The Chemistry of Eyes

Introduction

YouTube Video



Eyes are an essential part of everyone’s life. Every morning you look at yourself in the mirror as you’re brushing your teeth. You look at other cars and watch what is happening around you as you drive to work or school. You check emails, texts, and facebook on your phone multiple times throughout the day. Vision is absolutely the most important of the five senses for an average human. We use our eyes so often throughout the day, whether it be using them to look out a window or help show emotion, that we may take them for granted. We all should have a little better understanding of how something we use so often, really works.

Composition of ...

  • Lens

  • Posterior Chamber

  • Anterior Chamber

  • Cornea

  • Pupil

  • Aqueous Humor

  • Iris

  • Conjunctiva

  • Suspensory Ligament Zonules

  • Ciliary Body

  • Medial Rectus Muscle

  • Vitreous Body

  • Optic Nerve Head

  • Optic Nerve

  • Fovea

  • Macula

  • Retina

  • Choroid

  • Sclera

  • Lateral Rectus Muscle

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

The Retina is the most important part of the eye. It is connected to the optic nerve and therefore connects the rest of the eye to the brain. The retina lines the inside back wall of the eye and is full of photoreceptor nerve cells, called rods and cones, that change light into electrical impulses The impulses are then sent through the optic nerve to the brain and turned into the images that we see.


The Iris is the adjustable opening at the front of the eye that allows light in. The Iris and the Retina work together to allow the eye to see over a wide range of light levels. The iris has tons of tiny muscles that help it constrict and dilate.


Chemistry's Role

To allow the photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina to work properly, retinal needs to be present. Retinal cannot be produced by the human body and needs to be acquired through diet. When retinal IS present in the body in bonds with a protein called opsin which then produces Rhodopsin. This new protein is what allows light to be absorbed by the rods and cones.

Background Research

The eye has been a part of human life for as long as humans have been around. Vision is essential to the average human’s life and is the most important and used of the five senses.

Resources

http://cpr.molsci.ucla.edu/cpr/cpr_info/rsc_preview.asp?a_id=700045&r_id=res6&e=e

Rhodopsin

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Vision/Vision.html

Rods and Cones

http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Biological_Chemistry/Photoreceptors/Chemistry_of_Vision

Retina

http://sciencesuperschool.com/Human-Eye-Anatomy-and-Basic-Eye-Facts-of-Biology,-Chemistry-and-Physics.php

Parts of the eye

http://www.slideshare.net/kphil/chemistry-of-vision-final

Rhodopsin

http://www.trentu.ca/chemistry/chem401/studentpresentations/vision.pdf

Rods and Cones

About the Author
Will Goodridge (Willy G) is a junior at Billings Senior High. He enjoys being outside, playing music and chillin his bros.  He expects to pursue science after high school.
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