Cyanobacteria use their whole bodies as eyeballs

Round single cells may have been the first creatures to see Earth

The spherical bacteria (shown here in false colour) can use their single celled bodies almost like eyeballs. A light shining up from the bottom of this image passes through the cells and focuses on far side (white arrows highlight examples of focused light). A laser light source in the centre (red dot) helped test which way the cells move in reaction to bright spots of light.    

After all those years of people looking into microscopes at bacteria, it turns out that some of the bacteria are (sort of) looking back.

Synechocystis bacteria focus light in a roughly eyeball-like process, says Conrad Mullineaux of Queen Mary University of London.  Light shining through their spherical cells focuses on the opposite side, where light-sensitive substances react

– more @ sciencenews


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