Time for a new blog so without further ado, I want to talk about something different than last couple of weeks. As you might have noticed, last few weeks I’ve been talking alot about concepts to increase our health or even seek eternal life. This week I want to take you guys back to one of the core concepts of my internship: fluorescence and in general bioluminescence. In a modern world where science is getting visualized by fluorescent proteins for tracking (bio)molecules-dynamics and labeling you might wonder where these fluorescent molecules come from? Do we just invent them from scratch or are they harvested from for example: fireflies?
The actual answer lies in the sea and that’s what I want to inform you guys about this week. Did you know 80 to 90% of all underwater life display forms of bioluminescence? Scientifically speaking the most famous bioluminescent organism is probably the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. This jellyfish generated the foundation for the (well-known) fluorescent protein GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein (catchy name right?)) which even won the noble prize for 2008.
Besides using these shiny molecules for science, the underwater organisms use these forms of bioluminesence for communicating, getting attention or scaring/defending themselves and this gives just beautiful footage underwater for the human eye prooving that our world can be a breathtaking place. Just take a look at the following TED talk and see for yourself how beautiful nature can actually be.