E-Ink News: The mystery of cuttlefish disguise, scientists use E Ink technology to explore its secrets
At the 2023 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting, scientists demonstrated how they used CRISPR gene editing technology and E Ink electronic ink technology to delve into how color-blind cuttlefish achieve impressive camouflage.
Tessa Montague, a molecular biologist at Columbia University, and colleagues have made progress in editing the embryonic genome of the small species Sepia bandensis. They plan to insert genes that produce fluorescent proteins into the genomes of these cuttlefish, which will make neurons glow when they are active, and further study the neural mechanisms of cuttlefish skin color changes.
A cuttlefish wears a 3D-printed device model to visualize its neural activity. (Photo credit: Tessa Montague/Daniella Garcia-Rosales)
Montague's team also developed an innovative tool, an aquarium using E Ink technology. This technology is widely used in e-readers and has been adapted for scientific research. By programming patterns on the screen, researchers can systematically study how cuttlefish respond to their environment while avoiding the discomfort of using a glowing screen. This E Ink aquarium not only displays various patterns that simulate the natural environment, but also changes colors, providing a unique and controlled environment for studying the camouflage behavior of cuttlefish.
A cuttlefish swims in a tank, which is studied by using E-Ink technology to change the appearance of its surroundings (note: the video is sped up). (Photo credit: Tessa Montague/Daniella Garcia-Rosales)
These studies not only help unlock the secrets of cuttlefish camouflage and skin color changes, but may also shed light on the evolution of sleep and dreams in animals. Scientists hope to gain a deeper understanding of the mysterious world behind these interesting creatures through these studies, and E Ink technology plays a key role in this process.