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Museum hosts presentation on biomedical uses of bioluminescence

RALEIGH — From fireflies to vampire squid, bioluminescent creatures have piqued human imagination with their ghostly glow for centuries. After decades of investigation, scientists have uncovered the mechanisms underlying bioluminescence. Get an introduction to bioluminescence and discover its value to biomedical research when Jonathan Horowitz, associate professor of oncology at the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine, presents “Bioluminescence: Natural Wonders and Tools for Scientific Discovery,” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Monday, July 19 at 7 pm.

This is the first of a pair of presentations complementing the Museum’s new special exhibit, GLOW: Living Lights, the first-ever museum exhibition to explore the phenomenon of bioluminescence — an organism’s ability to produce its own light. The exhibit examines the world of light-producing terrestrial organisms — like fireflies, railroad worms and foxfire fungus — before traveling on to the mid-ocean, where an estimated 90 percent of the animals produce light. GLOW runs through September 12.

On August 12, Duke University Associate Professor of Biology Sonke Johnsen will present “Deep Light: Bioluminescence and Vision 2,000 Feet below the Bahamas.”

Both presentations are free and held in the Museum’s auditorium on the first floor. Adult tickets to GLOW are available at a discounted rate of $5 ($4 for kids) on these evenings, with tickets sold from 5 to 6:30 pm. Regular ticket prices are $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and students; $4 for children (5–11); and free to Members. For more information, visit www.naturalsciences.org.