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Concept: Fluorescent lamp


Fluorescence using ultraviolet (UV) light has seen increased use as a tool in paleontology over the last decade. Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) is a next generation technique that is emerging as a way to fluoresce paleontological specimens that remain dark under typical UV. A laser’s ability to concentrate very high flux rates both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels results in specimens fluorescing in ways a standard UV bulb cannot induce. Presented here are five paleontological case histories that illustrate the technique across a broad range of specimens and scales. Novel uses such as back-lighting opaque specimens to reveal detail and detection of specimens completely obscured by matrix are highlighted in these examples. The recent cost reductions in medium-power short wavelength lasers and use of standard photographic filters has now made this technique widely accessible to researchers. This technology has the potential to automate multiple aspects of paleontology, including preparation and sorting of microfossils. This represents a highly cost-effective way to address paleontology’s preparatory bottleneck.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Biology, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Laser, Fluorescent lamp, Black light


Fluorescence is widespread in marine organisms but uncommon in terrestrial tetrapods. We here show that many chameleon species have bony tubercles protruding from the skull that are visible through their scales, and fluoresce under UV light. Tubercles arising from bones of the skull displace all dermal layers other than a thin, transparent layer of epidermis, creating a ‘window’ onto the bone. In the genus Calumma, the number of these tubercles is sexually dimorphic in most species, suggesting a signalling role, and also strongly reflects species groups, indicating systematic value of these features. Co-option of the known fluorescent properties of bone has never before been shown, yet it is widespread in the chameleons of Madagascar and some African chameleon genera, particularly in those genera living in forested, humid habitats known to have a higher relative component of ambient UV light. The fluorescence emits with a maximum at around 430 nm in blue colour which contrasts well to the green and brown background reflectance of forest habitats. This discovery opens new avenues in the study of signalling among chameleons and sexual selection factors driving ornamentation.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Organism, Species, Skull, Fluorescent lamp, Genus, Chameleon


Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS), caused by the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has decimated North American hibernating bats since its emergence in 2006. Here, we utilize comparative genomics to examine the evolutionary history of this pathogen in comparison to six closely related nonpathogenic species. P. destructans displays a large reduction in carbohydrate-utilizing enzymes (CAZymes) and in the predicted secretome (~50%), and an increase in lineage-specific genes. The pathogen has lost a key enzyme, UVE1, in the alternate excision repair (AER) pathway, which is known to contribute to repair of DNA lesions induced by ultraviolet (UV) light. Consistent with a nonfunctional AER pathway, P. destructans is extremely sensitive to UV light, as well as the DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). The differential susceptibility of P. destructans to UV light in comparison to other hibernacula-inhabiting fungi represents a potential “Achilles' heel” of P. destructans that might be exploited for treatment of bats with WNS.

Concepts: DNA, Ultraviolet, Bacteria, Evolution, Sun, Sunlight, Fluorescent lamp, Light therapy


Tardigrades inhabiting terrestrial environments exhibit extraordinary resistance to ionizing radiation and UV radiation although little is known about the mechanisms underlying the resistance. We found that the terrestrial tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus is able to tolerate massive doses of UVC irradiation by both being protected from forming UVC-induced thymine dimers in DNA in a desiccated, anhydrobiotic state as well as repairing the dimers that do form in the hydrated animals. In R. varieornatus accumulation of thymine dimers in DNA induced by irradiation with 2.5 kJ/m(2) of UVC radiation disappeared 18 h after the exposure when the animals were exposed to fluorescent light but not in the dark. Much higher UV radiation tolerance was observed in desiccated anhydrobiotic R. varieornatus compared to hydrated specimens of this species. On the other hand, the freshwater tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini that was used as control, showed much weaker tolerance to UVC radiation than R. varieornatus, and it did not contain a putative phrA gene sequence. The anhydrobiotes of R. varieornatus accumulated much less UVC-induced thymine dimers in DNA than hydrated one. It suggests that anhydrobiosis efficiently avoids DNA damage accumulation in R. varieornatus and confers better UV radiation tolerance on this species. Thus we propose that UV radiation tolerance in tardigrades is due to the both high capacities of DNA damage repair and DNA protection, a two-pronged survival strategy.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Ionizing radiation, Mutation, Ultraviolet, DNA repair, Fluorescent lamp, Thymine



