LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES' BELL LABS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES' BELL LABS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brittle star microlenses. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of microlenses on the surface of the brittle star Ophiocoma wendtii. These lenses are composed of light-sensitive calcium carbonite crystals. They form a compound eye on the body surface of this marine echinoderm. A network of nerve fibres beneath the lenses detects light signals, allowing the brittle star to detect and escape from predators. The design of the lenses may be used to improve components of optical networks and computer chips. The lenses were discovered by Joanna Aizenberg and her team at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs, USA.
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