fluorescent animals

First fluorescent frog found
A rare find in land animals reveals a new way to glow.

“The newly described fluorescent molecules emit a surprising amount of light, providing about 18% as much visible light as a full Moon — enough for a related species of frog to see by. Almost nothing is known about the polka dot tree frog’s visual system or photoreceptors, so Taboada plans to study these to determine whether the frogs can see their own fluorescence.”

Continue reading: First fluorescent frog found


Fluorescent Corals

Many species of coral produce fluorescent pigments that light up in a dazzling display of neon colours when exposed to UV light.

Fluorescence is the phenomenon whereby a substance absorbs electromagnetic radiation (such as light) and emits it at a lower energy level. In this case, the corals’ fluorescent proteins absorb invisible high energy UV light and emits visible light, which has longer wavelengths and lower energy.

Scientists have hypothesised several reasons for fluorescence in corals.

Corals form symbiotic relationships with algae called zooxanthellae, which they house in their polyps. The algae photosynthesise and provide nutrients for the coral. However, the algae are not able to process UV light. Through fluorescence, the corals may be able to turn the UV light into wavelengths that are useful to the algae for photosynthesis, especially in darker environments. 

It has also been suggested that the fluorescence provides protection against UV rays, notably in shallow water. UV rays are mutagenic and are capable of damaging cells in both the coral and symbiotic algae. Fluorescence may be a means to convert UV light into harmless lower energy wavelengths in order to protect both the coral and algal cells.

Studies have shown that corals with higher concentrations of fluorescent proteins are more resistant to bleaching.

Check out more photos of fluorescent corals on flickr

© via Flickr

[Mark] Teacher’s Pet (Chapter 1)

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I need to leave this party. I zig zag between the couples eating out each other’s mouth, making sure not to step on the guys who have passed out on the floor. When I think that I let Bea down for this party… I’d rather be spending the night at her’s, getting fat in front of the TV. I bump into Louise’s cousin, the one lending the place to her, as I walk out of the living room. 

 "Oh, sorry.” I stutter. The twenty four year old Brad Pitt secures his hands on my arms as I threaten to fall. 

“It’s okay. Are you leaving?” He replies. I push my dyed red hair out of my face, and I can sense my flush.

 “Yes.” I clear my throat. 

“Ask Liam to take you. He’s playing taxi tonight.” He gives my arm an friendly squeeze. My whole body relaxes in relief, I won’t have to walk. 

“Okay, thank you.” I smile shyly at him. He nods and I leave. Outside, a tall, brown haired, older guy is smoking a cigarette, leaning against an old junker, and I guess it’s Liam.

“Are you the Taximan?” I call and he looks up at me with his green eyes. 

“Liam to serve you.” He says sarcastically. He must be paid for doing this, because he looks really unwilling. He pushes himself off the car and staggers, his eyelids heavy.

“Are you sure you can drive?” I ask. He looks drunk. He throws his cigarette on the ground.

 “You want to go home or what?” He asks, exasperated. I don’t want my ride to get mad at me, I really need to go home. I purse my lips and get closer as he walks around the car. I make a move to open the passenger door but he stops me.

 “Backseat.” He orders, climbing in. I oblige, because once again, I want to go home. Liam starts the engine. 

“What’s your name?” He asks, looking at me through the mirror.


“And where do you live, Abigail?”


“To Brentwood we go.” He slurs. Alcohol radiates from his body, and I make a silent prayer to god so I can come home safe. The ride is quiet and calm. I look out the window, the night sight passing before my eyes, all sort of flashing lights and fluorescent sign animating the peaceful darkness, it’s soothing. Liam slams his door closed and I jump awake. The car is immobile, where are we? I look around, and all I can see us that we are on a park lot and I have enough time to perceive a shadow, walking around the car. I blink a few times and sit up.

“Liam?” I call. The door on the opposite side of mine opens up and Liam climbs in next to me. He starts to crawl to me, my heart starts to race, what is he doing? 

“What are you doing?“ He gets closer to me, his handsome face rotten by the alcohol. I back away the most I can but soon find myself pinned on the door. 

“Oh, Abby.” I see a yellow glint in his green eyes. His face is close to mine, intimidating and bothering, and an animal aura radiates from him.

