Scientists Marvel at Seaweed's Living Opals | The Institute for Creation Research
Scientists Marvel at Seaweed's Living Opals

A common seaweed called rainbow wrack grows along Europe’s coasts, including tidal rock pools in the UK. Deep inside its cells, this marine plant uses oily chemicals to make opal look-alikes—“living opals.” This discovery intrigues nanotechnologists.

Opals are gemstones renowned for the way they make white light shimmer with thin rainbow colors. Deep inside the opals, light bounces off very tiny ball-like structures.1 A University of Bristol news release said, “Such structures arise from nanosized spheres packed tightly in a regular way.”2

Once an opal has formed in the earth, its nanostructure stays fixed. But this special seaweed can switch its rainbow production on and off on a daily basis. The seaweed cells craft and arrange ultra-tiny spheres in response to changing sunlight conditions during the day. Science Advances published the research.3

Dr. Martin Lopez-Garcia, the lead author of the Science Advances report, told Bristol,

“If nanotechnologists were able to understand and mimic the dynamic properties of this seaweed opal, we may in the future have biodegradable, switchable display technology that may be used in packaging or very efficient, low cost solar cells.”

This common seaweed doesn’t use its oily opals as “display technology” to write messages on packages. It probably uses them in a way “that regulates the light reaching the chloroplasts,” according to the study authors.3 It certainly does “display” engineering that is so ingenious, efficient, switchable, and miniaturized that nanotechnologists long to discover how it works.

The study authors wrote in Science Advances, “The presence of such a complex photonic structure in an alga, such as the ordered 3D opal structure shown here, is surprising in itself but even more so is the fact that this complex structure is dynamic.”3

Bristol’s Dr. Ruth Oulton said, “So next time you’re rock pooling in the UK during your summer holidays, see if you can find this amazing seaweed with its nano-manufacturing technology.”

That which nature could never do, the Creator who exists outside of nature can do on a whim. Tweet: That which nature could never do, the Creator who exists outside of nature can do on a whim.

Scientists Marvel at Seaweed's Living Opals: http://www.icr.org/article/scientists-marvel-seaweed-living-opals

@icrscience @icrbthomas

If nature alone somehow gave this seaweed its “amazing” opalescence, then no wonder these researchers find it so “surprising.” But that which nature could never do, the Creator who exists outside of nature can do on a whim. Whoever could create light, morning, and evening on Day 1 of the creation week would also know how to make miniature machines—like living opals—that expertly manipulate and harvest light during mornings and evenings.
 

References

  1. They form fast from bacterial action underground. See Thomas, B. Opals Can Form in Weeks. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 25, 2011, accessed April 18, 2018.
  2. New type of opal formed by common seaweed discovered. University of Bristol News. Posted on bristols.ac.uk April 17, 2018, accessed April 18, 2017.
  3. Lopez-Garcia, M., et al. Light-induced dynamic structural color by intracellular 3D photonic crystals in brown algae. Science Advances. 4 (4): eaaan8917.

*Brian Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research

The Latest
CREATION PODCAST
TThe Secrets of the Cell | The Creation Podcast: Episode 29
Cells are microscopic organisms that are essential to life. What is a cell? What goes on inside of a cell? Did all life come from a single cell? Join...

NEWS
Fossil Footprints Fit Flood Ice-Age Model
Anthropologists Thomas Urban (Cornell University) and Daron Duke (Far Western Anthropological Research Group) recently found preserved human footprints...

NEWS
Deep-Sea Lobster Microbiome
Research continues regarding complex and amazing microbiomes found on or within a variety of creatures.1 The microbiome is a microbial community...

NEWS
"Massively Exciting" Fossil Find
Now this is exciting: “Geologists have found the fossil of the earliest known animal predator. The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of...

NEWS
Copulation Didn't Kill the Frogs, the Flood Did
Evolutionary scientists recently studied 168 frog fossils from central Germany, concluding that the frogs all drowned while aggressively mating. They claim...

CREATION PODCAST
What Can We Learn From Fossils? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Is evolution seen in the fossil record? Why are fossilized terrestrial animals found buried with marine creatures? What conditions were needed to form...

NEWS
Be Not Deceived: Spiritually Train to Overcome Secular Science...
Thorough instruction and discipline are the hallmark qualities of a strong military training program. Well-trained soldiers can think on their feet, adapt...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Jurassic World: Dominion - Fun Movie, Bad Science | Creation.Live...
Covered in feathers, running faster than cars, and living in cold climates...these are just a few of the ideas introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion....

NEWS
CET Model in Plants Is Clearly Seen
Plant scientists have known for decades that plants aren’t just static entities. The half-million or more species of plants in the world display...

NEWS
Half-Billion-Year-Old Fossil Brains?
Once again, a recent and remarkable fossil discovery has been made challenging evolutionary theory. A strange arthropod (i.e. a radiodont) has been found...