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Can we see bioluminescence?

  1. Apr 13, 2017 #1
    Can we see it under normal circumstances? Or do we need the help of special UV light source to see it? I've read that Aequorea victoria can emit bioluminescence with a ring of green dots at the margin of its bell, but normally it is almost invisible to us. What does that mean?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2017 #2
    I've seen it first hand with normal sight at a bioluminescence bay in Puerto Rico.
     
  4. Apr 13, 2017 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Are you specifically asking about A. victoria or bioluminescence in general? In the latter case the answer is unequivocally yes. The most famous example is probably the firefly, which really are quite something if you ever go to a country that has them.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2017 #4
    About A. victoria.
    upload_2017-4-14_1-21-18.png

    I mean, if we can see the green ring under normal circumstances, why would we need a fluorescence microscope? And I read that they don't usually produce the ring, unless they are disturbed? I couldn't quite grasp that
     

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  6. Apr 13, 2017 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    If you look on youtube you can find a few videos, shot by regular cameras, where the bioluminescence can be seen. As for why a microscope would be used it's likely so that you can see more physiological detail than your eye can provide.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2017 #6

    Dr Transport

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    I have seen it in the Florida Keys, there is an organism (do ask I do not remember) that when you stroke the paddle into the water the volume around the paddle lights up.
     
  8. Apr 13, 2017 #7

    BillTre

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    The (GFP: Green Fluorescent Protein) fluorescence researchers use under a microscope is only one component of what the jellyfish uses. Prior to the isolation of GFP, a large complex (Aquorin) was isolated which is calcium activated and has chemically driven emission of light.
    The jellyfish's chemical drivers (chemo-luminescence) aren't often used by researchers because fluorescence is more convenient.
    Aquorin used to be used as an intracellular calcium detector, but there are better things for that now.

    Aquatic organisms have ways to control when their show their fluorescence so they can turn it off at certain times. This includes a lot of them which have symbiotic bacteria that actually do the fluorescing.
     
  9. Apr 13, 2017 #8

    jim mcnamara

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  10. Apr 13, 2017 #9

    Dr Transport

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