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Fluorescent Proteins to Replace X-Rays and Scalpels
2.08.2011 18:39
Fluorescent Proteins to Replace X-Rays and Scalpels
Liver of a living mouse with iRFP

A group of scientists, headed by a Russian researcher Vladislav Verkhusha, created a protein for visualization of inner organs of living mammals.

      A fluorescent protein helps observe inner organs of living mammals without using invasive techniques, x-rays or other types of radiation. Fluorescent proteins of various colours from jelly fish or corals are widely used for visualization of molecules, cells and organelles. However, hemoglobin in mammalian blood absorbs all types of radiation, emitted by fluorescent proteins or aimed at stimulation of protein emission.

      New synthetic fluorescent protein is based upon phytochrome, a photosensitive pigment, and is called iRFP (infrared fluorescent protein). iRFP is able to absorb able to emit near infra-red radiation, for which mammalian tissues are almost transparent. Researchers showed that iRFP was not toxic for laboratory mice. iRFP technique, being non-invasive, doesn’t have any unwanted side effects and promises to be a real breakthrough in medicine.

      Source: Science & Life






Author: Anna Kizilova

Tags: biology medicine international cooperation fluorescent proteins  

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