Green jellyfish protein wins Nobel Prize
The discovery of a glowing jellyfish protein has netted the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for two American and one Japanese scientists.
Martin Chalfie, Roger Y. Tsien and Osamu Shimomura will share the $1.4 million prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Reuters reports.
The green fluorescent protein was first discovered by Shimomura in the mid-1960s who discovered that it could be made to glow when illuminated under ultraviolet light.
The New York Times reports that Chalfie showed that the protein could be used as a biological identifier tag when inserted into DNA and Tsien was able to develop more colors of the protein to allow for the monitoring of multiple processes simultaneously.
Reuters quotes Bruce Bursten, president of the American Chemical Society as saying, "Green fluorescent proteins allow scientists quite literally to see the growth of cancer and study Alzheimer's disease and other conditions that affect millions of people.â€?
The glowing effect of the protein allows scientists to track different cells and genes throughout the body and monitor their actions.
A statement from the Nobel Committee for Chemistry stated "This protein has become one of the most important tools used in contemporary bioscience.â€?