Discoverer of GFP gene misses out on Nobel prize

A cat with jellyfish genes glows in the dark.

Glow in the dark cats

(more funny cat pictures)

The science-journalism tracker described predictions about who would win the chemistry prize. One chemistry professor cum science writer got it 2/3 right: Osamu Shimomura and Roger Tsien for Green Fluorescent Protein, which allows geneticists to track patterns of gene activity.

At the bottom of the article is a sad note:

And finally, DO NOT MISS NPR’s Morning Edition program today, by Dan Charles. He tracked down and interviewed the man who isolated the key jellyfish protein gene, suspected it to be a potentially powerful bio tracer, and provided samples to Chalfie and to Tsien. His science funding dried up. The man now is driving a shuttle bus for an Alabama auto dealership.

The three winners of the Nobel Prize for chemistry are Martin Chalfie of Columbia University, New York City; Osamu Shimomura, a Japanese citizen who works at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; and Roger Tsien of the University of California, San Diego.

Chalfie, O Shimura, Roger Tsien

Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimura, Roger Tsien

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3 Responses to “Discoverer of GFP gene misses out on Nobel prize”

  1. poonam Says:

    my msc.seminar topic is green fluorescent protein .i am totally taken away by their discovery.

  2. monado Says:

    Wow! So what did you find out?

  3. Tathagata Says:

    I have done this experiment in my college lab, taking the gene of bacteria, living in Crystal jelly (Aequorea victoria).

    We insert these GFP gene with a suitable vector into E.coli and after that we have seen it under U.V light. We have seen green fluorescence.


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