Look closely enough at the arms of the brittlestar, a starfish relative, and you'd
see that those arms are looking right back at you. Each one is coated with perfect
lenses that focus light onto a nerve bundle, researchers report in the Aug. 23
Nature. Made of skeletal material, these lens structures rival recent engineering
advances in microlens arrays.
"To find them [microlens arrays] in nature is absolutely astonishing," says
physicist Roy Sambles of the University of Exeter in England.
Joanna Aizenberg of Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., and her