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Bioluminescence: Living Lights, Lights for Living

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Bioluminescence: Living Lights, Lights for Living Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

Bioluminescence is everywhere on earth--most of all in the ocean, from angler fish in the depths to flashing dinoflagellates at the surface. Wilson and Hastings explore the natural history, evolution, and biochemistry of the diverse array of organisms that emit light and offer an evolutionary explanation for their sporadic distribution and rarity.

Synopsis:

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2013

About the Author

Thérèse Wilson was Senior Research Associate Emerita in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.J. Woodland Hastings is Paul C. Mangelsdorf Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.

Harvard University

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674067165
Author:
Wilson, Th Re
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
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Author:
Wilson, Thérèse
Author:
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Author:
se Wilson
Author:
Wilson, Th?r?se
Author:
egrave
Author:
e S.
Author:
Wilson, Th
Author:
&
Author:
Hastings, J Woodland
Author:
Th
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Biochemistry
Subject:
Chemistry-Biochemistry
Subject:
Science : Life Sciences - Biology
Subject:
Science-Chemistry - Analytic
Subject:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences/Evolution
Subject:
Science -- History.
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
74 color illustrations, 3 halftones, 11
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » Analytical
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » Biochemistry
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » New Arrivals

Bioluminescence: Living Lights, Lights for Living New Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674067165 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bioluminescence is everywhere on earth--most of all in the ocean, from angler fish in the depths to flashing dinoflagellates at the surface. Wilson and Hastings explore the natural history, evolution, and biochemistry of the diverse array of organisms that emit light and offer an evolutionary explanation for their sporadic distribution and rarity.
"Synopsis" by , A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2013
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