Biology Behind: Bioinfluoresence.

Greetings everybody, 

Hope you guys have all been keeping up with us on twitter @BioBunch,  because a group of 180 different species of fish were found to have an illuminating adaptation. Researchers from the American Museum of Natural History made an impressive discovery. Using a yellow filter they found that this group of fish were able to absorb light, transform it and then eject it as a different color! If that does not sound awesome, just take a look at the pictures below!
In this post we welcome you to the world of BIO FLUORESCENCE!! 
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2014 marked the year that fish were added to the evolutionary tree of biofluorescence as it is only just been discovered! This is less impressive in nature however, the prime reason being that this adaptation is also seen in jelly fish, and surprisingly coral! (image below).

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Not much of this colorful reaction is known in fish, but fish like many other underwater organisms live in a predominantly blue world (as seen in the background in the above picture). As the depth of the water increases the amount of visible light diminishes because a larger portion has been absorbed by the molecules in the water. The 180 fish species displaying biofluorescence absorb any remaining blue light left and re-emit it in neon greens, reds and oranges marking one of natures most dazzling moving light shows, hidden in the depths of the ocean. 

Biofluroescence: a rather private affair

If this is such a dazzling light show, and  if the colors are truly as bright as they show then why is it that when you go by in a boat, or on a cruise on an ocean that we are all unable to see it? Simply put, the answer lies in the beginning of this post. The researchers used a yellow filter to take these pictures, it just so happens that there is a yellow filter located in fish eyes. Meaning that this display of colors is impossible for the naked eye to see. Thats why to us fish look like the fish on the right, when in reality to each other they literally glow, or look a lot spookier like the one on the left. 

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It has been said that this stands as a form of interspecific communication (communication between members of the same species) for mating, whilst achieving some levels of camouflage against lurking predators. 

But why such a big fuss??

Cast your minds back to the discovery of the green fluorescent protein that was found in a hydrozoan jellyfish in the 1960s. This single discovery transformed how we study everything in biology, from marking the AID's virus to showing the inner workings of our brains! and now it is thought that these fish could display different proteins for expressing their bioflurescence. Meaning, biochemists and immunologists are having a field day having a play around with all these proteins. Good time to be a biochemist we are sure!!
But as biologists and because we like to have a strong emphasis on conservation we would like to inform you that this discovery isn't solely for the biomedical field but also aiding massively in the conservation field, take a look at the picture below!

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Well that marks the end of our Biology Behind for this week!! Have an awesome rest of the week and keep a watchful eye for upcoming posts to come!
Over and out.

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