SUBAJAYANTHI B.

A dazzling insect could help the development of brilliant white, ultra-thin materials, a study suggests. The fingertip sized Cyphochilus beetle, found in Southeast Asia, has a shell whiter than most other materials found in nature, U.K. researchers have said. Close inspection reveals a unique surface structure covered with scales 10 times thinner than human hair. A report in Science claims mimicking these scales could provide a range of applications for industry. "Such pure bright whiteness is uncommon in insects," explained lead scientist Dr. Pete Vukusic of Exeter University. The researchers found, according to the International Organisation for Standardization measurements, the beetle was much brighter and whiter than milk and the average human tooth. "