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).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.