digital circuits inside a living rose…This technology could allow scientists to regulate growth and chemical processes in plants, as well as harness photosynthesis to create new solar cells… The Swedish group added a polymer inside the rose’s natural system of vessels and its leaves, and they were able to show it’s possible to create electrical components that resemble wires, transistors, and even display elements…”

Insight: Our communications* have been changing drastically especially in modern time with the introduction of mass and cheap interactions made possible through the internet allowing a much greater element of reach and cognition. However, we have been relatively slow at taping into other types of potential communication means that surround us, not just in terms of human communications but also technological ones which would allow transmission of information or signals.

Examples would include the transmission of energy through micro-waves; chemical communications such as the ones used by certain species of insects (Pheromones); light communication using a range of different wavelengths  (we have yet to see the potential of Photonics). There are numerous ways to transmit information which remain virtually untapped and unexplored…

The same applies to how businesses operate. Communication is key to any corporation performance both internally and externally. Yet, so many corporate entities show obvious failures in the way staff interact with one another. There are very interesting case studies that directly link performance with the effectiveness of communication channels.

A good example I came across is a multinational company that has experimented using its office glass surfaces as interactive communication walls. While previously a standard open office with numerous glass panels separating individual offices and side window panels, the space progressively transformed itself into an interactive office space. The idea was simple: employees would use the glass surfaces to flow ideas and to communicate messages to other staff passing by or within their own respective departments. The usage of erasable glass writing color pens made the office look colorful, interesting and alive! Soon after the outcomes were so successful that the initiative spread to other offices throughout the world and this company is known to remain innovative despite its significant size…

Are you facing communication difficulties within your office space? If so, perhaps consider rethinking the configuration and how the physical space could be used to flow and communicate information, you may be surprised of the outcomes…

More information: here

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…

bluestrike logo

www.bluestrike-group.com