Night Vision Camouflage, Inspired By Squid
University of California-Irvine scientists combined a protein found in a chameleon-like squid with graphene to create a material that could be used to hide people and objects in infrared light.
What's the Latest Development?
Engineers at the University of California-Irvine have created a material that they say could provide better camouflage for military personnel and vehicles at night. They did it with the help of the longfin squid, which contains in its skin a protein that lets them change their color and texture so that they are harder to see in infrared light. Combining this protein with graphene results in a coating that can be activated under certain biological or chemical conditions. A paper describing the research appeared in an issue of Advanced Materials.
What's the Big Idea?
Infrared light as used in cameras and night vision goggles makes it easier to see people and objects in the dark, especially since its reflective properties are different for fabrics and materials. Tests done with an orange surface coated with the material showed that it blended into green foliage when the coating was activated. UC-Irvine professor Alon Gorodestsky says the eventual goal "is to create fabrics that can dynamically alter their texture and colour to adapt to their environments. Basically, we’re seeking to make shape-shifting clothing...a reality."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
VR's coolest feature? Boosting compassion and empathy.
- Virtual reality fills us with awe and adrenaline — and the technology is only at a crude stage, explains VR filmmaker Danfung Dennis. It's capable of inspiring something much greater in us: empathy.
- With coming technological advancements in pixel display, haptics, and sound tracking, VR users will finally be able to know what it's like to really take another person's perspective. Empathy is inherent in humans (and other animal species), but just as it can be squashed, it must be practiced in order to develop.
- "This ability to improve ourselves to become a more empathetic and compassionate society is what I hope we will use this technology for," Dennis says.
We have to practice doing nothing more often.
- Constantly being busy is neurologically taxing and emotionally draining.
- In his new book, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes that you're doing a disservice to others by always being busy.
- Busyness is often an excuse for the discomfort of being alone with your own thoughts.
That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.
- The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
- The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
- Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.