Thursday, October 25, 2007

Glow in the dark seafood

Imagine making a shrimp dinner and dimming the lights, only to find the shrimp glowing in the dark. That's just what happened to Randall Peters of Seattle last week.

Nervous, he was worried about radiation making the shrimp glow. But a more mundane explanation is likely, bacterial luminescence. Glow in the dark bacteria are not rare, and glowing seafood has been uncovered before.

So if you find your seafood glowing, you probably don't need to worry about being poisoned. Unless you forgot to refrigerate it or otherwise created a risk of food poisoning from bad handling.

Now these genetically modified glowing zebrafish, that's a horse of a different color. Fluorescent transgenic fish that you can buy for your home aquarium.

3 comments:

Kevin Z said...

That was an interesting story Mark! I hadn't heard of bioluminescent market shrimp before. Perhaps there a photobacterium bloom when and where they were harvested?

But wouldn't freezing for a few days kill off this type of bacteria, or severaly slow down the luciferin-luciferase reaction? Why would it sill produce light?

Bleimanimal said...

I would definitely pay more for shrimp cocktail that glowed.

Anonymous said...

Those zebrafish are scary looking, perfect for halloween