« Archives in February, 2012

Lion's Mane Jellyfish..the largest animal species

The Lion’s Mane that live in the northern parts of the Earth’s globe usually are the biggest sea animals and can reach some big measures, but most of the specie inhabiting the northern seas and oceans usually reach to 50-60cm in body diameter and the tentacles of the larger ones usually reach up to 30m. in length. The Lion’s mane jellyfish has very sticky tentacles which are grouped into eight clusters and each of those clusters contains more than 100 tentacles which are set in rows.

The bodies of the Lion’s mane jellyfish are shaped like a star with eight points. Lion’s mane jellyfishes change their color depending on their age. For instance the old ones are usually dark purple while the younger ones have a light orange – dark yellow color.

The main residence of the Lion’s mane jellyfish is near the ocean surface. It’s rather rare when they go under 20m depth. The main way they move is by using water currents and wind, but they can also move on their own using body pulsations to go forward. Lion’s mane jellyfish can be seen mainly in the end of summer and autumn when the flocks in which they move increase in size and they get moved near the coast by water currents.

However despite their big size their sting isn’t fatal. There hasn’t been a reported case in which a person has died, because of a sting from a Lion’s mane jellyfish. But of course if you get stung by such a jellyfish you should consider visiting a doctor as quickly as possible, because you will be feeling some strong pain and the place where you got stung will change its color to red.

OCS Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution is proven effective on the Lion’s Mane along with a number of marine stingers.  Don’t get stung without it !!

The White Spotted Jellyfish migrates to the Gulf of Mexico

The White Spotted Jellyfish or Phyllorhiza punctata, is a native of Australia and is also known as the Australian spotted jellyfish. They are a beautiful species native to the Western Pacific ocean in general, but also found in North America, where they are an invasive species.  It grows to the size of about 45-50 centimeters in diameter, and is ocassionally known to grow to a maximum length of just a little over 60 centimeters in size.

calacademyjelly-01.jpg

They look extremely beautiful with the design of white spots over their translucent gelatinous body and their frilly oral arms add another aspect of charm to their appearance. This jellyfish is an eating machine filtering 13,200 gallons of sea water a day devouring plankton. Additionally, they are fairly harmless and their sting contains only mild venom which does not cause any serious effect or reaction in humans. Application of Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution can cure the little burning sensation that may be caused by the sting.

calacademyjelly-01.jpg

The white spotted jellyfish has involuntarily migrated to the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed that the animal may have gotten trapped in the ballast tank of a marine vessel and got transported to the Gulf of Mexico where they can now be found in large numbers. The native marine species in the Gulf of Mexico are now beginning to face the problem of non availability of plankton due to the presence of the white spotted jellyfish.

calacademyjelly-03.jpg

www.oceancaresolutions.com

The Solution for marine sting injuries…Don’t get stung without it  !!

 

How Jellyfish sting..National Sea Rescue Institute

By Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson

This last week there has been an influx blue bottles washing up on False Bay beaches.  This prompted an inquiry as to how jellyfish actually sting and why is it so painful when you are stung.

The answer is rather surprising.

Although Jellyfish are among the top five most deadly animals on earth; our interaction in South Africa is limited to relatively harmless, non life-threatening, yet admittedly painful (read personal experience) stings.

The box jelly which can be found from Port Elizabeth to Angola is comparatively benign compared to its cousins in the rest of the world.
Since 1884 at least 5,567 deaths have been attributed to box jellyfish alone. Some 20 to 40 people die from stings by box jellyfish annually in the Philippines alone, according to the U.S. National Science Foundation. Box jellyfish belong to a class that includes 50 described species.  Box jellyfish have tentacles covered in tiny biological booby traps known as cnidocysts.
Each cnidocyst contains a tiny dart and a load of poison that cause “the most explosive envenomation process that is presently known to humans”.  Included in this class is the most venomous animal on earth, it can kill a human in less than 5 minutes and contains enough venom to take out 60 adults.  It is called a sea wasp or Irukandji jellyfish. What makes this more surprising is that some species of Irukandji jellyfish are less than 10 mm in bell diameter.  The name Irukandji, comes from the symptoms following a sting and the jellies that cause this were named in 1952 by Hugo Flecker, after the Aboriginal Irukandji people who live in Palm Cove, north of Cairns, Australia, where stings are common within the community.

