MCB graduate student Nicole Haloupek's lovely article in the Berkeley Review is featured front and center on the UC Berkeley home page today. Read the full article, "Color by Numbers," which highlights the fascinating work of the Patel Lab (including grad students Ryan Null and Rachel Thayer) and other researchers on campus examinig the science behind color.
"In Professor Nipam Patel’s office in his lab at UC Berkeley, drawers are filled with butterfly wings in captivating colors and a variety of patterns. This makes the wings pleasing to the naked eye, but gaining a true appreciation of them requires examination at the nanoscale."
The nanoscale architecture of some butterflies’ wings creates vibrant colors. For the emerald swallowtail, a combination of nanostructures—one that reflects yellow light and another that reflects blue—leads to a brilliant green color.