Coloration mediates the relationship between an organism and its environment in important ways, including social signaling, antipredator defenses, parasitic exploitation, thermoregulation, and protection from ultraviolet light, microbes, and abrasion. Methodological breakthroughs are accelerating knowledge of the processes underlying both the production of animal coloration and its perception, experiments are advancing understanding of mechanism and function, and measurements of color collected noninvasively and at a global scale are opening windows to evolutionary dynamics more generally. Here we provide a roadmap of these advances and identify hitherto unrecognized challenges for this multi- and interdisciplinary field.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Biology, Organism, Life, Species, Understanding, Fluorescent lamp


Volumetric three-dimensional displays offer spatially accurate representations of images with a 360° view, but have been difficult to implement due to complex fabrication requirements. Herein, a chemically enabled volumetric 3D digital light photoactivatable dye display (3D Light PAD) is reported. The operating principle relies on photoactivatable dyes that become reversibly fluorescent upon illumination with ultraviolet light. Proper tuning of kinetics and emission wavelengths enables the generation of a spatial pattern of fluorescent emission at the intersection of two structured light beams. A first-generation 3D Light PAD was fabricated using the photoactivatable dye N-phenyl spirolactam rhodamine B, a commercial picoprojector, an ultraviolet projector and a custom quartz imaging chamber. The system displays a minimum voxel size of 0.68 mm(3), 200 μm resolution and good stability over repeated ‘on-off’ cycles. A range of high-resolution 3D images and animations can be projected, setting the foundation for widely accessible volumetric 3D displays.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Computer graphics, Fluorescent lamp, Rhodamine, Volumetric display


PURPOSE: To investigate the in vitro effect of pH, osmolarity, solvent, and light interaction on currently used and novel dyes to minimize dye-related retinal toxicity. DESIGN: Laboratory investigation. METHODS: Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) human cells (ARPE-19) were exposed for 10 minutes to different pH solutions (4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, and 9) and glucose solutions (2.5%, 5.0%, 10%, 20%, 40%, and 50%) with osmolarity from 142 to 2530 mOsm, with and without 0.5 mg/mL trypan blue. R28 cells were also incubated with glucose (150, 310, and 1000 mOsm) and mannitol used as an osmotic control agent in both experiments. Dye-light interaction was assessed by incubating ARPE-19 for 10 minutes with trypan blue, brilliant blue, bromophenol blue, fast green, light green, or indigo carmine (0.05 mg/mL diluted in balanced saline solution) in the presence of high-brightness xenon and mercury vapor light sources. RESULTS: Solutions with nonphysiologic pH, below 7 and above 7.5, proved to be remarkably toxic to RPE cells with or without trypan blue. Also, all glucose solutions were deleterious to RPE (P < .001) even in iso-osmolar range. No harmful effect was found with mannitol solutions. Among the dyes tested, only light green and fast green were toxic to ARPE-19 (P < .001). Light exposure did not increase RPE toxicity either with xenon light or mercury vapor lamp. CONCLUSIONS: Solutions containing glucose as a dye solvent or nonphysiologic pH should be used with care in surgical situations where the RPE is exposed. Light exposure under present assay conditions did not increase the RPE toxicity.

Concepts: Light, Retina, Mercury, Fluorescent lamp, Light pollution, Retinal pigment epithelium, Mercury-vapor lamp, Metal halide lamp


We develop a simple approach to fabricate graphene loaded TiO2 thin films on glass substrates by spin-coating technique. Our graphene-loaded TiO2 films were highly conductive, transparent and showed enhanced photocatalytic activities. More significantly, graphene-TiO2 films displayed super-hydrophilicity within short time even under white fluorescent light bulb, as compared to a pure TiO2 film. The enhanced photocatalytic activity of graphene-TiO2 films is attributed to its efficient charge separation, owing to electrons injection from the conduction band of TiO2 to graphene. The electroconductivity of the graphene loaded TiO2 thin film also contributes to the self-cleaning function by its anti-fouling effect against particulate contaminants. The present study reveals the ability of graphene as a low cost co-catalyst instead of expensive noble metals (Pt, Pd), and further shows its capability for the application of self-cleaning coatings with transparency. The promising characteristics of (inexpensive, transparent, conductive, super-hydrophilic, and high photocatalytic active) graphene loaded TiO2 films may have the potential use in various indoor applications.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Ultraviolet, Light, Semiconductor, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent light bulb, Thin film, Self-cleaning glass


Ultraviolet (UV) B irradiation may provide a safe and effective method to treat vitamin D deficiency. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a novel Sperti D/UV-Fluorescent lamp in converting 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to previtamin D(3) in vitro and in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) [25(OH)D(3) ] in healthy adults.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Vitamin D, Cancer, Ultraviolet, Fluorescent lamp, Human skin color, Sunscreen, Black light