How a Bug Could Make the World a Cleaner Place

So what am I talking about A BUG that can what? Am I going crazy? No, I don’t think so. Bugs are usually related to stinky, disgusting things like garbage. So how can they make our world cleaner? Well, it’s actually only one bug. Clanger cicada's natural physical structure can destroy bacteria. Well, it’s wings.

A Cicada on a piece of wood

So How Does the Wings Kill Bacteria?

Video showing how the bacteria is destroyed.

How Are Nanopillars Made Synthetically?

Micro Structures on the cicada’s wings

What Does This Mean?


A bacterium, shown in false colour: priced by the nanopillars of the gecko’s skin

The gecko’s nanostructures are 88% effective against soft-shelled bacteria and 66% effective against hard-shelled bacteria as opposed to the chemical anti-bacterial product that are almost perfect.

It is amazing to imagine the potential these nanostructures could have in the future. They could make a film of these materials and apply them to hospital equipment, counters, etc or they could apply them to hotel blankets, doorknobs, elevator buttons and more. These types of discoveries would not have been possible if the scientist didn’t go outside and look at the world with a curious mindset. So go take a walk, get out from behind that desk and do something!

Key takeaways

  • The cicada’s nanopillars cannot destroy rigid bacteria cell membrane because it destroys bacteria by stretching them.
  • Other nanostructures are already used and have been commercialized.
  • Gecko’s skin’s nanostructures are more effective at destroying bacteria.
  • Experiences and looking at the world with a curious mindset can fuel good ideas and interesting discoveries.

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but for all those that came for a cute gecko picture here it is:

Cute Gecko Credit: Vengadesh Sago

I’m a curious 16 year old. I’m interested in space, AI and many other things.

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