Navigation Links
Biomedical research profits from the exploration of the deep sea

A study published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE highlights how the exploration of the ocean depths can benefit humankind. This is the story of a voyage of discovery, starting with marine animals that glow, the identification of the molecules responsible and their application as marker in living cells.

Many marine organisms such as sea anemones and corals produce fluorescent proteins, which come in a variety of dazzling hues. Fluorescent proteins have revolutionized biomedical research by enabling the imaging of processes within living cells and tissues. The impact of this technology is considered so high that the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was most recently awarded to scientists that discovered and further developed the first green fluorescent protein that was applied as cellular marker.

Many useful fluorescent proteins have been found in species that live in the sun-drenched tropical coral reefs. But much less is known about species living in the darkness of the deep sea.

An international team of scientists led by Jrg Wiedenmann of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Mikhail Matz of the University of Texas in Austin and Charles Mazel from the company NightSea have explored the Gulf of Mexico using a submarine, the US Johnson-Sea-Link II, equipped with a system designed to detect fluorescence.

They discovered a species of a sea anemone-like animal (a ceriantharian, or tube anemone) possibly a new species that emits bright green fluorescence. They went on to identify a novel green fluorescent protein.

Although isolated from an animal that lives in essentially complete darkness at depths between 500 and 600 metres and at low temperatures (below 10 C), the new fluorescent protein, named cerFP505, can be well applied as marker protein in mammalian cells at normal body temperature (37 C).

The brightness and stability of cerFP505 are similar to other fluorescent proteins used in biomedical research. The fluorescence can be switched on and off in a controlled way by alternating blue and near-ultra violet light. These properties make cerFP505 an ideal lead structure for the development of marker proteins for super-resolution microscopy, say the researchers.

Further useful properties can potentially be built into the fluorescent protein by genetic engineering. "Moreover", they say, "the discovery of photoswitchable cerFP505 from a deep sea animal reveals the lightless depths of the oceans as a new reservoir of proteins with novel and highly desirable properties for imaging applications".


Contact: Rebecca Walton
Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacterias armor
2. $22 million gift from Alfred Taubman launches new biomedical research institute
3. USC biomedical team to participate in $6 million low vision project
4. Phase 2 of Singapores Biomedical Sciences Initiative gains momentum for clinical research
5. UVa biomedical engineering study shows magnetic field can reduce swelling
6. Springer expands publishing partnership with the Biomedical Engineering Society
7. NJIT biomedical engineer receives NSF Career Development Award
8. Johnson & Johnson honors 2008 recipients of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
9. Supercomputer provides massive computational boost to biomedical research at TGen
10. Biomedical engineers detective work reveals antibiotic mechanism
11. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit ... Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein ... dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um ... der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... -- --> --> Competitive ... Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... security market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, which ... defence & security companies in the border security market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal ... Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: