Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colours in nature.
The paper, published in the journal PNAS, is the first study of the genetics of structural colour – as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers – and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally coloured organisms.
This is the first systematic study of the genes underpinning structural colours — not only in bacteria but in any living system.
Villads Egede Johansen
The study is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Dutch company Hoekmine BV and shows how genetics can change the colour, and appearance, of certain types of bacteria. The results open up the possibility of harvesting these bacteria for the large-scale manufacturing of nanostructured materials: biodegradable, non-toxic paints could be ‘grown’ and not made, for example.
Flavobacterium is a type of bacteria that packs together in colonies that produce striking metallic colours, which come not from pigments, but from their internal structure, which reflects light at certain wavelengths. Scientists are still puzzled as to how these intricate structures are genetically engineered by nature, however.
“It is crucial to map the genes responsible for the structural colouration for further understanding of how nanostructures are engineered in nature,” said first author Villads Egede Johansen, from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry. “This is the first systematic study of the genes underpinning structural colours — not only in bacteria but in any living system.”
The researchers compared the genetic information to optical properties and anatomy of wild-type and mutated bacterial colonies to understand how genes regulate the colour of the colony.
By genetically mutating the bacteria, the researchers changed their dimensions or their ability to move, which altered the geometry of the colonies. By changing the geometry, they changed the colour: they changed the original metallic green colour of the colony in the entire visible range from blue to red. They were also able to create duller colouration or make the colour disappear entirely.
“We mapped several genes with previously unknown functions and we correlated them to the colonies’ self-organisational capacity and their colouration,” said senior author Dr Colin Ingham, CEO of Hoekmine BV.
“From an applied perspective, this bacterial system allows us to achieve tuneable living photonic structures that can be reproduced in abundance, avoiding traditional nanofabrication methods,” said co-senior author Dr Silvia Vignolini from the Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry. “We see a potential in the use of such bacterial colonies as photonic pigments that can be readily optimised for changing colouration under external stimuli and that can interface with other living tissues, thereby adapting to variable environments. The future is open for biodegradable paints on our cars and walls — simply by growing exactly the colour and appearance we want!”
The Latest on: Biodegradable paints
via Google News
The Latest on: Biodegradable paints
- NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jayson Tatum, Celtics' Roster Moves and Gerald Greenon October 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm
Williams and Fall should also be available to hold down the paint as Tatum hopefully ascends ... Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon Source confirms that it appears that key Rockets reserve Gerald Green ...
- Global Calcined Petcoke Market 2019-2023 | Increasing Consumption of Paints to Boost Demand | Technavioon October 14, 2019 at 5:06 pm
As green petcoke is derived from oil refineries as a byproduct ... report=IRTNTR30960 As per Technavio, the increasing per capita consumption of paints will have a positive impact on the market and ...
- Build your own coffin in Pittsburgh region with help of a green burial organizationon October 14, 2019 at 4:01 am
Families often decorate the box with paint or handwritten sentiments of love before it goes into the ground. Carpenter Wade Caruso, who runs a greenhouse on the site, is making coffin kits for the ...
- San Diego police officers use Taser on suspect 'covered in green paint'on October 14, 2019 at 12:26 am
SAN DIEGO — A man "covered in green paint" and knocking on doors of a Rancho Bernardo neighborhood was taken into custody Sunday after a fight with officers that ended with him being subdued by a ...
- Officers Use Taser on Paint-Covered Suspect in Rancho Bernardoon October 13, 2019 at 6:40 pm
“Residents called about a man walking around the neighborhood covered in green paint,” Buttle said. He ran into the backyard of a residence when they arrive, then fought with them. After using the ...
- Man wandering Rancho Bernardo ‘covered in green paint’ chased, tasedon October 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm
SAN DIEGO — A man “covered in green paint” and knocking on doors of a Rancho Bernardo neighborhood was taken into custody today after a fight with officers that ended with him being subdued ...
- Man covered in green paint shot with Taser after trying to fight officerson October 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm
A man covered in green paint was shot with a Taser after he tried to fight officers int he backyard of a Rancho Bernardo home on Sunday, police said. Residents on Cresta Way called police about 2:55 p ...
- This ‘color bible’ informed Darwin (and inspired some seriously pricey paint)on October 12, 2019 at 5:19 am
Darwin wasn’t the only scientist to prize the guide, which featured colors like “campanula purple” and “celandine green” and used things like “the white of the human ... Colour by Nature, from Farrow ...
- Video: Bob Saget In the PPG Paints Green Roomon October 11, 2019 at 9:18 am
Actor, comedian, host, producer, director, and legendary TV dad, Bob Saget stops in the PPG Paints Green Room to answer some of our questions. When he is not filming “Fuller House” for Netflix, Bob is ...
- Here are the Tesla paint colors that best hold their valueon October 8, 2019 at 1:02 pm
Now, a new study from iSeeCars “analyzed more than 4.1 million vehicles to determine which car colors are more likely to provide used car deals.” For the Model S, Brown, Gray, and Green paint colors ...
via Bing News