Peek At Science: 2023 July 31

Peak At Science 20230731
Quantum Biology

Peek At Science: 2023 July 31

Many devices and other light sources that use light emitting diodes (LEDs) emit lots of light in the blue wavelengths (430 – 500 nm). The retinal ganglion cells in the eye are highly sensitive to blue wavelengths. Do you know what this means for your biology, your health?

Human melanopsin forms a pigment maximally sensitive to blue light ( λmax ≈ 479 nm) supporting activation of Gq/11 and Gi/o signalling cascades

Melanopsin cells in mammals are specialized for measuring ambient illumination, contributing to visual discrimination [8,9], and driving a wide variety of physiological responses including, but not restricted to: synchronization of circadian clocks to light : dark cycles, regulation of pupil size, modulation of sleep and suppression of pineal melatonin production [10 –14].

Human melanopsin is therefore capable of inducing significant calcium mobilization in HEK293 cells.

In the case of human Opn4, these data were well fit with templates corresponding to λmax around 479 nm (figure 3c,d).

We find that the human melanopsin action spectrum can be closely fit by the predicted absorbance spectrum of an opsin : vitamin A1 photopigment with a λmax of 479 nm (figure 3b).

Authors: Helena J. Bailes and Robert J. Lucas

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