Awesome Sauce Music Friday! Insane in the
Membrane Chromatophores Edition
Have you ever wondered what your cells would look like if they danced? Yeah, me neither. But thanks to the scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, we have found out.
According to Backyard Brains, the biologists were fascinated with the chromatophores of Longfin Inshore Squid. Chromatophores are light-reflecting cells that allow the squid and other cephalopods to change color. Each chromatophore has a tiny muscle around the circumference of the cell that, when it contracts, reveals the pigment underneath. The biologists decided to see if they could stimulate that phenomenon:
We tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid’s chromatophores. We used a suction electrode to attach to the squid’s fin nerve, then connected the electrode to an iPod nano as our stimulator. The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video below is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the fin.
Below are the results of that experiment. Pretty neat, huh? You can read more about the experiment on Backyard Brains. Happy Friday!
(Hat tip to Vy)
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