Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. Signal., 14 June 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 177, p. ec167
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4177ec167]


Biochemistry Seeing the Heat

Valda K. Vinson

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Dim-light vision requires a visual system that has high sensitivity to light but a low probability of thermal activation. Nevertheless, thermal pigment noise does occur. Luo et al. used single-cell recordings to measure photoisomerization activation energies and noise rates for diverse rod and cone pigments. A quantitative relation was observed between a pigment's photoactivation energy and its peak absorption wavelength. A statistical-mechanical analysis using this relation and modeling thermal activation was able to predict pigment noise rates.

D.-G. Luo, W. W. S. Yue, P. Ala-Laurila, K.-W. Yau, Activation of visual pigments by light and heat. Science 332, 1307–1312 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: V. K. Vinson, Seeing the Heat. Sci. Signal. 4, ec167 (2011).

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882