“Don’t touch me.” I articulate, but the shaking of my voice betrays my fear. He unfastens my belt and I raise my knees, using them as a shield as we face each other on the backseat of his junker. He pulls away and grabs my ankles, yanking them towards him and I find myself lying down on the leather seat. I scream. He puts a hand the back pocket of his jeans and pulls out a small object, from where, with a swift and sharp movement, a blade pops out.

“Shhhh, Abby.” He coos in the most disgusting manner. I crawl away from him and press myself as far away as I can, covering my mouth with my hands to smother small panicked cries escaping my mouth. "If you scream, I’ll have to shut you up. You don’t want that, do you?“ I shake my head.
“Strip for me, Abby.” He commands. No, please, no. I shake my head, my lower lip trembling as I beg and plead for indulgence. “Strip!” The threat in his voice makes me jump and I gasp, beginning to fumble with the buttons of my sleeveless blouse.

I’m so glad me and Bea end up in the same class again. Bea is my best friend since kindergarten. She’s like a sister to me, she’s my half, my soul mate. Despite the uniform we have to wear in our High school, she manages to stand out with her super curly brown hair and her signature high side ponytail. She’s the cutest goofball on earth and made a dork out of me. We enjoy burp competitions and I am proud to say she made me discover that I could touch my nose with my pinky toe. Me and Bea have been cheering for nine years together, and I’m sad to think that this year, our last year of high school, will be the last year we will cheer too. It’s also my last year in Peddington High, a private school for athletes. The cheer leading section in quite disregarded here. 

Most of the girls are runners or volleyball players, and we don’t have a lot of guys in our teams. All the other sections, the runners, the basketball players, the football players, the swimmers, they all bring dozens of medals to the high school’s prize list, while the cheer leading club never manage to get in a competition.

 “What’s wrong?” Bea asks me as we walk to our Algebra class, in room B316. It’s our first day back at school, and I haven’t been able to think about anything else but cheer leading.

 “It’s our last year here, I’d like to bring back a medal.” I whine. 

“Don’t bank on it, Abigail. At this point medals don’t even matter anymore, lets just pray they don’t close the cheerleading section.” She shrugs, clutching at her skateboard. The bell rings, and Bea and I look at each other, mortified. Already? We’re still in the G block of the high school, on the complete opposite side of the campus. We take a run up and jump on our boards, speeding across the campus, and the bell stops as we enter the B block, we have three floors to climb at at least twenty meters of corridors to walk.

 “Sorry, we’re late!” I pant as I open the door. Whew, since when did my lungs get so weak? The whole class goes quiet and fixes us, and my eyes land on my Algebra teacher. 

Oh my god. My Algebra teacher is a tall, black haired young man. He looks, so young, way too young to be a teacher. His jawline could cut an arm, he has a sharp nose, thin but oh so full, soft-looking lips, and the deepest, brownest eyes accomplishing the painting of perfect beauty. I can sense his muscular body through his white shirt, tucked in black jeans as he leans against his desk, watching us impassively. He looks like an adolescent with his black low sneakers, but he is stylish, and this look suits him for some reason. I’m dumbfounded and intimidated by his good looks, he’s really really handsome. 

“Please, take a sit.” His voice is deep, but not too husky, vaporous but marking. There are two empty seats in the back of the classroom, and me and Bea take them silently, sitting behind Emma and Aurianne. “Let me start over, my name is Mr Tuan, and here is my e-mail address.” He point to the board where his name and email address is written, and I learn that his first name is Mark. “I’m going to start by calling the roll.” He announces, briefly turning around and grabbing a paper on his desk. He starts to call out names, and Emma and Aurianne take the opportunity to turn around and face us. “He’s so fucking hot.” Emma mouths, and Aurianne gives an approving grimace.

“I know, right?” Beam gasps, while I don’t say a thing. It’s the first time in two years that I find a man handsome, and I don’t really know how to feel about it. “He looks so young, he looks like he’s in his mid twenty’s.” Aurianne says to me, green eyes lit up with amazement. “Yeah, how can he be so young?” I frown, genuinely curious. “I am so going to love maths.” Bea concludes and I giggle. “Abigailia Kraige.” He calls, and Aurianne and Emma whirl around. I look up at him and he’s looking directly at me. I didn’t even say yes, how does it know it’s me. “It’s Abigail.” I correct him. “Abigail.” He mumbles, correcting the mistake with his pen.

