Biology Inspires Chemical Reactivity

  • Author: Bernard Mahieu
  • Published Date: 22 December 2017
  • Source / Publisher: Chimie Nouvelle/Société Royale de Chimie of Belgium (SRC)
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Biology Inspires Chemical Reactivity

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Our ChemPubSoc Europe Advent Calendar highlights articles from magazines of the ChemPubSoc Europe societies. Chimie Nouvelle is the membership magazine of the Société Royale de Chimie of Belgium (SRC). Professor Bernard Mahieu (pictured) is one of the two managing editors of Chimie Nouvelle.

Bernard Mahieu chose Taking Inspiration from Biology to Explore New Chemical Reactivity by Michael Singleton et al.

Why have you selected this article?

Michael Singleton has recently been recruited as a professor by the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.

What is the article about?

The article is about biomimetics and Michael Singleton's research. In this paper, he illustrates two important aspects of biomimetics:

First, mimicking does not mean exactly duplicating. To use the often quoted example, a jumbo jet is not just a giant pigeon. The success of man-made flight derives from using concepts inspired by studying birds and combining these with the tools available.

Secondly, a detailed understanding of the mechanisms involved in the biological process is essential. It is not solely the flapping of wings that let birds fly, but rather multiple components working together. Understanding the role of each and separating what is and is not crucial for achieving function is important for design.

Can you say a few words about yourself, please?

I am one of the two managing editors of Chimie Nouvelle and a retired professor from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Thank you for sharing this article with us.


  • Link to the article:

Taking Inspiration from Biology to Explore New Chemical Reactivity,
Michael L. Singleton, Akin Aydogan, Jérémie Bourotte, Ahmad Hammoud, Larry Hoteite, Kenji Kopf, Xiao Mu,
Chimie Nouvelle 2016, 123, 1–7.



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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH