/Happy 2019 with bio-fireworks!
Fireworks microscopy biology cells fluorescent luminescent

Happy 2019 with bio-fireworks!

Fireworks are one of the most festive things I can think of, next to a steaming cup of tea on the sofa next to your favorite people (whether it is family, friends or partners).
There is a lot of science that goes into making brilliant and safe firework displays and this science and tech has been perfected for hundreds of years.

The bio-fireworks

There is, however, another type, more unexpected kind of fireworks which are equally beautiful and may be even more inspiring when it comes to the science it goes in them. I call them – the bio-fireworks.

These are actually filmed by the team of Sabine Petry at Princeton University.

Where do they come from?

The name is a trick, of course! There’s nothing really fiery about those images and they are as bio as they come from cells stained with fluorescent dies and observed with special microscopes (the time-lapse is optional).
Biological systems are always on the move, even the seemingly immobile rooted plants. In the cells of organisms things shift, move, wiggle and change constantly, fulfilling their functions.

Using fluorescent dyes helps scientists visualize these movements and understand the cellular and physiological communications, and by doing so – understand better the biology of things. As a bonus gain of it all – we get to enjoy a number of beautiful images and the emergence of a one of a kind sci-art!

In some cases, whole organisms produce naturally fluorescent or luminescent colors to attract, deter or alert others to coming in contact. While less resembling fireworks, they are even more fascinating to study or just look at.

And with those gorgeous images from the life around us, I'd like to wish you all a joyful and colorful 2019 with lovely celebration of New Years eve - real fireworks or not.