Sep 29, 2008

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(In)Finite Flash Lights

I just wanted to share the thoughts of a melancholic friend that misses the Flashing Lightning Bugs. His blog is in Spanish but there´s a beautiful entry that has made me thought a lot about Fireflies and how they are becoming more rare every season...

Reading my friend´s blog I learnt that Flashing Lightning Bugs flash when they are trying to attract mates. Among some species both males and females are bioluminescent, but among others only the members of one sex do it.
Apparently, so that they flash, they need a protein named luciferine, molecular oxygen, an enzime named luciferase and also adenosine triphosphate. The oxygen oxides the luciferine, The luciferase catalyzes the reaction and the ATP provides the energy to produce oxyluciferin (an inactive substance) and light.
The whole reaction lasts less than a milisecond and lasts as long as the organism remains excited.
So that the light doesn't attract a firefly of a different species, each Lightning Bug species has its own special flash pattern. Flash patterns range from continuous glows or single flashes, to series of multi-pulsed flashes.

When I was a child I thought their Flash lights would be inifinite... Will they be?

Sep 25, 2008

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I just wanted to jump into the infinity...

Turnsole (1961) by Keneth Noland - MOMA NY, 2007

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