Jellyfish inject their venom by way of the many tentacles dangling from their bell, or bodies.  The box jelly, which gets its name from the boxy shape of its bell, has 4 tentacles, each of which contains about 5,000 stinging nematocysts, housed in cells called cnidoblasts.  Nematocysts are like little stinging darts that fire whenever the tentacle comes in contact with chemicals on the surface of its prey.  A single encounter with a jellyfish can leave you with thousands of stings, and the powerful venom doesn’t waste any time getting to work.  Many victims stung at sea, go into shock or die of heart failure before they can even reach the shore.
Not only is jellyfish venom damaging to the heart, muscles and nervous system, it’s also dermonecrotic, meaning it’s capable of killing skin cells and underlying tissue, leaving you with dead, blackened skin and potentially permanent scarring.  Some jelly venom even breaks down blood cells.  To make matters worse, your initial instinct to shake the offending stingers off makes the tentacles contract and stick tighter to your skin, potentially releasing even more stingers into your already burning flesh.

How do you get Stung?
Each cnidocyte cell contains a nematocyst; which comprises a bulb-shape capsule containing a coiled hollow thread-like structure attached to it.  The outward facing side of the cnidocyte has a hair-like trigger called a cnidocil, when the trigger is activated (usually on contact with a skin protein), the shaft of the cnidocyst penetrates the target organism, and the hollow thread is everted into it.  This process happens incredibly quickly and with a surprising amount of force.

Structure of a nematocyst:
The cnidocyte capsule stores a large concentration of calcium ions, which are released from the capsule into the cytoplasm (the stuff inside the cell excluding organelles) of the cnidocyte when the trigger is activated.  This increase of calcium literally forces water to be drawn in to the capsule which pushes onto the nematocyst and causes it to eject rapidly.  The coiled nematocyst is a hollow tube that exists inside the cell in an “inside out” condition.  The pressure of water flowing into the cnidocyte forces the water into the tubular nematocyst causing it to right itself as it comes rushing out of the cell with enough force to impale a prey organism.

This discharge takes no more than a few microseconds, and is able to reach accelerations of about 40,000 g (g – referring to gravitational force).  Recent research suggests the process occurs as fast as 700 nanoseconds, and the thread reaches an acceleration of up to 5,410,000 g.  This is amazing as humans typically pass out at 9 g’s and fighter pilots ejection seat fire with 32 g’s.  In fact the highest gravitational force a human has ever survived was 178 g by a British Formula One racer, David Purley, who crashed in 1977, his car going from 173 km/h to 0 in only 66 cm  (which basically means he hit a wall and the car structure compressed to decelerate him).  He broke many bones, but survived and this deceleration of his, is believed to be the highest ever survived by a human being.  The closest human experience of a nematocyst firing is if our skin was the outside of an aircraft and the nematocysts was a missile… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

Cnidocytes can only fire once; used cnidocytes have to be replaced, which takes about 48 hours.  To minimise wasteful firing, two types of stimulus are generally required to trigger cnidocytes: cilia (hair) in mechanoreceptors (cells which detect vibrations) contact, and nearby sensory cells which “smell” chemicals (usually skin proteins) in the water.  This combination prevents them from firing at distant or non-living objects.  Australian lifeguards used to wear women’s pantyhose to protect them from being stung, as although they would brush past a jelly nematocyst, the nematocyst couldn’t smell their skin and thus wouldn’t fire.  Thankfully theses days lifeguards look more manly thanks to the invention of lycra full body swim suits.  Some jellies and anemones are even more sophisticated with their mechanoreceptors tuned to specific vibration frequencies such as the swimming motion of its prey.  It’s thought that this is the reason why you can touch an anemone, rather than sting you and waste its cnidocytes, it will withdraw its tentacles into its body.  Groups of cnidocytes are usually connected by nerves and if one fires, the rest of the group requires a weaker minimum stimulus than the cells that fire first.

It is possible to get stung even while wearing a wet suit although usually this happens as you remove the wet suit and drag it over your skin.  The wet suit will have skin cells that have rubbed off you and become stuck to the wetsuit.  Some of the nematocysts may fire and anchor the tentacle into the suit as they smelt the skin cells.  You may not see the tentacle but you can become stung as you are removing the suit, even if the suit has been drying in the sun.  This is because nematocyst can fire independently from a nerve impulse and even several weeks after being on the suit (ask me I know!).

