Jewel beetle cells come from spontaneous arrangement of chitin molecules that form as cones. When these cones solidify, they preserve their structures and produce different colors as light hits them from different angles, acting like a liquid crystal.Full story at:http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=115304Accolades:
“The image is very very very very nice and so cool.
It looks realllllllly greattttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt! Remember the "Tiger" advertisement for a cereal?
Thanks so much for making such a great effort to do this illustration - it is just fantastic. “--Mohan Srinivasarao
School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Center for Advanced Research on Optical Microscopy (CAROM)
Georgia Institute of Technology
“Hey, it looks great. It looks nothing like any of the figures you sent a few days ago, though. The rotating light is a very nice illustration of what's happening.”--Charles M. Falco
Chair of Condensed Matter Physics
University of Arizona, Tucson
Your illustration looks EXCELLENT; it is easily my favorite part of the whole thing, and was crucial. I'm so grateful for your help and talent!” --Lisa Raffensperger
National Science FoundationAlso featured in:Science Dailyhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090723175436.htmScience Bloghttp://www.scienceblog.com/cms/what-scientists-know-about-jewel-beetle-shimmer-23338.htmlWorld Sciencehttp://www.world-science.net/othernews/090725_beetles.htmSoftpediahttp://news.softpedia.com/news/Jewel-Beetle-Shell-Teaches-Scientists-to-Make-Colors-117464.shtml