Friday Squid Blogging: How a Squid Changes Color
The California market squid, Doryteuthis opalescens, can manipulate its color in a variety of ways:
Reflectins are aptly-named proteins unique to the light-sensing tissue of cephalopods like squid. Their skin contains specialized cells called iridocytes that produce color by reflecting light in a predictable way. When the neurotransmitter acetylcholine activates reflectin proteins, this triggers the contraction and expansion of deep pleats in the cell membrane of iridocytes. By turning enzymes on and off, this process adjusts (or tunes) the brightness and color of the light that’s reflected.
As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.