Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Tag Archive for ‘light’

Worms turn bright blue with fright

Marine parchment worms have an unusual response to threats. They release a sticky bioluminescent mucus that glows blue. This physiological response is unique because the bioluminescence is constant as opposed to appearing in flashes like other marine organisms. In order to produce sustained light, the mucus would have to contain a source of energy. What they found was that the slime contained an iron protein called ferritin.¬† When the team […]

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The trouble with lights

A new study published in Current Biology presents data showing that persistent exposure to artificial lights causes mice to age prematurely. Not only did exposure to bright light alter circadian rhythm, mice living in 24 hour light lost bone density and developed inflammation and weakness in their muscles.¬†Humans are not immune to the effects of disrupted circadian rhythms. In fact, people who work the night shift are reportedly more likely […]

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