Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colours in nature. The paper, published in the journal PNAS, is the first study of the genetics of structural colour - as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers - and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally coloured organisms.
New study finds “messy” microscopic structures on petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bee pollinators. Researchers say these petal grooves evolved independently multiple times across flowering plants, but produce the same result: a floral halo of blue-to-ultraviolet light.
As the UK prepares to leave the EU, trade regimes are being reconfigured. Research into 19th-century trade regulations by Carolyn Cobbold, historian of science, shows that scientific claims play a significant role in shaping international trade. She urges us to heed the lessons of the past.
Latest research shows that flowers’ iridescent petals, which may look plain to human eyes, are perfectly tailored to a bee’s-eye-view.
New research shows wild Aegean wall lizards found on Greek islands choose to sit on rocks that better match their individual colouring. This improves camouflage and so reduces the risk of being attacked by birds when they sit out in the open, raising the intriguing question of how the lizards know what colour they are.
New research shows male lizards are more likely than females to be attacked by predators because the bright colours they need to attract a mate also make them more conspicuous to birds.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, K is for Kingfisher. Look out for them among the swamp cypresses at the Botanic Garden, where the secrets behind their cyan and blue feathers are being studied by an extraordinary collaboration of scientists.
The dottyback changes its colour to match surrounding damselfish species, enabling it to counter the defences of its damselfish prey by disguising itself as a harmless part of their community, then swoop in to hunt their young.
The latest research into the emergence of printmaking technology in early modern Europe is challenging accepted thinking about the development of colour printing. A seminar at CRASSH will reappraise these assumptions in the light of new archival evidence.