Light Bright: Fluorescence and Chemiluminescence Lighting New Paths in Biology and Technology
Join us as Chintan Modi explores how scientists continue to find novel uses for biofluorescent and biochemiluminescent molecules and use them to gain insight into the inner workings of biology and chemistry! Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas.
In nature, we see organisms put on beautiful light shows, glowing through the use of specialized proteins. Proteins that glow are called biofluorescence and biochemiluminescence molecules, which were discovered over 50 to 60 years ago. These proteins with their unique properties have enabled us to visualize biological processes in a live cell and an organism. Today we can color each individual neuron of a mouse with different fluorescent proteins, or we can use fluorescent proteins to observe how pathogenic bacteria grow in a bio-film. The use of these light-producing biomolecules as biotechnology tools revolutionized the biological sciences in the past 20 years, which was recognized by the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Chintan Modi is a graduate student in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin.