Hormones give lantern sharks the glow

Study is first to find chemicals, rather than nerve cells, controlling bioluminescence

3:15pm, November 6, 2009

The safe answer to how a lantern shark turns its luminescence on and off is: “Any way it wants.” Now researchers have looked into the belly of the beast and found that three hormones act as on-off switches for these glow-in-the-dark sharks. It is the first discovery of hormones controlling bioluminescence in animals, the scientists report in the Nov. 15 Journal of Experimental Biology.

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