When it comes to advancements in the world of science, I guess we definitely have to hand it to nature for being the undisputed king of inspiration. One of the best camouflage exponents in the natural world would be the nimble squid, who is so notorious for blending into their surroundings (not to mention having an arsenal of defenses to boot), that they make a chameleon look like an amateur. A research team over at the University of California was successful in producing reflectin, which has been described as “a structural protein essential in the squid’s ability to change color and reflect light”. This allowed them to churn out tiny encasings on bacteria which mimicked the squid’s changeable skin.
The very same research team also performed experiments with other substances that reacted with the engineered “skin”, and they were pretty happy with the results although it goes without saying that a whole lot more work needed to be done in order to provide soldiers of the future with a real smart uniform or clothing that lets them blend in with their natural surroundings in the future. I do wonder, however, will such highly advanced clothing also result in the increase of friendly fire incidents? After all, you might not realize it is your team mate hiding behind that rock due to the uniform’s coloration.