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Orlando Sentinel — UCF assistant professor Debashis Chanda has always been intrigued by nature and its colors. Now he’s hoping to use that interest to create a material that can help soldiers camouflage themselves or make rubber mannequins at medical schools look more realistic with wounds and bruises.

“I love light,” said Debashis, who prefers to go by his first name. “It’s an enigma. We still don’t understand light well. What can be done with light? … There’s all kinds of unknown and mystery about it.”

At his UCF lab he’s trying to develop thin, flexible surfaces that mimic how nature uses light to create colors — from the vivid colors spread on the wings of butterflies to the way octopuses change colors on the ocean floor. He wants to create a surface that uses ambient light and also can change color and pattern.

His quest has already led him to development of new technology that most recently landed him in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

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