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Three eyes of Pecten Maximus. Photo: Dan-Eric Nilsson / Lund University

Little known fact: Scallops have eyes, and they're made out of crystals. In a new paper, scientists describe the sophisticated structure of the bivalves mirrored eyes, which could offer inspiration for engineering artificial light-collecting materials.We only eat a small part of a scallop so we rarely see their shells, let alone their eyes. But they have up to a hundred laid out like a necklace of tiny, iridescent, blue-black pearls nestled in the tentacles that line their shell.How they work: Those eyes are relatively unique in the animal kingdom. In the same way a radio telescope uses a large, reflective dish to gather light and centers it on a sensor, scallop eyes have a mirror that focuses light on their retina."It's a small, compact visual system. It's hard to form an image in water with such a small eye," says study author Benjamin Palmer of the Weizmann Institute, who reported in the journal Science that the reflective film on scallops' eyes is formed from stacks of semi-rectangular crystals of guanine, one of the four chemicals that make up DNA."It's amazing to look at the control these animals exert over the crystallization process," Palmer tells Axios.Normally, guanine doesn't like to form square crystals. Attempts to build such crystals through traditional chemical means are clumsy, but the scallops accomplish it easily. By studying them, and other similar creatures, scientists might learn better ways to create efficient, light-collecting molecules like these in the lab for materials science applications.

Yes, but: Although their eyes are elegant, scallops are not. If they see a predator they swim rapidly away like underwater Pac-Men.

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  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 6 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.