Pyrosomes are one of the few organisms known to exhibit bioluminescence in response to light. They are also very delicate, which makes them difficult to study. Scientists from the Wyss Institute have collaborated with marine biologists to create a soft robot that delicately handles pyrosomes so that they can be studied safely. Recently, the robot enabled researchers to identify a specific gene that seems to give pyrosomes, and potentially other animals, their bioluminescent ability.
Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University