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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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Biomimetic systems

Biomimetic systems

(p.373) Chapter 38 Biomimetic systems
Living machines

Tony J. Prescott

Oxford University Press

So far in this volume we have considered the nature of living things and some of their key building blocks and capabilities. This has set the stage for the current section and the next where we will describe some exemplar integrated biomimetic and biohybrid systems—living machines. To place these contributions in some additional context this introduction briefly reviews the history of life and of its variety, noting some of the critical branching points in the phylogenetic tree, identifying some of the organisms that have been the focus of research on biomimetic systems, and exploring why they might be seen to be important or pivotal. We begin with the first replicators, then consider bacterial colonies, the emergence of multicellularity and of bilateral symmetry, and conclude with a brief discussion of biomimetics applied to vertebrate brain and body plans including those of humans.

Keywords:   biomimetic systems, history of life, phylogenetic tree, replicators, multicellularity, bilateral symmetry, vertebrates

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