Platelets reflect light: bobtail squid
Reflector platelets within squid chromatophores reflect light because they are nanofabricated photonic structures composed of proteins called reflectins.
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"A family of unusual proteins is deposited in flat, structural platelets in reflective tissues of the squid Euprymna scolopes. These proteins, which we have named reflectins, are encoded by at least six genes in three subfamilies and have no reported homologs outside of squids. Reflectins possess five repeating domains, which are highly conserved among members of the family. The proteins have a very unusual composition, with four relatively rare residues (tyrosine, methionine, arginine, and tryptophan) comprising 57% of a reflectin, and several common residues (alanine, isoleucine, leucine, and lysine) occurring in none of the family members. These protein-based reflectors in squids provide a marked example of nanofabrication in animal systems." (Crookes et al. 2004:235)
Euprymna scolopes Berry, 1913
IUCN Red List Status: Unknown
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Toxin-free, reflective protein for photovoltaic cells. Novel wavelength guides for optics. Adjustable wavelength modulation.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Energy, manufacture, optics, communicationSage Glass, Quantum Glass (Europe) - Windows, glass
Optical metamaterials - Displays, patterned materials, sensors
RavenBrick - Windows, glass, walls
Margaret Jean McFall-Ngai
University of Wisconsin--Madison