Mantis shrimps can see cancer, and scientists have now created a camera that does the same

Oct 3, 2014

Image credit: Jung Hsuan/Shutterstock

By Fiona MacDonald

Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia have discovered that mantis shrimp have an incredibly useful ability – the marine creatures are able to see a variety of cancers inside our bodies. And they’ve now replicated that ability in a camera that could eventually be put into a smartphone.

Mantis shrimp can see cancer, and the activity of our neurons, because they have unique eyes, known as compound eyes. This type of eye is superbly tuned to detect polarised light – a type of light that reflects differently off different types of tissue, including cancerous or healthy tissue.

“Humans can’t see this, but a mantis shrimp could walk up to it and hit it,” said Justin Marshall from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in a press release.

“We see colour with hues and shades, and objects that contrast – a red apple in a green tree for example – but our research is revealing a number of animals that use polarised light to detect and discriminate between objects.”


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

5 comments on “Mantis shrimps can see cancer, and scientists have now created a camera that does the same

  • Ah Science, the gift that keeps on giving. We sit at the start of the trail that gives us Dr McCoy’s tricorder, what an amazing age we are living in.
    Report abuse

  • A seemingly ridiculous amount of colour receptors, the ability to punch so hard that they can crack glass, and now they can see invisible tumours. These guys really are the superheros of the marine world.
    Report abuse

  • 3
    auramon says:

    Science has saved billions of lives, religion killed billions of people.
    (Antibiotics alone saved more than 300 million lives. Science is good IF saving people’s life is good.)
    Report abuse

  • auramon Oct 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    (Antibiotics alone saved more than 300 million lives. Science is good IF saving people’s life is good.)

    True! –
    But big phama and profit-hungry corporate America is doing everything it can to build up antibiotic resistance and undo this work.

    http://www.nrdc.org/food/saving-antibiotics.asp

    Did you know that 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are for use on livestock and poultry, not humans? The majority aren’t even given to animals that are sick. Instead, it’s normal practice in the meat industry to mix these drugs with livestock food and water day after day as a substitute for healthier living conditions and to make chickens, pigs, and cows grow faster.

    The problem with feeding antibiotics to animals that are not sick is that it kills off weak bacteria and creates the perfect environment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria to multiply and thrive. When the meat industry routinely misuses and overuses antibiotics in this way, it threatens public health when essential drugs no longer work to treat infections. This makes us all less safe.

    Report abuse

  • . Alan. The problem with feeding antibiotics to animals that are not sick is that it kills off weak bacteria and creates the perfect environment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria to multiply and thrive. When the meat industry routinely misuses and overuses antibiotics in this way, it threatens public health when essential drugs no longer work to treat infections. This makes us all less safe.

    I know this is the case, but people are contributing in this regard as well. People routinely take antibiotics needlessly. Drs seem to go along with this practice quite often in fear of losing a patient.
    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.