Nature provides a lot of inspiration for making things on the nanoscale. We have evolution to help get the design right and then if we are smart enough we can go into the lab figure out how it works and copy it. Things like gecko feet have been used to develop new types of adhesives (see here). Now researchers at Penn State University have looked at how the carnivorous pitcher plant produces a super-slippery surface that makes ants (and other insects) slide on the plant’s leaf and become……dinner. These super-slippery surfaces can be mimicked using special types of Teflon that these scientists create in the lab. What can we use this super-slippery stuff for? Things like medical devices or even surfaces that we don’t want to ice up, like the wings of a plane. For more information go here.