Intellectual Property, DNA and Innovation Viruses: Julie Sammons


I keep coming back to the question of "how does nature handle IP?" The closest I can think of is our creation of APIs. Organisms don't walk around with their genetic code sort of displayed for everyone to see, what makes them unique. But there is massive and constant interaction between organisms and their environment, and exchange of information. I think APIs, in a way, are sort of an interesting way of thinking about that. You display enough information about your internal code that others can really interact [with it], and build upon it effectively, without giving away the whole farm—which probably wouldn't even be useful. The other organisms don't even need to know your entire code. That piece is interesting to me.  

And studying how viruses move through populations. They are actually expert little machines at capturing a little piece of your DNA, your code, and then if you infect me, that gets remixed in my code and so viruses are this fascinating way moving genetic information through populations and remixing things and sparking mutation. I'm not sure if there might be some sort of innovation virus that we can release on the world, but something along those lines might be interesting.

About Julie Sammons

Julie Sammons is a highly-respected Bioinspired Design and Biomimicry research, entrepreneur and consultant. You can find out more about her at