PerspectiveCell Biology

Rhodopsin as Thermosensor?

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Science  11 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6022, pp. 1272-1273
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203482

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How does an organism whose internal temperature varies with ambient temperature—a poikilotherm—sense temperature and choose the right habitat? On page 1333 in this issue, Shen et al. (1) report that temperature discrimination by fly larvae involves the molecule rhodopsin, a molecule known to function in visual sensation. The finding raises questions about different roles for rhodopsin that depend on the cellular context.