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An Invisibility Cloak Made of Squid?

posted: 03/26/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Squid swimming
Jeff Foott/DCI

A group of researchers is taking a cue from squid to develop technology that can fool infrared cameras, which can expose otherwise hidden soldiers to harm.

"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," explains lead researcher Alon Gorodetsky.

Researchers examined iridocytes, special cells that appear on the skin of some fish and reptiles. The iridocytes are comprised of layers of a protein called reflectin, which animals can manipulate to reflect light in different ways.

Knowing this, Gorodetsky developed a sticky, reflectin-coated film that can be affixed to clothing and will obscure soldiers from infrared detection.

"We're going after something that's inexpensive and completely disposable," he says. "You take out this protein-coated tape, you use it quickly to make an appropriate camouflage pattern on the fly, then you take it off and throw it away."

Click here for the full news release from the American Chemical Society

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