Photobiology

Photobiology is the study of the effects of ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation on living organisms. It includes topics such as photosynthesis, vision, bioluminescence, circadian rhythms and photodynamic therapy.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The flow of energy in Earth's primary light harvesters — photosynthetic pigment–protein complexes — needs to be heavily regulated, as the sun's energy supply can vary over many orders of magnitude. Observing hundreds of individual light-harvesting complexes has now provided important insights into the machinery that regulates this process.

    • Peter J. Walla
    Nature Chemistry 9, 728-730
  • News and Views |

    The process of electronic energy transfer between molecules has long fascinated chemists. Femtosecond spectroscopy measurements of a series of molecular dimers now reveal signals that arise from non-Born–Oppenheimer coupling, suggesting a new mechanism to enhance energy transfer.

    • Daniel B. Turner
    Nature Chemistry 9, 196-197
  • News and Views |

    Vision is initiated by photoisomerization of 11-cis retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin — a fast and efficient process. Spectroscopic studies now demonstrate that the transition from the reactant photoexcited-state to the ground-state photoproduct, which mediates this important reaction, occurs on a sub-50-fs timescale and is vibrationally coherent.

    • Richard A. Mathies
    Nature Chemistry 7, 945-947
  • News and Views |

    Biological solar energy conversion requires the coordinated and rapid movement of protons and electrons through complex proteins, called reaction centres. Now, an artificial and structurally simple reaction centre has been synthesized that mimics an important, photosynthetic charge relay.

    • Bridgette A. Barry
    Nature Chemistry 6, 376-377