Sensilla detect fire: beetle
Sensilla in the infrared sensory organ of the Melanophila acuminata beetle detect fire by a structure of lipids channeling photons to a protein region highly sensitive to hydrogen resonance.
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|Light - non-visible spectrum|
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"The Melanophila acuminata sensilla are composed of lipids that may channel the photons to the protein region. Similar to high order polymers like dendrimers, which are nanometer-sized macromolecules with regular units, the lipids form regular layers with a thickness of 100 nm. The lipid layers insulate the scattering of collisional energy and direct the energy towards the IR-absorbing tulip-shaped protein region. Protein hydrogen bonds vibrate in response to infrared radiation at wavelengths around 3 µm and at wavelengths between 10 µm and 25 µm. This stretch resonance corresponds at 3 µm with the data for maximal IR absorption as well as with behavioral and sensory response of the Melanophila acuminata. The presence of this protein provides an explanation for high sensitivity and the specificity of the beetle towards the narrow infrared windows likely via a photo-effect since protein, by consequence of hydrogen resonance, absorbs in the infrared wavelength." (Israelowitz et al. 2011:136)
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Fire alarm technology and sensors.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Construction, Fire prevention
Meir Israelowitz, Syed W. H. Rizvi, Herb P. von Schroeder