Coat of arms

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The hygiene secrets of pilot whales might hold the key to ecofriendly paint for ships. It seems the whales have specially adapted skin that repels would be hangers-on. A team of researchers from the Hanover School of Veterinary Medicine in Germany have discovered that a pilot whale's skin has a specialised nano structure that stops the build-up of microscopic organisms such as barnacle larvae. The team intends to patent a version of the whale's skin. To copy the skin, the team plans on using a variety of biodegradable materials (New Scientist, vol 172, no 2319, December 1, 2001, p15).

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