Brittlestars use crystal lenses to spot approaching predators unique visual system is the first of its kind to be discovered in animals inhabiting the earth today

Rehovot, Israel--August 22, 2001--Brittlestars of the species Ophiocoma wendtii form crystal lenses in their skeletons that allow them to spot approaching predators, according to a study reported in Nature on August 23. This unique visual system is the first of its kind to be discovered in animals inhabiting the earth today. The discovery is a result of a collaborative study conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, from Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies in New Jersey, and from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles, California.

Brittlestars, also known as serpent stars, are marine invertebrates that usually have five thin long arms emanating from a small, disk-shaped body. They belong to the phylum of echinoderms, which also includes sea urchins, sea cucumbers, starfish, and several other classes of marine animals.

Over the past few years, Prof. Lia Addadi, dean of the Weizmann Institutes Chemistry Faculty, and Prof. Steve Weiner, of the Institutes Structural Biology Department, have conducted a series of studies examining ways in which animals build their skeletons. The scientists have revealed that animals produce different types of proteins, some of which control crystal formation.

The idea for the current study was born when the Institute scientists met with Dr. Gordon Hendler of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Dr. Hendler brought their attention to one particular species of brittlestars, Ophiocoma wendtii; he had found that this species, which appears to be particularly sensitive to light, can change its color. Even though these animals have no specialized eyes, they are capable of detecting shadows and quickly escaping from predators into dark crevices. Hendler suspected that the arrays of spherical crystal structures on the surface of its outer skeleton serve as lenses that transmit light to the brittlestars nervous system. This hypothesis

Contact: Jeffrey Sussman
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Microbes trick provides a template for willowy crystals
2. New X-ray sources speed protein crystallography
3. Elves makes protein crystallography easier
4. Finished Y-chromosome sequence reveals a genomic crystal palace
5. Insulin study sheds light on physics of crystal growth
6. Purdue biologists crystallize technique to expand protein research
7. With toxic crystals, bacterium targets - and takes out nematodes
8. Infrared antenna for nano-size mapping of crystal vibrations
9. Rutgers professor details how polymers improve drug delivery and make possible crystal-clear water-based cosmetics
10. Shifting liquid crystals may serve as personal, portable chemical sensors, Science researchers report
11. X-ray crystallography at Advanced Photon Source

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: