Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fireflies And Jellyfish Help Illuminate Quest For Cause Of Infertility

Date:
April 11, 2009
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Genes taken from fireflies and jellyfish are literally shedding light on possible causes of infertility and autoimmune diseases in humans. Scientists are using the luminescent and fluorescent genes to illuminate cells that produce a hormone linked to conditions, which include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Genes taken from fireflies and jellyfish are literally shedding light on possible causes of infertility and autoimmune diseases in humans.

Related Articles


Scientists are using the luminescent and florescent genes to illuminate cells that produce a hormone linked to conditions, which include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

The technique will help scientists track the production of the hormone prolactin, which is crucial in ensuring supplies of breast milk in nursing mothers but can be overproduced by some pituitary tumours, causing infertility.

Prolactin has been linked to more than 300 biological functions. It is believed to play a role in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in the inflammation of cells and tissues.

Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh, Manchester and Liverpool harnessed firefly and jellyfish genes, which enable these creatures to emit light, and used them to create a chemical reaction to light up cells expressing prolactin in rats.

The technique means that scientists can identify when and where prolactin is expressed to look at how the hormone works in real time.

Sabrina Semprini, whose study is published in the journal Molecular Endocrinology, said: "The lighting up of cells expressing this hormone will help us to understand its role within the body and could help research looking for treatments for conditions in which prolactin is involved."

The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, identified cells producing prolactin throughout the body. This included the pituitary gland, the thymus – an organ in the chest which helps protect against autoimmunity – the spleen and inflammatory cells in the abdominal cavity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sabrina Semprini, Sonke Friedrichsen, Claire V. Harper, Judith R. McNeilly, Antony D. Adamson, David G. Spiller, Nina Kotelevtseva, Gillian Brooker, David G. Brownstein, Alan S. McNeilly, Michael R. H. White, Julian R. E. Davis, and John J. Mullins. Real-Time Visualization of Human Prolactin Alternate Promoter Usage in Vivo Using a Double-Transgenic Rat Model. Molecular Endocrinology, 2009; 23 (4): 529 DOI: 10.1210/me.2008-0399

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Fireflies And Jellyfish Help Illuminate Quest For Cause Of Infertility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090327092906.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2009, April 11). Fireflies And Jellyfish Help Illuminate Quest For Cause Of Infertility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090327092906.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Fireflies And Jellyfish Help Illuminate Quest For Cause Of Infertility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090327092906.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins