Bioluminescence In Nature Essay

846 words - 4 pages

Human beings have been awed by the mystery of bioluminescence since before the time of Aristotle. And Charles Darwin himself described this phenomenon as puzzling. Why did some creatures evolve to produce light, while other similar creatures did not? Bioluminescence, by definition, seems boring and uninspiring. It is the chemical creation of light by living organisms. Seeing it, however, raises questions and sparks the imagination. How did these creatures evolve this ability, what is its function, what chemicals are responsible for this amazing show of lights and how can we use it to benefit humanity?
Curiously enough, not all creatures that luminesce are related. Their bioluminescence ...view middle of the document...

This behavior is called “counter illumination”. This fish only glows so that upwards looking predators can see it. It is a very specific glow pattern that targets a wide range of large predators (Yong.2013.para 1-10).
The chemical reactions that create this useful tool? They vary in several ways, but one thing that can be relied upon is that they require oxygen. The most common chemical reactions require: substrates (luciferins) and enzymes (luciferases) (Wilson. 1998. P 197). Additional characteristics that can impact things like color are certain amino acid sequences. This complex chemical reaction happens very quickly and emits light for a very short period of time. The end result is light in the form of a photon and a small amount of carbon dioxide. In order for light to be successfully created, a minimum of two chemicals and oxygen are needed. The substrate most commonly utilized in this process is luciferin with the enzyme catalyst lucerifase. This process only loses 2% of its energy to heat, most of the energy released will be light. This can be seen in the diagram below (Biolume. 2007. p 1).
So how can humanity possibly benefit from this incredible natural ability? The answer is complicated. We are not going to harness it to power cities across America any time soon. It is not surprising that the best application to do date, is medical research. Scientists are using Bioluminescence to trace the progression of infectious diseases. It has also proven to be a useful tool in AIDS research. By inserting bioluminescence into a bacteria scientists have been able to observe the progression of infection and the effect of antibiotics and medications. Bioluminescence has supported in the...

Find Another Essay On Bioluminescence in Nature

"The Hungry Ocean": A look at the book and Oceanography

912 words - 4 pages main advantages being that she receives the biggest paycheck and gains the respect of other fisher people for being the only woman sword boat captain, while the disadvantages include dealing with the crew problems, keeping on top of the best fishing grounds and beating other boats to the punch, and also dealing with whatever mother nature throws at the ship while being in the mercy of the 'hungry ocean'.Linda uses past experiences to tactically

quorum sensing biosensor Essay

3106 words - 13 pages luxCDABE as reporter. Luminescence is detected by luminometer. This assay is performed in liquid extracts of tester strain containing biosensor strain. If AI is unknown this method will provide only qualitative information, but if AI is known this method can be used to quantitate the AI present in extracts, by plotting a standard curve. Like bioluminescence method this method also does not provide information of size and nature of AHL, but this

Cloning More Ethically Acceptable than Global Warming

856 words - 3 pages bioluminescence gene has already been successfully incorporated into potato plants.   If those prospects make you squirm, you're not alone. The public's emotional response to the issues of human cloning and biotechnology far outstrips its response to global warming and widespread species extinction. When Dolly the sheep was first cloned by Scottish scientists, political leaders around the world sensed the negative reactions among their

The Aquarium of the Pacific

1266 words - 6 pages . Some deep sea fishes have bioluminescence, like the tiny flashlight fish. Their “flashlights” under their eye are probably used to lure their food to them. For defense, the giant isopods can curl up like a “rolly pollie,” letting the hard shell protect the organism. As a result of the different defensive and protective mechanisms, the plants and animals in the coral reef are able to get by, furthermore creating relationships with one another

Deep Sea Fish Adaptions

2272 words - 9 pages inhabitants themselves. A percentage of deep sea fish are able to create light through the chemical reaction; bioluminescence. ‘Most of the light created by marine organisms is blue-green in colour. As blue light travels best in water and most marine organisms are sensitive to blue light.’[6] Anglerfish produces the chemical luciferin which reacts with oxygen to create light. The light helps species communicate, attract a mate or prey, or deter

Asphyxiation

1935 words - 8 pages I see the bioluminescence again, only this time it flies in a scattered, chaotic manner from the Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman’s (RCMP) red speed boat. His arrival slices through the glassy calm of a West Coast night, confirming the bizarre contrast between the trail’s peacefulness and the night’s trauma. I see his shadow step out of the boat and meet my friend's; they shake hands, and I hear the questions begin. My friend Matt's voice is

light pollution

3076 words - 12 pages is breaking. The dawn doesn't come for hours, yet that unshielded light burns away in the distance confusing it’s little birdbrain. Also, on a beach far away a hoard of young sea turtles hatch from their eggs and trod into their fresh new world. They enthusiastically scurry across highways and parking lots, instead of into the ocean where they belong. The bioluminescence of the sea is obscured by an unshielded streetlight (Nadis), or a gas

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages different color scheme of each scene in the movie. The most memorable part of film to me was in the hotel scene, where dream-thieves had to fight in zero-gravity as the walls twist and tumble around them. That was exceptionally brilliant; the movie overall had elevated art in modern times and defied gravity within each scenes. Also, the movie had different interpretations as I was viewing. The confusing nature of the movie caused heat-able debates

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Similar Essays

History Of Chemistry Essay

1088 words - 5 pages for candles when the power is out for any length of time. But there are some life forms that have a completely different approach – bioluminescent life forms. Bioluminescence life forms make their own light and carry it around in their bodies. This paper will address bioluminescence and try to explain it. The first point to know about bioluminescence is that there are many things still unknown about bioluminescence. Sometimes you have to seek

Biology: The Structure Of Luciferase Essay

1880 words - 8 pages protonation in firefly luciferase pH- sensitivity. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 12, 14285-14293. Nakatsu, T., Ichiyama, S, Hiratake, J., Saldanha, A., Kobashi, N., Sakata, K., and Kato, H. (16 March, 2006). Structural basis for the spectral difference in luciferase bioluminescence. Nature of Science and Sleep, 440, 372-376. Thorne, N., Inglese, J., Auld, D.S. (2010). Illuminating Insights into Firefly Luciferase and Other Bioluminescent Reporters Used in Chemical Biology. Chemistry & Biology Review, 17, 646-657.

Survival Of Microbial Bacteria Essay

1506 words - 7 pages detected by luminometer. This assay is performed in liquid extracts of tester strain containing biosensor strain. If AI is unknown this method will provide only qualitative information, but if AI is known this method can be used to quantitate the AI present in extracts,by plotting a standard curve. Like bioluminescence method this method also does not provide information of size and nature of AHL, but this method is highly sensitive(Massai et al

Nueva Naturaleza Essay

1434 words - 6 pages Located in the exquisite, green forests of Rio de Janeiro lies the city, Nueva Naturaleza. Nueva Naturaleza has been through so many harsh times during the process of development and creation, but after many years of building, re-building, and creation, it is now one of the greatest cities in the world. The epithet, Nueva Naturaleza, stands for New Nature; this name represents the many ways that we have incorporated nature and technology into a