Why is it so hard to get the tentacles off you?

There are actually 2 forces which help to attach the tentacles to prey: 1) adhesion of the nematocyst capsule to the tentacle 2) the stickiness of mucus covering the tentacle and in sea anemones (which are related to jellyfish) a third force exists 3) adhesion of the nematocyst threads from specialized cells called spirocysts, to the prey.

Tentacles are designed to stick so they can be incredibly difficult to remove. The best way is to use gloves and a credit card and scrape them off the skin.
Flushing the area with water and rubbing sand can actually cause more tentacles to fire.

How is their venom delivered?

There are three types of venom which will be injected into you when you are envenomated by a nematocyst.  On the outside of the dart is capsular plaque.  Inside the dart which is essentially a hollow tube, is tubular matrix.  Inside the nematocyst is capsular matrix.  As the coiled tube is being fired it twists and everts and has a motion similar to that of a drill.  The spines will appear and help to anchor the nematocyst to you.  During the twisting motion the capsular plaque and the tubular matrix is released into your skin surrounding the dart.  Studies have shown that the tubular matrix causes blood cells to breakdown.  As the nematocyst is still under pressure the capsular matrix is forced through the dart to the tip, once it has reached the end of the dart it will burst the dart and the poison will be expelled into your body in small drops.

As symptoms are very rapid following a sting, some of the venom is delivered directly into your blood stream.  Some nematocysts are capable of firing to a depth of more than 550 um, which would place the tip of the shaft deep into your skin tissue. Due to the large number of nematocysts that fire during a sting, it is possible that some of the capsular matrix can be introduced directly into the blood stream.  This coupled with the tubular matrix which, is being released all the way down the shaft will result in very rapid cardiovascular effects as well as resulting in massive skin death. In most cases however, the bulk of all three matrices pass into extra-vascular spaces and this will result in the skin pain, skin damage and acute inflammatory response at the sting site.

Thankfully there’s somewhat of a cure, if you can get to it fast enough!  Acetic acid solutions like vinegar have been shown to render ONLY the stinging cells in box jellies, harmless, preventing them from firing more toxins into your body.

Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution is 5% acetic acid and proven effective on a variety of jellyfish stings…Don’t get stung without it !!

This article was recast for information purposes only.The NSRI does not endorse OCS Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution ..

Sailing Danger..The Portuguese Man o War..

Portuguese man-of-war in extended glory
Every year, during the period in between Carnival and Easter, popularly known as Lent (temp’i kuaresma), the wind pattern in our region tends to be irregular. When the directions from which the winds originate shift towards the south-east, our island might receive visits from a bizarre organism, one that we often are not too happy with. This organism belongs to the order siphonophora, and this word stands for animals ‘with hollow tubes’. We are talking about the Physalia physalis, commonly known as the Portuguese man-of-war (Pèchi Portugés in papiamentu).

Although it seems weird, the Portuguese man-of-war is not a single animal. Biologically speaking, it is a colony of organisms called hydroids, which are organized in such a way that they all have assumed a specific task. For example, groups of cells deal with digestion of food, other cell groups take care of reproduction, another cell acts as the pink-purple, gas-filled, float (the “hollow tube”), and then there are the so-called nematocysts, the dreaded stinging cells arranged in long tentacles hanging below the floating bladder. These tentacles are retractable, but while stretched out below a sizable colony, they can reach lengths of 30 meters. And that makes the man-of-war dangerous to swimmers, of course. The colony uses the stinging cells for defense and paralyzing prey. Yet there is one species that has adapted in such way that it has become impervious to the poison. The banded man-of-war fish,Nomeus gronovii, live among the tentacles of the Portuguese man-of-war and feed on scraps from the prey captured by the colony.

Sketch of a nematocyst, showing the thread and the trigger hook

The float allows the colony to be propelled by the wind, and that’s the reason that during southerly winds we might encounter groups of colonies along the south coast of our islands, along exactly those coastlines where all the swimming beaches are located. We might occasionally encounter Portuguese man-of-war along the north coast lines year around. It is not that they just occur during Lent in our neighborhood.

