DMSD stands for “Digital Mantis Shrimp Discs”

Discover has an interesting bit of unexpected biomimicry. The mantis shrimp (probably the scariest marine predator less than 3 feet long) has an unusual way of looking at the world… and one that might help create better DVD players:

Circular polarized light is one of two forms of polarized light, or light waves that travel in a specific plane.

The specialized CPL detecting cells in shrimp eye are similar to the optical detectors found in DVD players; each can convert polarized light into other forms so it can be stored or processed. However, shrimp eyes can do this with all colors of circular polarized light across the spectrum, according to the study in Nature Photonics. The detectors in DVD and CD players can only recognize circular polarized light in a few colors. The research team thinks that in the future, optics devices might be beefed up by chemically engineered crystals that could mimic the light polarizing cells of the mantis shrimp eye.

Many more facts (they can see 100,000 colors!) at the link.