Latest Issue of Science News


News

Channeling light in the deep sea

A genus of sea sponges grows its own light-conducting fibers that are remarkably similar to commercial-grade optical fibers–and in some ways better. A team of U.S. and Israeli researchers that recently studied several Euplectella species says the primitive creatures' fibers might serve as a model for improved telecommunications fiber optics.

In the Aug. 21 Nature, Joanna Aizenberg of Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., and her colleagues report that the sponges' fibers, called spicules, have glass cores infused with sodium ions that enhance the fibers' optical properties.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.