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Many live with worm-like parasites that dangle repulsively from their corneas.
They belong, appropriately enough, to the family , and appear as willing to gorge on fresh halibut as on rotting polar-bear carcasses.
Once widely hunted for their liver oil, today they are considered bycatch.
For some fishermen, a biologist recently told me, netting a Greenland shark is about as welcome as stepping in dog poop. It is among the world’s largest predatory sharks, growing up to eighteen feet in length, but also among its most elusive.
Nine years ago, Heinemeier and four of his colleagues published a paper on lens crystallines, a class of proteins found in the human eye.
And, if crystallines are the envelopes, then carbon-14 is the postmark.
Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.
It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.
The isotope has always occurred naturally on Earth, formed wherever incoming cosmic rays strike the atmosphere, but some of the current supply also comes from nuclear-weapons tests.
The level fluctuates from year to year, and that means that every given time period has its own carbon-14 signature.
You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.