Bejeweled Beetle May Inspire Synthetic Gem

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 12, 2004   View Article

The study of a weevil with an opal-like shell from the dimly-lit tropical forests of northeastern Queensland, Australia, may enable humans to more easily manufacture synthetic versions of the gem.

Understanding how the beetle manufactures the tiny structures in its scales may benefit jewelers seeking a less expensive opal and the computer and telecommunications industries seeking to manufacture tiny electronics.

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