A nematocyst, the dreaded stinging cell, consists of a microscopically small bag filled with a rolled up thread terminating in a needle with barbs. This cell is pressurized. If a prey animal or a swimmer touches the trigger-hook of the cell, it will burst open, and the needle with attached thread will be shot in the direction of the victim with considerable speed. On contact a potent poison is injected into the victim. Touching the tentacles of a Portuguese man-of-war will trigger tens to hundreds of cells, causing intense pain and considerable blistering.

Stranded man-of-war, immobilized but still dangerous

Despite the bad reputation of these bizarre, but also very special colony-forming hydroids, their floating lifestyle is a benefit to beach guests. They are clearly visible. The advice is simple: if you observe a pink-purple balloon floating on the water, make sure to get out of the water right away. Better safe than sorry! If you do come into contact with the stinging cells, then a trip to a first aid clinic is recommended, especially in severe cases. By the way, never touch a stranded man-of-war, especially keep away from the stringy mass. The stinging cells may remain active for days, although the colony itself looks completely dead and dried out.

If you get stung, be sure to have your OCS Man o War First Aid Kit..Safe and effective..Don’t get stung without it !!

Article written by Leon Pors..Caribbeanfootprint.com

Ocean Care Solutions Dedicates a Portion of 2012 On Line Sales Profits in support of Disabled Veteran Scuba Organization

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA (SUDS) is a Charitable and educational nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of bettering the lives of disabled veterans through participation in SCUBA diving.

“I can think of no better way for our company to show our appreciation to disable vets than to support such an incredible organization like S.U.D.S.”

Ocean Care Solutions is a company specializing in the development, distribution and sales of marine sting first aid kits and jellyfish sting relief spray designed to provide safe and proven effective pain relief supported by medical and marine science first aid protocols for marine envenomations. Kevin Freeman, OCS President and a dive enthusiast, immediately realized his company was in an ideal position to actively support our nation’s disabled veterans through product support and sales profit donations.

“My family has always supported our veterans in some form or another over the years since my brother first served with the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam in 1967-68. He spent 23 years in the service and retired as a Sargent Major, U.N.Command, 8th Army, Seoul, Korea so veteran’s affairs became a way of life for our family. I can think of no better way for our company to show our appreciation to disable vets than to support such an incredible organization like S.U.D.S.”.

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD is designed to help improve the lives of injured service members returning from Iraq & Afghanistan. By training the warriors in a challenging & rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process & promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy throughout their life. S.U.D.S., established in 2007, is a Charitable and educational nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of bettering the lives of disabled veterans through participation in SCUBA diving ( SUDS is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization & a chapter of Disabled Sports USA ).

S.U.D.S. honors our disabled vets by sharing their passion for the sport of SCUBA diving and to enable our participants to experience the challenges, exhilaration, and sense of accomplishment and wonder that they may find in an aquatic environment. We encourage our participants to enjoy life, to share in the camaraderie that SUDS has to offer while developing a lifelong interest in diving. “Our participants can accomplish extraordinary things regardless of their disabilities and the SUDS program gives them an opportunity to prove it to themselves,” according to the SUDS mission statement.

“Our plan is pretty simple,” according to Freeman, “we will donate $1 from the on-line sale of any of our fine marine sting products this year while providing the organization with the product they need.” Freeman went on to say, “we hope to expand this program for years and eventually to retailers but for now, anything we sell from our site, we will be honored to donate to this worthy cause. I would also like to encourage any and every one to support this organization directly at http://www.suds.org whether you need our product or not. Anything helps and your support brings a great deal of joy.”

Ocean Care Solutions’ offers a full line of marine sting first aid products, including their Portuguese Man o’ War, Stingray, Sea Urchin and Fire Coral first aid kits as well as a specially formulated, medically supported 5% acetic acid Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution. Each product was rigorously tested to ensure delivery of the most effective, medically supported first aid. Each kit is fully equipped with every thing necessary to provide pain relief, water proof, light weight with very easy to use directions.

For more information, visit our site at http://www.oceancaresolutions.com. You can also find Ocean Care on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OceanCareSolutions.OCS.

