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Iridescence workshop promotes nature's nanotechnology
Date:1/17/2008

TEMPE, Ariz. The phrase sex sells takes on special significance when scientists and students gather. While natures showiest subjects step out to promote reproductive success and survival with bright colors, flash and iridescence in feathers, scales, petals and wings, biologists, physicists, behaviorists and materials scientists will delve into whats behind all the bling at a workshop on Iridescence to be held Feb. 6-9 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

In terms of nanofabrication, nature has surpassed mankind, in both structural intricacy and manufacture, producing nanostructures at body temperature and neutral pH, without caustic reagents or environmental damage and with enviable repeatability for millions of years, says Nathan Morehouse, doctoral student in ASUs School of Life Sciences and one of the organizers of this conference.

The Iridescence workshop will pull participants and panelists from an array of fields and research institutes around the globe, including Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, China, Australia, South Korea, U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Talks and posters will present topics as diverse as how to make photonic crystals, the evolution of iridescent structures in butterflies, cephalopod coloration and sexual signaling in peacocks.

This workshop is intended to catalyze cross-disciplinary exchange, says Melissa Meadows Rader, conference organizer and an ASU doctoral student studying structural coloration in birds.

The workshop will present opportunities to identify new avenues for research, and jumpstart new perspectives around iridescent structures, their nano-architecture and function, and understanding about behavior and signaling, she says.

Beyond the conferences core talks and posters, not all will be about Fourier analyses, optics and elytra; human fashion, design, art and education will take their place along with the colorful cache of butterflies, birds, reptiles, mollusks
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Contact: Margaret Coulombe
Margaret.Coulombe@asu.edu
480-727-8934
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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