A team of scientists at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the Oriental hornet can collect and use solar energy.1 They are trying to imitate the hornet’s advanced energy collection system to develop new ways for people to obtain solar energy.
This discovery is exciting because it was not previously known that insects could harvest and use energy from the sun. Scientists had only known that plants were capable of this, through photosynthesis.
You may be wondering how the Oriental hornet uses solar energy. God designed it to use the brown and yellow stripes on its body to collect and convert solar energy into electrical power.
“The team determined that the brown shell of the hornet was made from grooves that split light into diverging beams. The yellow stripe on the abdomen is made from pinhole depressions, and contains a pigment called xanthopterin. Together, the light diverging grooves, pinhole depressions and xanthopterin change light into electrical energy. The shell traps the light and the pigment does the conversion.”2
Scientists have tried to imitate the hornet’s energy collection system, but have had limited success. They will need to study the Oriental hornet more closely. It would be wonderful to use God’s design of the Oriental hornet to help people find new and more efficient ways of collecting and using solar energy.
Many scientists have made important discoveries through carefully studying the design features God has built into His creation. If you would like to learn more about some of them, please read the following articles:
1 News to Note, January 22th, 2011, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/01/22/news-to-note-01222011.
2 American Friends of Tel Aviv University, “Is the Hornet Our Key to Renewable Energy? Physicist Discovers That Hornet's Outer Shell Can Harvest Solar Power”, Science Daily, January 6, 2011, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105102725.htm.