Your Inner Fish


Neil Shubin

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The protein in the eye that signals to the brain that light has entered the light-sensing molecules. Different opsins allow animals to have black and white or color vision, but all opsins perform the same function of sending a chemical messenger up to the cells in the brain. All organisms able to sense light, including bacteria, have opsins.

Opsin Quotes in Your Inner Fish

The Your Inner Fish quotes below are all either spoken by Opsin or refer to Opsin. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Similarities Between All Animals Theme Icon
Chapter 9 Quotes

Our eyes have a history as organs, but so do eyes' constituent parts, the cells and tissues, and so do the genes that make those parts. Once we identify these multiple layers of history in our organs, we understand that we are simply a mosaic of bits and pieces found in virtually everything else on the planet.

Related Characters: Neil Shubin (speaker)
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
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Opsin Term Timeline in Your Inner Fish

The timeline below shows where the term Opsin appears in Your Inner Fish. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: Vision
Similarities Between All Animals Theme Icon
...light breaks into two parts when light is absorbed: Vitamin A and a protein called opsin that sends an impulse to the brain. Animals need three different opsins to see in... (full context)
Similarities Between All Animals Theme Icon
History of Life  Theme Icon
Opsins transmit messages by carrying a chemical across the membrane of a cell, then helping the... (full context)
Similarities Between All Animals Theme Icon
History of Life  Theme Icon
...that the eye was a normal invertebrate eye but that the light-sensing patches had the opsins normally found in vertebrate eyes. These patches even had primitive versions of the little bristles... (full context)