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
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc paints Philly Royal Blue and White while leaving behind lots of greenon August 1, 2022 at 11:37 am
The annual convention for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was held in Philadelphia this year. Here's a look at all the fun they had!
- New Power Rangers Lightning Collection Pre-Orders: Mighty Morphin Black and Lost Galaxy Green Figureson August 1, 2022 at 9:07 am
Lost Galaxy Green Figure / $24.99 / Pre-order at Entertainment Earth (free US shipping on orders $39+ using the code SUNFREE22 at checkout): "This 6-inch Lightning Collection Lost Galaxy Green Ranger ...
- With Vibrant Paint Colors, a Historic D.C. Home Enters the Futureon August 1, 2022 at 7:36 am
Even over Zoom, he was the only person they considered to reimagine their historic Washington D.C. town house. Located in Dupont Circle, the 1870 dwelling was full of original details like elaborate ...
- 8 arrested after abortion rights activists paint front of Riverside courthouseon July 31, 2022 at 1:13 pm
The group they were with held a demonstration two days earlier at the Los Angeles County Museum of art, chaining themselves to an iconic exhibit.
- The Best Green Paint Shades At Home Depoton July 28, 2022 at 10:32 am
Green is a color you may want to look at again when it comes to painting the interior of your home. It has a lot to offer and will add a little nature inside.
- Green Coating Market Size to Reach USD 110,630 Million by 2030 Spurred by Rising Concern towards Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissionson July 27, 2022 at 5:02 pm
Acumen Research and Consulting recently published report titled “A2 Milk Market Size, Share, Analysis Report and Region Forecast, 2022 - 2030”BEIJING, July 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Global ...
- Before and After: These 3 Shade-Shifting Paint Redos All Use the Same Color (Really!)on July 26, 2022 at 11:01 am
Paint colors sometimes have all the energy of a slick con man — they might look one way on the card at the store, another in the can, and a totally different way once they’re on the wall. Then, of ...
- 10 Dark Green Paint Colors That Designers Swear Byon July 25, 2022 at 3:08 pm
These are the best dark green paint colors for creating a soothing atmosphere in your home. Browse designer spaces for brilliant ideas.
- 2023 GMC Hummer paint choices are out of this worldon July 25, 2022 at 2:37 pm
The GMC Hummer EV will get eight galactic-themed color choices. Interstellar White carries on, joined by these others, including an extra special green.
- Biodegradable silk is an alternative to microplasticson July 25, 2022 at 12:30 pm
A team of scientists at MIT and experts from other parts of the world developed a silk-based product that could replace industrial microplastics. The product is inexpensive and easy to manufacture, ...
via Bing News