Supercomputer decodes light sensing cells

The image shows rhodopsin and melanopsin computer models.

Superposition of computer models of human melanopsin (violet) and squid rhodopsin (green). Similar to visual pigments, melanopsin provides the interface between the physical world, responsible for light detection, and the physiological world of brain signaling. Melanopsin mediates a process termed ‘photoentrainment,’ which takes in light to set the clock of “circadian rhythms.” These rhythms (often termed the body clock) represent the biological implementation of the 24-hour day/night and optimize the corresponding physiology. Adapted from the OSC press release.

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