EDUCATION: Lighting up Life

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Science  06 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5757, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5757.19c

Long before Las Vegas imported its first neon tube, bioluminescent organisms such as the nudibranch (Phylliroe) were putting on the glitz. Find out which marine organisms generate light and how they do it at the Bioluminescence Web Page, hosted by marine biologist Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California, and colleagues. Ocean-goers from bacteria to fishes have mastered the light-emitting reaction, in which the enzyme luciferase oxidizes the molecule luciferin. Pages illuminate how some organisms exploit this skill, such as the deep-water fishes that scan their surroundings with red light, which their prey can't see. The site's gallery teems with photos of glowing creatures. For researchers, there's a forum for listing recent publications and announcements of upcoming conferences. Haddock plans to add a link to real-time measurements of bioluminescencing organisms off the California coast.

www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/∼biolum/

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