Scientists Gene-Hack Human Cells to Turn Invisible

They gave human cells squid-like active camouflage.

By Dan Robitzski

Active Camo

By tinkering with the genetics of human cells, a team of scientists gave them the ability to camouflage.

To do so, they took a page out of the squid’s playbook, New Atlas reports. Specifically, they engineered the human cells to produce a squid protein known as reflectin, which scatters light to create a sense of transparency or iridescence.

Not only is it a bizarre party trick, but figuring out how to gene-hack specific traits into human cells gives scientists a new avenue to explore how the underlying genetics actually works.

Invisibility Cloak

Canada’s Hyperstealth Biotechnology already manufactures camouflage uniforms for militaries across the globe.

But now, the company has patented a new “Quantum Stealth” material that disguises a military’s soldiers — or even its tanks, aircraft, and ships — by making anything behind it seem invisible.

Light Bender

Earlier in October, Hyperstealth filed a patent for the material, which doesn’t require a power source and is both paper-thin and inexpensive — all traits that could make it appealing for use on the battlefield.