A Molecule as an eye • Shortlink
Mollusks' world is more and more surprising. And, as if there isn't any of new, here another discover: Lydia Mäthger and Roger Hanton have recently found that the common cuttlefish has photosensible proteins throughout his body.
These proteins are called "opsins". Through these molecules, these organism are able to feel light on the entire body lenght: one time the opsin is hit by the light, the molecule changes its conformation, by triggering a chain chemical reaction which ends with a electric signal. This pulse travels on a nerve towards the brain.
Other kind of these light sensors are found in the octopus, too. Two researchers of University of California (Santa Barbara), Desmond Ramirez and Todd Oakley, light brighted some specific body parts of Californian Octopus, identifying some opsins.
These opsins, instead, are organized into thin structure, called cilia.