¤ On Black ¤
Graceful and nearly transparent, these jellies have long, delicate tentacles. When disturbed, they give off a green-blue glow because of more than 100 tiny, light-producing organs surrounding its outer bell. They can expand their mouths when feeding to swallow jellies half their size. They’re harvested for their luminescent aequorin, used in neurological and biological experiments to detect calcium.
•Crystal jellies are brightly luminescent jellies, with glowing points around the margin of the umbrella. The components required for bioluminescence include a Calcium++ activated photoprotein, called aequorin, that emits a blue-green light, and an accessory green fluorescent protein (GFP), which accepts energy from aequorin and re-emits it as green light.
•Scientists have created “green mice” that glow green when hit by blue light by inserting the GFP gene from the crystal jelly into the mice. The glowing protein is a widely used biological highlighter that helps scientists find and study genes more quickly.