Library Launches Exhibit On Bioluminescence

Deep-sea fishes that use glowing lures to capture prey ... fireflies like the ones in your backyard ... jellies from which Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), widely used in molecular & cellular biology, was first isolated ... glowworms that dangle glowing sticky threads to lure and capture prey ... even mushrooms and clams. So many luminescent organisms! Who would have thought!

Come check out the exhibit on Bioluminescence in the sunny lobby of the Northwest Building, 52 Oxford Street. Funded by Library Lab, the three display cases built by HMNH Exhibits staff highlight research here at Harvard and the connections with library resources.

One cabinet showcases the new book by J. Woodland "Woody" Hastings, Bioluminescence: Living Lights, Lights For Living, written with Therese Wilson. Professor Hastings, on the faculty of the Molecular & Cellular Biology Department, has written widely on the subject and is an acknowledged authority. Another case features work of Chris Kenaley of the Organismic & Evolutionary Biology Department (OEB), with specimens from the vast collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) The third cabinet has a mixture of specimens and objects, ranging from fireflies to jellies to squid. There is a specimen of Aequorea, the producer of GFP. There is also a device called a Bioscan that measures ATP to test for bacteria in water and is widely used, including here at Harvard.

Want to know more? Suggestions welcome!