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Biofluorescence Found In Fishes Too

Scientists from the American Museum of Natural History along with a team of biologists have researched on the biofluorescence nature of fish. The glowing nature has a reason to it and that has been found out and explained. The process of how some animals, corals and jellyfish absorb light and emits it in various colors of neon in dark has been discussed and known since ages but never before was such a claim done of fishes.

More than 180 species of fishes have been found to emit various colors of neon greens, reds and oranges in dark. Water absorbs a majority of blue light spectrum giving the depth of the seas a tinge of blue. The rest of the blue lights are found to be absorbed by the fishes that later re-emits them either of conversation or for mating or perhaps as a camouflage.

David Gruber, the co-lead author of the study revealed that by designing some customized lighting that impersonates the natural lights of the ocean and some cameras that are apt in capturing the fluorescent lights, they were able to get a good view of this newly discovered fluorescent lights emitted by fishes. He also added that these shallow reef fishes might have learnt the detection technique or fluoresecent lights that are helping them in finding mates or hiding from predators in the similar way that animals use bioluminescence lights.

Initially this study began with the observation of green eel fluorescence when Sparks and Gruber were taking pictures of coral biofluorescence for an exhibit. To go further deep into the study, Sparks, Gruber, and researchers from the John B. Pierce Laboratory of Yale University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Haifa, Israel, along with professional photographers and videographers, headed on some more advanced voyage to tropical waters along the Exumas in the Bahamas and the Solomon Islands. In their night diving sessions they encountered biofluorescence in the fish with high-intensity blue light arrays bound in waterproof cases. The consequential underwater light is unseen to the human eye. To Custom-built underwater cameras with yellow filters which block out the blue light and yellow head visors that allows them see the biofluorescent blaze were used.

Sparks gave a statement saying that the cryptically attractive gobies, flatfishes, eels, and scorpionfishes are generally never seen during a dive. Reason is their blending nature to the environment when they detect danger. But the intraocular filters in the eye of the fishes make these perceptible. Artificial mimics of these filters are sure to help in detecting hidden species that a diver must have been passed by many times in the future but could never trace out.

They also discovered that many biofluorescent fishes have yellow filters in their eyes that allow them to see the or else imperceptible fluorescent shows happening in the water. This discovery has opened doors to many more researches that will soon be following to get into the depth of how this could be put to use to extract the proteins, etc. This seems to be the little secret of the fishes on how they communicate with their species while staying camouflaged from the others.

Gruber said that this study has the potential to bring in a revolution especially in the researches of AIDS treatment. In the 1960s, research and study on green fluorescent protein in a hydrozoan jellyfish that helped AIDS treatment in a leap of advancement. This might be yet another good news that can design weapons to combat such serious illness that could be treated with the green protein extracts.