Three US-based scientists won a Nobel Prize on Wednesday for turning a glowing green protein from jellyfish into a revolutionary way to watch the tiniest details of life within cells and living creatures.
Osamu Shimomura, a Japanese citizen who works in the United States, and Americans Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien shared the chemistry prize for discovering and developing Green Fluorescent Protein, or GFP.
When exposed to ultraviolet light, the protein glows green. It can act as a marker on otherwise invisible proteins within cells to trace them as they go about their business. It can tag individual cells in tissue. And it can show when and where particular genes turn on and off.
Image: In this Harvard University photograph, brain cells of a laboratory mouse are shown glowing with multicolor fluorescent proteins at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. The Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded on October 8, 2008 to two Americans and a US-based Japanese scientist for research on a glowing jellyfish protein that revolutionized the ability to study disease and normal development in living organisms.
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