Green Protein or Green Beer

Since Thursday, I’ve been seeing photos of people drinking green beer, while I get to read papers – luck of the #phdlife. So naturally, in my own nerdy way, I wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s day by telling you about the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) – a discovery that revolutionized the world of molecular biology – or made living things glow green! It’s also the science behind glowing kittens and monkeys that you may have seen on the internet.

In the lab, I get to alter cardiac cells and make the cells express GFP that I get to visualize on a fancy microscope – yes life is fun especially when I get to take #cellfies.

In a nut shell, this protein was isolated from jellyfish in the 1960s and its discovery was recognized with a Nobel Prize (Chemistry) in 2008. Over the past 5 decades, advancements in technology have generated various engineered forms of GFP, increasing its function in various scientific disciplines.

It has definitely made my life easier in the world of molecular biology. If you use fluorescent proteins in your lab, check out this awesome science blog by Gal Haimovich

If you are attending any St. Patrick’s Day parties this weekend and drinking green beer, hope you remember this amazing fluorescent protein that’s made science fun/productive for some of us grad students. Addgene also has great resources for various fluorescent proteins that could potentially help progress your research forward.

Jellyfish can swim

They can also glow brightly

It’s the GFP!

 

Till next time!

-Wajihah Mughal

 

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