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  Noctiluca    By   Kaemon   Heureux    Could  you  imagine   going  to the  beach at night and  luciferase,  emits  a   light  that  can  be   seen  from  finding  that  the   waves  radiated  with  blue   light?   afar.   Scintillons   a re   like   factories   for   light.  There   is  a   species  that  known  as  Noctiluca   that    makes  this  dream  possible.  The   noctiluca   is  a   Noctiluca   are   both  asexual  and 
    Noctiluca By Kaemon Heureux Could you imagine going to the beach at night and finding that the waves radiated with blue light? There is a species that known as Noctiluca that makes this dream possible. The noctiluca is a single celled organism that lives in coastal areas near the beach. The noctiluca is shaped like a  balloon and has little strings on its body called cytoplasmic strands that originate from the nucleus and run along the surface of the cell. In a way it looks like a hand holding a bubble, except with like 30 fingers. Cytoplasmic strands are  pathways for the migration of nuclear energy, which means that they allow nuclear energy to move from one part of the cell to another. They are like veins, except they transport delicious radiation instead of blood. The noctiluca is responsible for a magical glow that can be seen at night on the beach is some  places in the world, because they are  bioluminescent. Bioluminescence is a process that an organism uses to glow in certain situations. Regardless of the fact that this cell is mostly colorless, it produces a magnificent neon blue glow when it is agitated. The way that it produces this glow is using organelles called scintillons, which closely resemble a round paper Japanese lantern. The scintillons contain a compound called luciferin which, when oxidized by the enzyme luciferase, emits a light that can be seen from afar. Scintillons are like factories for light.  Noctiluca are both asexual and sexual reproducers, which means that a noctiluca cell can multiply by itself or with a mate. It reproduces by itself using a process called binary fission, in which the cell splits in two and both halves grow independently. Could you imagine surviving being cut down the middle of your body, and then discovering that there are two of you. The cell duplicates its genetic code so that both of  the new cells are identical. Every organelle  becomes duplicated through the process of binary fusion, even the nucleus splits in two. It is a true  phenomenon that the cell starts the process with one set of DNA, and at the end there are two sets of DNA. The process that noctiluca goes through to produce sexualy, with a mate, is called formation of isogametes. The formation of  isogametes is a process of reproduction much like the one that humans use, where the sperm and the egg fuse to create the start of a person. The major  difference between our reproduction and that of  the noctiluca is that instead of having two completely different parts, (the sperm and egg) the noctiluca produces only one type of  reproducer, which fuses with the other reproducer  that is the same as it. This means that noctiluca don't have genders, they have it all figured out, which is more than I can say for us humans.  Noctiluca cell under a microscope (left)  Scintillon under electron microscope, colored blue (right)
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