|A Jelly and the Nobel Prize|
Posted by Merry on July 06, 2012 at 15:38:38:|
When I photographed this 'Crystal Jelly', Aequorea victoria, I had no idea that it was a celebrity among the hydromedusa.
It was from these photoorgans that GFP was first isolated by Osamu Shimomura in 1962. Shimomura
Thirty years later, the gene was cloned and an avalanche of studies began with fluorescent proteins, plumbing their use as fluorescent labels in living systems. Used by countless medical and scientific research laboratories throughout the world, the applications of GFP and related fluorescent proteins are infinite.
In 2008, Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their collective work on GFP. Pretty exciting stuff coming from a 3-inch jelly.
But why the ring of light on Aequorea? The ocean is chock-full of creatures that produce bioluminescence, some in spectacular displays. Luminescence may be utilized in attracting prey, avoiding predators, camouflage, and communication - all have been implicated.
A few of the most recent drifters we encountered:
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