Why Do Jellyfish Glow?

On a late summer evening in 1961, biochemist Osamu Shimomura was nearing the end of another frustrating day working with the jellyfish Aequorea victoria at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories.

For weeks he’d been trying to pin down the enzyme that causes A. victoria, also known as the crystal jelly, to give off a bioluminescent glow when disturbed. This enzyme, one of a group called luciferases (lucifer means “light bearer”), produces a highly energized molecule that quickly releases its energy as light—but as of yet, nobody had been able to isolate it from the jellyfish.

HEALTHY GLOW : A fluorescent protein in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria (above) helped researchers trace actions in cancer cells, neuronal circuits, and viruses.Wikipedia


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