“Can I call you Abby?” He asks casually. What the fuck? My nickname rigs in my ear and in the very back of my head I start to hear Liam’s voice, calling me Abby, whispering dirty things in my ear while he…

“No, you can’t.” I breathe, and I can see my reaction take him aback, but I don’t care.“Sorry.” He mumbles, and then turns back to the roll calling. “Abigail.” Bea whisper-yells and I look at her with questioning eyes. Hers are wide and painted with horror. What? What did I do? “He was flirting with you and you turned him down, are you crazy?”  Her face is contorted with horror.

“Can I call you Anna?” I hear the teacher ask so I gaze up, and he’s talking to Annabelle, a pretty little brunette. She has unbuttoned her shirt, exposing more skin than necessary, and she’s twisting a strand of hair, obviously swooning, her legs crossed under her desk. The perfect american slut. Annabelle beams at his words.“Of course.” She giggles, biting her lips, her silicone heart melting, her body mirroring it as she relaxes in her chair. I look back at Bea and give her a ‘you see?He’s like that with everyone.’ look. He’s just too lazy to pronounce more than two syllables

“I take that back. But you still acted like a bitch.” She whispers.“Saying ‘no’ is not bitching, Bea.” I reply.

“Abigail, Beatrice, something interesting to say?” Mr Tuan prompts and the class goes silent. We both look up at him and he’s gazing at us impassibly.“No, sir.” We both say.“I would appreciate that you keep quiet during my class.”

“Yes, sir.” Oh shit, I really did bitch at him, now he has it bad against me. The rest of the class goes smoothly, none of the girls chatting, not wanting Mr Sexy to scold them. They all pay full attention to his class about polynomial functions, while I debate on whether I acted like a bitch or not. The bell rings, and I start to pack my things, so do the other students, and Mr Tuan. When I walk out of the room he’s focused on his bag, and the lack of attention he gives me makes me walk back into the room.

“Mr Tuan?” He looks up and sees me, then looks back down at his bag, unimpressed.

“Abigail.” He sighs.

“I’m sorry if I sounded impolite when I talked to you earlier, it wasn’t my attention.” I say quietly.

“If you think I started being tough with you because of that, you’re wrong. You’re chatting during my class, I correct you, that’s it.” His tone is serious,severe, he’s not joking. My mouth dries out of words.“But I accept your apology.” He adds and I blink at him.“Okay. See you tomorrow then.” I slowly turn around and walk to the door.“Goodbye, Abby.” He says and I freeze. Did he really just- I turn around.

“Wait, it didn’t mean that-”

“I know.“He cuts me off, not even looking at me. I blink at him. “Abigail, come on.” Bea urges me from the doorway, bouncing up and down out of frustration and I reluctantly leave.

“What did you say to him?” She asks me in the hallway, eager as ever.“I apologized.” I shrug and I feel her smirk.“I thought you didn’t give a fuck about him.” She nudges me. “I don’t.” I retort and she keeps silent. When I look up at her she’s shaking her head. Hey! I really don’t give a fuck about him.“He started taking it out on us.” I argue. I know she doesn’t believe me but fuck her, I’m in peace with myself, that’s what matters.“And what did he say?” She asks.

“He called me Abby.”

I step out of the shower and wrap a towel around my body, and I stare at myself as I use a smaller one to wipe my face. My eyes land on my scars as I pass the towel over the skin of my neck.

I take off my sleeveless red blouse off, along with my jeans. “Enough.” He says and I still. “You look mighty fine for a 16 year old.” He compliments, but his flattery scares me even more. Tears rush down my cheeks, dragging my  mascara as they do.“Please don’t rape me, please.” I beg, shaking my head, but he ignores me and crawls closer to me. He pulls my ankles towards him and I’m lying under him. He bring his face close to mine and I have to fight the urge to throw up, he stinks.

“Are you a virgin, Abby?” He asks and I nod slowly.

“You must be all tight. It would be a shame not to feel your tight pussy squeezing my dick.” He fakes a comforting tone, and I know he’s not going to stop.

