Glowing protein could be smallest thermometer

2019-02-27 06:03:02

By Michael Reilly YOU wouldn’t want to stick it under your tongue when you have a fever, but for “labs-on-a-chip” and the insides of cells, a flickering protein could be the ideal thermometer. Originally derived from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria, green fluorescent protein (GFP) glows green when bathed in light of a certain frequency. The eerie hue isn’t constant, however. In a liquid the protein blinks on and off rapidly, as protons fall off its molecules and stick back on. Now Cécile Fradin and colleagues at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,