Chemistry Nobel Goes to 3 Who Found Glowing Protein

Compound vital to Alzheimer's research
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2008 7:25 AM CDT
A researcher holds piglets under ultraviolet light to show the fluorescent green glow from their snout, trotters, and tongue. The Nobel Prize was awarded to 3 scientists who studied a glowing protein.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded today to three scientists who discovered green fluorescent protein, a compound that allows biochemists to study cellular processes. The glowing protein, first found in jellyfish more than 40 years ago, can be attached to other structures and has been critical in research on diseases such as Alzheimer's, writes the Guardian.

Osamu Shimomura, a Japanese scientist, first isolated the protein and discovered that it glows under UV light. Martin Chalfie showed it could be attached to other elements in cells, while fellow American Roger Tsien modified the protein to produce different colors, letting scientists follow multiple processes at the same time. Each of the chemists receives a third of the $1.4-million prize.