 “No, please.” He groans and buries his face in the crook of my neck, trailing wet kisses all over my skin, creating a purple galaxy as he nibbles and sucks on my flesh. I’m going to throw up. 

“Please, stop. Please, please, please. I don’t want to, I don’t want to.” I sob as he kisses me down to my chest, stilling between my breasts as I speak. “Shhhh, Abby.” He brings his face back up to me and places his knife just beneath my jaw, a silent threat that gives birth to a genuine fear inside of me. I keep quiet. He sits up and hooks his fingers around the cups of my bra, and he pulls them down, revealing my breasts, exposing me some more, and I weep. 

“Look at those titties. You’re making me so hard.” He palms the roundness of my breasts and kisses each of my nipples, before sucking, and licking them, and have to cover my mouth to prevent myself from screaming, it’s disgusting. He lets go of my breasts and fumbles with his jean, unzipping them and sliding them down along with his underwear, letting his erection spring free. 

“Look how hard I am for your pussy.” He rasps, crawling up to me so he his straddling my chest, the tip of his penis inches away from my face. I lift my chin and squeeze my eyes shut.

 “Do you want my dick inside of your mouth, Abby. You want it, baby?” He asks, and I feel something poking at my lips. 

“Open.” He orders and I turn my head to the side. I don’t want to, I don’t want to. “Open!” He says again and I weep. I feel a sharp pain on my neck. “Ah!” I scream, opening my eyes. He’s just made a cut on my neck. It stings. “Open.” He grabs my hair and pulls my head towards his penis. I oblige and take him into my mouth, and I instantly feel even more nauseous.  "Suck.“ He orders and I… I obey. Because I’m scared, and because I don’t want to die. And he thrusts inside of my mouth and moans and grunts for what seems like eternity. “That’s right. You’re doing good, Abby.” He pulls out of me and deep down I know the torture isn’t over, but I plead again. “Please, let me go.” I beg, and in an excess of anger he inflicts another cut to the skin of my neck, it hursts, I cry out. This time I decide to shut up for good.

“Abigail!” I jump as my mom knocks on the bathroom door. I put my necklace back on in a hurry. I use necklaces to hide my scars, the same crew neck floral necklace, but in different colors, that all match the Peddington uniform. “Bea’s downstairs, she’s staying for dinner.” My mom says from behind the door. I try to compose myself. That Mr Tuan, he’s handsome, so what? He is still a man, a primitive creatures with animal instincts. It doesn’t go further than that, it won’t go further than that. "I’m coming!” I reply before returning to my reflexion. This lack of attention he gives me, why does it bother me so much? I’m starting to think I’m slowly falling into the same mindset that every average teenage girl in front of a good looking guy, its disgusting, I’m better than that. Finding someone good looking isn’t wrong at all but why do I feel like a sinner? All those limits I impose to myself, are they really legitimate? In front of what? A pretty face? Gah! I don’t know. What kind of teacher would call his students with nick names now that I think about it, his intention was clear, towards me, Bea, Annabelle, towards all the girls. He is a payer. He knows he has a face and he likes seeing every girl swoon. It’s decided, I won’t swoon. Well, I won’t show it at least.


Transgenic Biofluorescent Animals Part 2

The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a protein that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to light in the blue to ultraviolet range. Although many other marine organisms have similar green fluorescent proteins, GFP traditionally refers to the protein first isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. Jellyfish-derived GFP has been engineered to produce a vast number of useful blue, cyan and yellow mutants, and fluorescent proteins from a variety of other species have also been identified, resulting in further expansion of the available color palette into the orange, red and far-red spectral regions. Together, these highly useful genetically encoded probes are broadly referred to as fluorescent proteins  The FP gene can be introduced into organisms and maintained in their genome through breeding, injection with a viral vector, or cell transformation. Green fluorescent protein has transformed biomedical research. Using a gene that carries instructions to make GFP, scientists can attach harmless glow-in-the-dark tags to selected proteins, either in cells in lab dishes or inside living creatures, to track their activity. It’s like shining a flashlight on the inner workings of cells. These days, scientists can track how cancer cells spread, how HIV infections progress and even which male ends up fertilizing a female fruit fly’s egg. These and many other studies that offer insight into human health all benefit from a green, glowing protein first found in a sea creature.