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In the chicken eye substance found in a strange state
In the chicken eye was found previously unheard of in biology state of a substance called “disordered sverhodnorodnost.” This location disordered particles at close range, but has a hidden order that allows the substance to behave as both the crystal and the liquid.
The discovery was made when researchers studied the conical tiny light-sensitive cells responsible for color perception in the eyes of chicks.
For chickens and other birds are most active during the day, these photoreceptors are in four different colors – purple, blue, green and red – and the fifth type to determine the level of illumination. Each cone type – different sizes.
These cells are arranged in a single layer of tissue on the retina. Many animals cones arranged in a specific pattern. In insects, for example, arranged in a hexagonal pattern. Cones in the eye of the chicken seemed to be unordered.
However, researchers have created a computer model that simulates the location of chicken cones and found extremely accurate structure.
Around each cone has a so-called exclusion zone, which prevents other cones of the same type too close. Therefore, each cone type has its own uniform location, but five different patterns of five different types of cones are layered in a haphazard way.
“Since the cones of different sizes, the system can not proceed in an orderly crystalline or order – says Salvatore Torquato, a professor of chemistry at Princeton University. – The system suffers from an inability to find the optimal solution with the orderly formation. But although the pattern can be disordered, it must be the most uniform. Thus, the disordered sverhodnorodnost become a great solution. ”
Materials in the disordered state sverhodnorodnosti resemble crystals, because they retain the particle density is constant at large spatial distances. But also these systems behave as liquids, since they have the same physical properties in all directions.
Researchers say that the disordered sverhodnorodnost may have first seen in the biological system, the previously seen only in physical systems, such as liquid helium plasma and simple.
In the case of chicken eyes, the researchers suggest that such an order cones allows light to enter the eye of birds evenly. Engineers will be able to draw inspiration from a disordered sverhodnorodnosti in nature to create optical circuits and light detectors sensitive or resistant to certain wavelengths of light.
From the journal Physical Letters B.
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Tags: Biology , Animals , Medicine .
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