Squid skin could help make color-changing gadgets

The skin of a California market squid

Not happy with the color of your clothes and devices? Eventually, you might get to change those hues on a whim. UC Santa Barbara researchers have discovered that the color-changing California market squid (aka opalescent inshore squid) manages its optical magic thanks to the presences of protein sequences that let it create specific light reflections. If scientists can recreate those proteins in artificial structures, it'd be easy to change colors at a moment's notice. This could be useful for camouflage and near-invisibility, but scientists note that the squid's colors are as vivid as "paintings by Monet" -- to us, that suggests wearables that can stand out when you want them to, or blend in when you'd rather go low-key.