Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Green to Red in a Nanosecond


An increased insight as to how the Chameleon changes from green to red so quickly (this is not the tasteless 'frog in the liquidiser' joke) has been obtained (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/10/scientists-find-out-how-chameleon-changes-colour). It is apparently down to special skin pigment cells (chromatophores) containing guanine nanocrystals whose spacing can be altered (presumably, as in the octopus, by tiny muscles distorting the cells). These changes in the crystal latticework alter the wavelengths of light reflected from those available in the spectrum of white light, thus altering the colour of the beastie. I suspect that this will turn out to have commercial applications in clothing and elsewhere.

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Seeing the Changes 1247

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