Glowing Blue Lights in the Waves Explained
Looking as if the tiny pricks of light are trying to mirror the stars, these biological lights, or bioluminescence, in the waves are in fact the product of tiny marine life-forms called phytoplankton—and now scientists think they know how some of these sea beasts create their brilliant blue glow.
In the recent study, published last October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team confirmed the existence of channels in dinoflagellates that allow only protons positively charged particles to pass through…
The study authors propose that, as dinoflagellates float, movement in the surrounding water sends electrical impulses around a proton-filled compartment inside the microorganisms.
The electrical pulses open the voltage-sensitive proton channels, triggering a series of chemical reactions, which ultimately activate a protein called luciferase that produces the stunning neon blue light.
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