Butterflies, Cancer, and Biomimetics

It has been said that dogs and cats can see things that we cannot. Based on some of their actions (including giving warnings and such), it may very well be true. We have trichromatic vision, which means all the colors we see are combinations of red, green, and blue. RGB codes are frequently used to get specific colors.

Studies show that many critters see colors beyond our range, on into the ultraviolet. Someone took a notion to study the vision of an Asian swallowtail butterfly. It can see ultraviolet.

Humans see all colors based on combinations or red, green, blue. Asian swallowtail butterflies can see ultraviolet. This is used in cancer research.
Asian swallowtail butterfly, Flickr / Zorac&Visar (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
These flutterbyes can convert ultraviolet light into visible light — an example of specified complexity that defies evolution and testifies of the Creator's skill. Certain things in cancerous tissues are more concentrated and show up under UV light. Scientists are using biomimetics, drawing inspiration from the butterfly's vision, to work on a means of finding cancer!
It’s something right out of science fiction. The beautiful, flighty butterfly has been discovered to have cancer detection properties via the ability to see tiny variations in the ultraviolet spectrum.

Who would have guessed?

There have been many incredible discoveries about these beautiful insects these past years, including their wing design, antennae, and genetics. Now add to this list that butterflies are designed with amazing visual features unheard of 30 years ago.

To finish reading, click on "Butterflies and Cancer Detection."