Squid cells can make soldiers invisible

One of the world’s oldest organism group who have survived in Earth’s ocean for millions of years, squids. The key to their survival: mastering the art of camouflage.

Pencil Squid's cell could make soldiers invisible
Pencil Squid's cell could make soldiers invisible 

Irvine Research Center scientist revealed they have found out means to develop “invisibility stickers” from the protein cells of the pencil squid. These stickers would enable ground troops to avoid detection by night vision.

"Soldiers wear uniforms with the familiar green and brown camouflage patterns to blend into foliage during the day, but under low light and at night, they're still vulnerable to infrared detection," said Alon Gorodetsky, assistant professor of chemical engineering and material sciences.

"You can draw inspiration from natural systems that have been perfected over millions of years, giving us ideas we might never have been able to come up with otherwise," he said.

Iridocytes has been singled out by Gorodetsky and his team. It contain a unique light-reflecting protein called reflectin.

They were also able to engineer E. coli bacteria to synthesize reflectin. By coating the protein onto a packing tape like surface they will enable them to create the “invisibility stickers”

"There is a lot of flexibility in how one can deploy this material, essentially, by taking the stickers and putting them all over yourself, you could look one way under optical visualization and another way under active infrared visualization," Gorodetsky said.

However, the “invisibility stickers” will not yet be ready for use in the combat zone as an “adaptive camouflage system” is yet to be developed. In which multiple stickers are able to work in sync and respond to varying infrared wavelengths.

"We've developed stickers for use as a thin, flexible layer of camo with the potential to take on a pattern that will better match the soldiers' infrared reflectance to their background and hide them from active infrared visualization," Gorodetsky said.

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Squid cells can make soldiers invisible Squid cells can make soldiers invisible Reviewed by TrendSpot on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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