A peek above our garters for this to Shelley Batts over at Retrospectacle.
Ever wonder what makes a firefly glow in the dark?
On my way over to a friend’s house last night, an unusual thing happened: a firefly which was in the process of lighting up got squashed against my windshield at that exact moment. While there wasn’t much resembling an insect left, smeared across the glass was a streak of glowing green goo which continued to fluoresce for 5 or 6 seconds before fading into black. In fact, in the last few moments the guts glowed brighter than the bug did.
Which got me thinking about 2 things. One, how do fireflies bioluminesce? And two, does science use this glowing protein in a similar way as GFP (green fluorescent protein, found in some jellyfish)?