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Bioluminescence Living Lights, Lights for Living

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ISBN-10: 0674067169

ISBN-13: 9780674067165

Edition: 2013

Authors: Therese Wilson, J. Woodland Hastings

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Description:

Bioluminescence is everywhere on earth—most of all in the ocean, from angler fish in the depths to the flashing of dinoflagellates at the surface. Here, Thérèse Wilson and Woody Hastings explore the natural history, evolution, and biochemistry of the diverse array of organisms that emit light.While some bacteria, mushrooms, and invertebrates, as well as fish, are bioluminescent, other vertebrates and plants are not. The sporadic distribution and paucity of luminous forms calls for explanation, as does the fact that unrelated groups evolved completely different biochemical pathways to luminescence. The authors explore the hypothesis that many different luciferase systems arose in the early evolution of life because of their ability to remove oxygen, which was toxic to life when it first appeared on earth. As oxygen became abundant and bioluminescence was no longer adequate for oxygen removal, other antioxidant mechanisms evolved and most luminous species became extinct. Those light-emitting species that avoided extinction evolved uses with survival value for the light itself. Today’s luminous organisms use bioluminescence for defense from predators, for their own predatory purposes, or for communication in sexual courtship.Bioluminescence was earlier viewed as a fascinating feature of the living world, but one whose study seemed unlikely to contribute in any practical way. Today, bioluminescence is no longer an esoteric area of research. Applications are numerous, ranging from the rapid detection of microbial contamination in beef and water, to finding the location of cancer cells, to working out circuitry in the brain.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/4/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Theacute;regrave;se Wilson is Senior Research Associate Emerita in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.

Aldo Roda is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Bologna Faculty of Pharmacy.He is author of more than 350 journal articles and has been an invited speaker and lecturer at several national and international conferences. In 1998, he organized the 10th International Symposium on Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence (ISBC) and Co-Edited of the book of proceedings. He is a member of the advisory board of the International Society for Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence (ISBC) and was President of the Society from 2000 to 2002. In 2008, he organized the XIII International Symposium on Luminescence Spectrometry (ISLS). He is also European Editor of Luminescence: The Journal of Biological and Chemical Luminescence and Editor of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Five Different Bioluminescence Systems
A Marine Crustacean
Bioluminescent fishes as plagiarists and thieves
Jellyfish and Green Fluorescent Protein
A soft coral, a calcium-sensitive protein, and fish with related bioluminescence systems
Fireflies and Other Beetles
Luciferase-dependent bioluminescence color and rhythmic displays
Dinoflagellates and Krill
The sparkling clocks of the oceans and bioluminescent shrimp
Bacteria
Bacterial "communication," symbioses, and milky seas
Diversity, Functions, and Evolutionary Origins of Bioluminescence
Short Accounts of Other Luminous Organisms
Having different and not well-characterized biochemistries
Bioluminescence in the Oceans
Anglerfish, dragonfish, and a Lake Baikal parenthesis
The Many Functions of Bioluminescence
Defense, offense, communication, and propagation
The Origins and Evolution of Bioluminescence
How did luciferases originate?
Bookends
Applications
Tools for biology, medicine, and public health
How Does Life Make Light?
"Excited molecules" and bioluminescence
Glossary
Further Reading
Illustration Credits
Index