Benny D. Freeman - Department of Defense MURI Leafhopper Research Team

Benny D. Freeman is a member of the U.S. Army Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program research team studying leafhopper secretions.

"They may be tiny, but leafhoppers have a super power: they secrete a substance that makes their bodies water-repellant and anti-reflective, which may help them blend in with their surroundings and escape surface tension. Symbiotic bacteria living in the leafhoppers appear to assist in producing the substance and its soccer-ball-shaped nanostructures called brochosomes, but the process is something of a mystery. The U.S. Army has awarded researchers at the University of Texas at Austin support for a major new interdisciplinary initiative that aims to learn more about this process so as to yield new biomaterials, inspired by the brochosomes. The award is part of the Department of Defense's highly competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which supports research that intersects more than one traditional scientific or engineering discipline."

See The University of Texas College of Natural Sciences News complete posting, "Tiny Insects Provide Inspiration for New Biomaterials".

Aug. 19, 2020