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'Insane in the Chromatophores': squid cells pulsate in sync with Cypress Hill

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Watch the pigment cells of a squid dance to Cypress Hill. Need we say more?

via <a href="http://backyardbrains.com/images/Squid-Prep.png">backyardbrains.com</a>
via backyardbrains.com

Inspired by a Royal Society paper on neural control of the Longfin Inshore squid's color-changing skin, the guys over at Backyard Brains wanted to see just how reactive its chromatophores (pigment cells) are. Each chromatophore has tiny muscles that contract to expose the pigment underneath, so the team simulated the nerve signals that trigger the muscles by connecting an iPhone to one of the creature's dorsal fins with a suction electrode.

When audio was sent to the squid in the form of electrical signals, the voltage changes made the pigment cells dance in sync with the music. You can see the results in the mesmerizing video below, which is a view of the squid's dorsal fin magnified by a factor of eight.