Join Ocean Care Solutions support of Soldiers Undertaking Underwater Scuba

Join Ocean Care Solutions in supporting SUDS..Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba..OCS will donate $1 for every marine sting product sold on line (www.oceancaresolutions.com) to this great cause..Or go to www.suds.org and make your tax deductible donation directly..Our veterans deserve our support in any way we can so please take the time to help…Every one wins when you do..Thank You…

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/40132598#40132598

Portuguese Man o War land on South Padre Island Beach..

While this isn’t typical, the arrival of the Man O War by wind currents happens often along the coastal regions in Texas, Hawaii (the Blue Bottle species) and Florida.  Never walk among these animals because they can sting after being on land for quite a while..Don’t let your dog run among these animals either….Take along our safe and effective Man o War First Aid Kit..durable foil pouch weighs less than a pound..everything is in the kit with easy to follow instructions to deliver effective first aid..Don’t get Stung without our first aid kit…If you get stung, seek immediate medical attention..

Slideshow

Photo provided by Louis Balderas, Jr.

The Last Quarter Moon Appears to Bring Out the Jellyfish Around Guam, in Large Numbers

Guam – The poisonous “Box” jellyfish forced the cancellation of last Saturday’s “Ready, Set, Snorkel” event at Merizo pier.

Its the latest appearance of stinging jellyfish off Guam Beaches. Last month, Portuguese Man of War jellyfish were spotted in large numbers off the Asan Beach Park.

NOAA’s Val Brown was able to take some pictures of the Box Jellyfish, which show how difficult it is to see them in the water.

Department of Agriculture Biologist Brent Tibbatts says while the Box Jellyfish is known for causing painful stings, most of the 10 other different species around Guam are relatively harmless.

This latest jellyfish sighting is normal, says Tibbatts, because of the jellyfish tend to appear in large numbers in sync with the lunar cycle. The last quarter moon, says Tibbatts, tends to bring out large numbers of  jellyfish.

“Last Saturday we had the snorkeling event canceled because of jellyfish” said Tibbatts. “Two days before that was the last quarter moon. So it looks they’re moving on the same kind of cycle here as they do in Hawaii, the same species, so it’s not unexpected. So I would say if people are concerned, to be watch out around two to three days after a last quarter moon is when the chance of a lot of these box jellyfish [are] showing up in the waters.”

Tibbatts adds if you get stung by a jellyfish, to use vinegar. And if you get stung by a Portuguese Man-of-War, to flush the area with a lot of fresh or salt water. Contrary to popular belief, Tibbatts mentions urine is not recommended to treat any of these stings. For any sightings of these species, contact the Department of Agriculture.

The next free snorkeling activity will be on Saturday, March 17 at Ypao Beach in Tumon.

Photos courtesy of Val Brown:

jellyfish1

Ocean Care Solutions’ Jellyfish Sting Relief has been tested effective on the Indo-Paciic Box such as these found in Guam as well as the Caribbean found in and around the Gulf and the Banded Box found in the waters of Bonaire..

Don’t get stung without it !!

 

Article courtesy of Pacific News Center..Written by Josh Tyquiengco

Stalked Jellyfish..A strange mixture of Crinoid and Sea Anemone

Image: Wikipedia

Stalked Jellyfish? What? It may seem strange but there really is such a thing as a jellyfish with a stalk. They have abandoned the usual life of swimming with the sea’s most graceful wobble and have instead opted to attach themselves to the floor and stay there.

The 50 or so species of Staurozoa range between a few millimetres to 15 cm in height. Most come from cold, coastal environments in the northern hemisphere, but some explorers find themselves around Antarctica and the biggest ones come from the deep sea.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

Their affinity to the floor starts right at the beginning. You might remember how jellyfish start outas a tiny planula that swims using hair-like cilia. Stalked Jellyfish are similar, except their planula have no cilia and creep along the ground like a slug. There’ll be no care-free drifting for them, they got to get to work finding a nice site to set up home.

Their usual place of residence are stones, algae, eelgrass and the like. The planula attaches itself and grows into a polyp just like the usual jellyfish. But they don’t go through strobilation, where the polyp segments into a stack of tiny jellyfish. Instead, the whole polyp matures into an adult and remains attached to their surface.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

They end up as a strange mixture of Crinoid and Sea Anemone. They have 8 arms, each tipped with a pom-pom of tentacles for catching small crustaceans. The whole creature looks like quite a nice, decorative goblet, or you could turn it around and turn it into a fancy light fitting. Or maybe just leave it where it is. Up to you.

