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A Green Light for Biology
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Summary
Bioluminescence is an ability some creatures have to create their own light. Dr. Osama Shimomura looked at these creatures and found that some of these creatures aren’t luminescing at all, but rather flourescing.
The difference between bioluminescence and bioflorescence is the source of the light. Creatures that are bioluminescent create their own light from a certain enyzme combined with oxygen. Creatures that are bioflourescent use incoming light to produce their own light, using a different enzyme.
No one knows why jellyfish evolved to emit blue light which they then convert to green light. Regardless, the protein used by these creatures has practical use by humans. Scientists call it GFP, or green florescent protein. This protein has made the invisible life of cells visible.
Keywords: vcu, Virginia, commonwealth, university richmond rams medicine, gene, dna, science health, cells, molecular biology, Shimomura, Nobel prize
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