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Here’s How Owls Could Help Make Wind Turbines Quieter

Scientists seeking to make a quieter wind turbine are mimicking owl wings after uncovering the secret of the bird’s ability to silently descend on its prey.

Researchers examining owl feathers found downy microscopic coverings and a porous elastic fringe on the trailing edge that scatters sound without affecting aerodynamics, the University of Cambridge said Monday. They mimicked the structure with 3D-printed plastic that can be applied to wind turbines, plane propellers or even computer fans to muffle their noise.