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Decoding the Secret Signals of Glow-in-the-Dark Sea Creatures

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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When these divers accidentally uncovered an enormous world of neon nightlife underwater, the only logical next step was to engineer a way to see like a shark.

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David Gruber: Seeing the Ocean in Neon
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141024-emerging-explorer-gruber-sea-ocean-marine-biologist-fluorescent-light-science/
"Only animals with special filters in their eyes are privy to the neon light show, including many fish. For perhaps millions of years, these creatures have signaled each other in this secret language of light. 'There's a hidden layer of pattern and color that humans are just tuning in to,' Gruber says. 'It's a whole new way for us to perceive, and better understand, life in the sea.'"

Scientists Have Developed Shark Vision
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/a-shark-eye-view/479568/
"'If fluorescence does help sharks see other members of their species, it could help them find each other for mating or socialization. But biofluorescing might also make the sharks more obvious to predators. Gruber says it’s not clear what animals eat these species—maybe other, bigger sharks—or what their own visual abilities might be. Very few shark species have been 'brought to the eye doctor,' he says. 'This study really opened my eyes up,” Gruber adds (no pun intended), 'to how little we know about shark vision.'"

Discovery of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) (Nobel Lecture)
http://www.microscopist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Shimomura_Discovery-of-green-fluorescent-protein.pdf
"We started to collect jellyfish at 6 a.m., and a part of our
group began to cut off the rings at 8 a.m. We spent all
afternoon extracting aequorin from the rings. Then, we
collected more jellyfish in the evening for the
next day. Our laboratory looked like a jellyfish
factory, and was filled with the jellyfish smell.... Nowadays GFP and its homologues are indispensable in
biomedical research, due to the fact that these proteins selfcontain a fluorescent chromophore in their peptide chains
and they can be expressed in living bodies."

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This episode is dedicated to Nobel prize winner Dr. Osamu Shimomura, who passed away in October 2018 after a lifetime of invaluable research on marine life and light that sparked a revolution in experimental biology.
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