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The Mystery of Peacock Mantis Shrimp
The Mystery of Peacock Mantis Shrimp
2021-08-18 19:57:23

Today we have a special guest, a friend from the ocean--it is gifted with spectral perception and can see "another world" that is invisible to humans; it is the love of the medical world for it helps doctors "see clearly" cancer cells, which made it on the cover of academic journal; as a boxing champion of the sea, its punching is as fast as bullets…... Let’s lift its veil together.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图1)

Commonly, it lives in the sea, about 3-40 meters below the sea level. It likes to build its own U-shaped cave at the base of the coral reef. Its tail looks like a peacock, its body is like a rainbow, and its big eyes are bright and twinkling. Despite its beautiful appearance, it is one of the most terrifying marine creatures.

It is called peacock mantis shrimp (scientific name: Odontodactylus scyllarus). Ferocious and aggressive, it is endowed with a colorful armor and a pair of big claws as killing weapons. Ordinary crabs are no match to it.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图2)

This pair of big claw hooks are its second pair of gnathopod—or, the sweeping claws that are as strong and fast as Tyson. When it attacks, the hammer at the front of the limb can reach a speed of more than 80 kilometers per hour in one-fifth of a second, and the instantaneous acceleration exceeds the speed of a bullet from a small-caliber pistol.

Its high-speed hitting produces shock waves, and the following cavitation effect of water will generate cavitation, causing more severe second-stage damage.  Therefore, it is truly "Underwater Bruce Lee".

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图3)

As an old saying goes, “ never believe beautiful women and never eat colorful mushrooms”.

Even the greediest foodie can’t hold the beautiful peacock mantis shrimp, for its claws can crush your fingers.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图4)

In addition to its amazing attack power, the peacock mantis shrimp has the most developed visual system in nature.

Human eyes have only 4 kinds of light-sensing receivers with only 3 channels of spectral resolution, which can recognize red (R), green (G), and blue (B);but its eyes have up to 16 kinds of light-sensing receivers with at least 12 channels of spectral resolution that covers almost all visible light for human. It can perceive linearly polarized light and circularly polarized light of special wavelengths, and infrared and ultraviolet light.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图5)

Justin Marshall, a photoreceptor neurobiologist of the University of Queensland in Australia, found that the compound eye structure of the peacock mantis shrimp covers almost all types of photoreceptors. It arranges color receptors in a band in the middle of the retina. This setting is very similar to a spectral linear analyzer that is often used in satellites as a remote sensing tool.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图6)

Imagine what a superb experience to wear this remote sensing tool on one's eyes every day!

The carapace of the peacock mantis shrimp contains a lot of sugar, so part of the carapace can reflect circularly polarized light, which makes it look like a sparkling jewel. The circularly polarized light can be used to communicate with potential mates without being spotted by predators for other animals cannot see the special light.

It’s truly an openly secret love! Any playboy would appreciate the romantic skill and rank second before it!

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图7)

Of course, such an excellent visual system can't just be used for romantic relationships! Small as it is, it could shoulder the medical responsibility with the wonderful visual system.

In the past, it was difficult for doctors to completely remove the tumor during the operation. It was even harder to detect the surrounding tiny lesions with naked eyes. Doctors used to use fluorescent staining to accurately mark tumors, but when the auxiliary light source was on, the camera cannot capture the faint fluorescent markers.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图8)

Recently, the R&D team at the University of Illinois in the United States, inspired by the peacock mantis shrimp’s vision system, integrated a vertically stacked photodetector and a dedicated filter array into a single imaging device to mark cancer cells in real time during operation and direct the doctor to remove them.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图9)

The recognition accuracy (AUC) of several FDA-approved products reaches only about 0.75, while the AUC of the shrimp eye camera can reach 0.92. After preliminary clinical verification, the use of this bionic spectral imaging system will not cause other interferences with the real operating room equipment, light source and operating conditions. With the help of fluorescent agents, diseased tissues and healthy tissues can be marked and distinguished in real time with the success rate close to 90%.

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图10)

For this, peacock mantis shrimp stands out from other mantis shrimps and become famous after its appearance on the cover of "Science Translational Medicine" journal./p>

Ordinary mantis shrimps boarded the foodies' dining table while peacock mantis shrimp, with its superb visual system, becomes a famous star that work for medical world during the day, play boxing at night, and occasionally take a role of cover model for academic special issues.

You see, even as a shrimp, you need some professional skills to live a colorful life!

揭秘 | 光谱感知奇才、医学界的宠儿、兼职海底拳王和学术专刊封面模特(图11)