Conclusions

In this book I have spoken of several kinds of connections between the smallness of bees and insects compared with our smallest devices. I began with reasons to study insect circulations for their intrinsic interest and roles as possible models for devices as well as practically to understand their roles in the vector transmission of disease.

I showed how our closed pump-tube circulations don't work when reduced to insect size. I showed how open circulations differ from our own and how this difference permits open circulations to be miniaturized, some even capable of passing through a needle's eye. I then told of hemocoels and their graphs, and how shrinking hemocoels might improve their efficiency by shortening the distances hemolymph and particles must travel. Lastly, I spoke of diffusion on a surface and in a volume and how the probability of transmission by diffusion increased when the volume of hemolymph became compressed into a two-dimensional sheet.

It is time, therefore, to attempt a few generalizations, slight as the hard data may be. Accordingly, my first generalization is that insects can be models for our devices as they are all smaller and more efficient than our stand-alone devices thus far. If it is true that hemocoels really work better when shrunk, then insect 'smallness' is worthy of emulation.

Our second generalization based on a bit more hard data, but proposed in the same experimental way, is that shrinking decreases efficiency of a closed circulation but increases the efficiency of an open one.

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