Just like Sea Anemones they can slowly slide along the floor to find better situations, but some of them have sticky tentacles so that they can somersault their way to pastures new. Some even have to do this because the youngsters live on algae that can’t actually support their weight when they approach adulthood. You wouldn’t have thought a jellyfish could have an adolescence full of difficult upheavals, but they have managed to find a way.

Image: California Academy of Sciences

Reproduction is achieved by the tried and true method of chucking all your stuff out and letting them get on with it. For such lovely little flowers as these I’m willing to consider it some kind of “sea-swept pollination”, but just this once and only because it’s you.

 

Article courtesy of realmonstosities.com

X-rays reveal why sea urchins are no easy prey

Inside a sea urchin spine. Credit: Marina Krumova, University of Konstanz

(PhysOrg.com) — The spine of a sea urchin is 99.9% chalk, a very common material forming tiny crystals that are very hard but easy to break apart. Scientists have now discovered how these marine animals use chalk or lime to grow spines combining this hardness with shock-absorbing flexibility. Tiny calcite crystals are embedded, like bricks in a wall, into a mortar of amorphous lime mixed with minute amounts of biological proteins. This points the way to the design and synthesis of new hi-tech composite materials, and a project has already begun involving a major concrete manufacturer. The results are published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) dated 13-17 February 2012.

The team of scientists was led by Helmut Cölfen from the University of Konstanz (Germany) and comprised scientists from the universities of Beijing, Bristol, Leeds, Potsdam, the German Federal Centre for Materials Research (BAM) in Berlin, the CNRS in Orsay, the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble.

The team found the answer to a well-known problem: the hard-to-break spines of sea urchins consist of lime (calcium carbonate), a material which in crystalline form is hard but brittle. In geological deposits, lime usually forms that have very different properties to sea urchin spines as they break easily along their cleavage planes. However, it is known from X-ray analysis that the spines consist of calcite crystals. When they are broken, on the other hand, they do not produce the plane cleavage surfaces of single crystals but a rough fracture surface corresponding more to a glass or a ceramic material.

Helmut Cölfen built an international network of institutes specialising in materials characterisation to tackle this problem with electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, nano-analysis and other methods.

The use of different X-ray scattering techniques at the ESRF was instrumental to reveal that sea urchin spines are actually built like walls of nanometre-sized bricks of calcite crystals which are aligned in parallel. The bricks are glued together with a mortar of non-crystalline lime. Such a composite arrangement efficiently absorbs shocks and collisions, as it confers elasticity to the material. “It was a real challenge to separately characterise the crystalline and non-crystalline parts of the spines, because the individual structures are extremely small. We had to combine two very different techniques using thin X-ray beams, one optimised for nanocrystals and the other for amorphous structures”, says Aurélien Gourrier of the CNRS and ESRF.

The researchers determined that 92% of the spines consist of crystalline calcite and 8% of amorphous lime. The disordered lime is in turn made of 99.9% calcium carbonate into which a tiny amount of  is mixed (0.1%). At a disordered layer thickness of one or two nanometres around the calcite crystals, the amorphous lime ensures that the sting can only be broken with difficulty. This work is the first detailed structural proof of biological mesocrystals. The newly discovered structure solves a decades-long debate on the nature of the sea urchin  – thanks to the mesocrystalline structure, it combines the properties of thin calcite nanocrystals and of the disordered  layer surrounding them.

The large internal surface area of the nature-made mesocrystals can inspire the design of, for example, new materials that are thin and hardly breakable and at the same time environmentally friendly in production and use. “It is fascinating that nature can turn fragile materials through structuring into high-performance , that manufacturing has not managed to produce so far,” says Helmut Cölfen on the global quest to learn from biominerals. His group at the University of Konstanz is already in collaboration with two major international companies on projects dedicated to the manufacture of future high performance concrete.

More information: Jong Seto et al., Structure-property relationships of a biological mesocrystal in the adult sea urchin spine, PNAS 13-17 February 2012, http://www.pnas.or … s.1109243109

If you surf, kayak or sports fish be sure to take along our Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..light weight, durable, easy to use and effective…You will be glad you did if you step on this animal….Don’t get stung without it  !!

Provided by European Synchrotron Radiation Facility