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Bug Sweat May Hold the Key to a Real Life Invisibility Cloak

Secreted nanoparticles hide them from predators.


Invisibility has long been a staple of science fiction and fantasy. Just ask Harry about his cloak and Frodo about a certain ring. Or talk to any true Trekkie about subspace disturbances caused by a Romulan or Klingon cloaking device. Now bug sweat has science one step closer to developing an actual Cloak of Invisibility.

Nature abounds with a menagerie of animals capable of blending with their surroundings, either for survival or for hunting. These camouflaging creatures range from a gliding lizard in India, whose speckled brownish-grey dorsal side matches perfectly with tree bark, to octopuses adjusting the size of their pigment cells to change their exterior color to blend with any background they rest on. But it is the unique method of camouflage demonstrated by an insect that have scientists thinking they can develop real-world cloaking applications for humans.

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